Let’s start today with a little lesson in pronunciation. Bruschetta is said with a hard k sound, as is the rule in Italian when you see “ch.” I know in English “sch” makes one want to say it like “brushetta” but alas. However, you don’t need to overpronounce it like Giada. Calm down, lady.
So anyway, bruschetta is a traditional Italian dish that consists of some sort of vegetable, cheese, meat, bean, etc piled on crusty grilled bread. As with so many Euro dishes, it started as a means of necessity: bread’s gonna go bad! Quick, make something with it! Presto! Delicious bruschetta.
A lot of times on American menus you will see it with just tomato, basil, olive oil, perhaps some red onion. I like that combination, but I think you can dress it up and make it a little more special. The blend of flavors with olives and feta give it an almost Greek flair, and the colors just look so pretty all mixed together: green, red, white, purple.
This is an exceedingly simple appetizer or snack to prepare but there is one part of it that needs to be attended to carefully. Don’t toast your bread and leave it out way ahead of time – it will become super dry and overly crunchy. Toast it just before serving, and then it will be warm when it goes out, while crunchy enough on the outside to support the topping but still easy to bite into.
Olive & Feta Bruschetta
3 roma tomatoes, quartered, seeded, and diced
3 T fresh basil, finely chiffonaded
1 1/2 T fresh oregano, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10-12 kalamata or other red/purple variety olives, chopped
1/4 C crumbled feta cheese
1/4 of a red onion, small diced
1 lemon, juiced
3 T olive oil
8-10 Slices Italian bread or French baguette
In a medium to large bowl, toss together the tomato, basil, oregano, olives, feta, onion, and garlic. Pour the olive oil over the top and then squeeze the lemon over it. Toss again and then taste. The feta can be quite salty, so very carefully add a little kosher salt or fleur de sel if you deem it necessary. Let the tomato mixture sit at room temperature for about 30 to 45 minutes so that the flavors can mingle.
Just before serving:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
On a sheet pan, spread out the bread slices and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt over them, and toss to coat. Toast the bread untll crisp on the outside but not completely hardened, about 10 minutes.
Pile the tomato mixture on top of the bread and serve!