Go experiment with bruschetta: The Tribune India

Pushpesh Pants

There are times when you want to snack on something chatpata but are determined not to stray from the virtuous and safe path of avoiding deep-fried stuff. Well, bruschetta is here to help you kill multiple birds with just one piece of toast. This antipasto has carved out a place as an entrée in many trendy multi-cuisine restaurants and is making a steady inroad as an canapé at cocktail parties.

There are so many things you can do with bruschetta, top it with charcuterie, cheeses of all kinds, salsas, lentils like rajma and chickpeas, and fruit. According to food historians, it originated in Italy when olive oil producers checked the quality of freshly squeezed produce by dipping a small piece of bread into it. Others are of the opinion that it was a farmer who found this use for stale bread. The best part is that you need tiny amounts of even the most expensive things to dazzle guests with exotic creations. And these crackers disguised as canapes are guaranteed to beat.

The simplest recipe is to rub slices of toasted bread with garlic cloves, then drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground black peppercorns. If you have avocado on hand, you can spread its puree instead of butter. Even the finest shavings of parmesan can make bruschetta even better. Otherwise, slices of pear, pineapple will do. Chili-stuffed black and green olives, jalapeño peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, pickles – almost anything can be paired with the bread base.

Long French bread and garlic breads are readily available these days. Cut the bread diagonally and toast it in batches.

A friend of ours substitutes bruschetta for papri/matthi to spice up her chaat nights. The trick is to have a variety of toppings, creating a rainbow platter. Some to scorch the palate, others to soothe it.


  • Toast the slices of bread. Rub with garlic cloves and sprinkle with a little olive oil. Then apply a thin layer of garlic butter and set aside.
  • Grate the cheese or slice it very thin. Sauté the mushrooms until the moisture evaporates. Chop the olives and cut the grapes in half. Cut the jalapeño into smaller strips. Keep chickpeas and beans handy.
  • Now place different toppings or combos on different bases. Sprinkle with ground peppercorns and add a drop of chili sauce on a bruschetta.
  • For sweets, avoid garlic and butter. Spread suspended yogurt, fruit and a drizzle of honey.



  • French or garlic bread (or any finger bread) 1 loaf
  • Garlic butter 3 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves (crushed) 6
  • Olive oil 3 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup olives
  • Button mushrooms (wiped, thinly sliced) 1/4 cup
  • Chili sauce 2 teaspoons
  • Grapes 4-6
  • Chickpeas (boiled, lightly mashed) 2 tbsp
  • Rajma/canned beans (boiled, lightly mashed) 2 tbsp
  • Jalapeno peppers 3-4 slices
  • Black peppercorns (coarsely crushed) 1 tbsp
  • Cheddar cheese (as needed)

For the sweet options

  • Suspended curd or yogurt 1/4 cup
  • Honey 1 tbsp
  • Kiwi (thinly sliced) 1

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