Story and recipe submitted by Nancy (Biondo) Stowell
A few years ago, my sister Liana and I made a trip to Italy to find out more about our Italian heritage and ancestry. One day we went to a small sidewalk café and sat down to eat. Nobody came to wait on us for a long time and we thought, maybe we had to go inside to order. About that time a beautiful , young Italian woman came in and sat down near us. Immediately a waiter came running out along with an older gentleman, who we thought might be the owner.
The waiter took her order and quickly disappeared inside. They had still not taken our order, when she was served what she had ordered.
When the waiter finally came to us, I said, “What is that young woman eating?”
He said, “Bruschetta.” I said, “I’ll have the same”. I had no idea what Bruschetta was, but if it came that quickly it didn’t matter. When it was served, I wasn’t that impressed. It was a snack and nothing substantial. I did like the taste, but I was looking to eat lunch. We decided they swarmed over her for reasons other than what she eating!
When I got home I made my version of Bruschetta.
6 slices of course-textured bread cut ¼” thick
3 garlic cloves
6 Tbsp Winterhill Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
Toast the bread slices, and while still hot rub each slice well with the cut side of a garlic clove. Drizzle a Tbsp of olive oil on each slice. Add a little salt and plenty of pepper. Serve immediately. You can also serve with a slice of tomato and some fresh chopped basil or serve those along side for your guests to choose.
Sometimes I alter my recipe by brushing the olive oil on untoasted bread slices, add finely chopped garlic, then toast it under the broiler. You can then top them with an “Italian Salsa” made up of fresh chopped tomato, fresh chopped basil and black olives.
The children in Italy sometimes say this little rhyme when they eat Bruschetta:
Quant’e bona la bruschetta, da n’aghittu profumata, Vocca mea! Ma n’accetta l’arca nostra I’d spaccata.
“How good is the Bruschetta, flavored with garlic, mouth open up, and cut it in two.”