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Cooking from Scratch for Busy Moms: Bruschetta

Updated on April 6, 2016
Bruschetta
Bruschetta

Bruschetta is basically just an open-faced sandwich that may include vegetables and cheese, and is one of the simplest and best-loved—at least in our family—Italian dishes.

Bruschetta is a dish with endless variations. It can be made with endless combinations of vegetables and cheeses—or without cheese, or with meat or seafood. If you want to get all crazy, you can make bruschetta with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, or shrimp, or even get wildly adventurous and add hot peppers and nopalitos. This recipe is just an easy family favorite of my own.

The key to making absolutely stellar bruschetta, as with all very simple dishes, is to use the very finest ingredients. Bruschetta is out-of-this-world good, for example, when made with home-canned tomato sauce from your own home-grown tomatoes. If you don’t have this luxury, use the highest quality purchased tomato sauce.

The kind of cheese I have suggested is Havarti, since I’ve found it makes the best bruschetta. Try to find high quality Havarti from the deli section, or from a specialty cheese store, since all Havarti is not created equal. Even if you have to splurge on the cheese, this dish is still fairly inexpensive. You can substitute mozzarella—which would be more traditional—but Havarti gives dazzling results.

In our family, we serve bruschetta with a dish of marinara sauce on the table, for drizzling (or ladling) over the finished pieces of toasted bread and cheese. Homemade marinara sauce is easy. Use lots of garlic in marinara sauce. When my daughters helped with the cooking and asked how much garlic to use, my reply was, “Keep chopping till your arm gets tired.”

MARINARA SAUCE

2 ½ cups tomato sauce (or about one can)

8-10 cloves of garlic, chopped

2-3 teaspoons dried basil (or substitute about twice as much fresh basil)

Heat together in a saucepan until almost boiling, reduce heat and simmer while making the toasts.

BRUSCHETTA

1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1” slices

16 ounces Havarti

whole black olives, cut in half (optional garnish)

garlic cloves

1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼ to ½” strips

2-3 kale leaves, stems removed, and cut into 1-2” pieces

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add garlic. Stir-fry till lightly toasted. Add red bell pepper strips and stir-fry till tender crisp. Add kale pieces and stir-fry till barely tender.

Toast the Italian bread slices on both sides. Rub the tops with a cut clove of garlic.

Arrange the toasted bread slices on a cookie sheet and top with the bell pepper and kale combination. Top this with half-inch-thick slices of Havarti, so as to more or less cover the vegetables. If desired, you can garnish each toast piece with one or two black olive halves.

Slide the cookie sheet of cheese-topped toasts under the broiler until the cheese melts.

Serve with marinara sauce on the side.

This recipe will help Mom get out of cooking from time to time, when your teenage daughters make it to impress their boyfriends.

Comments

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    • blueheron profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Vile 

      4 years ago from Odessa, MO

      Now I'm hungry!

    • profile image

      Wren 

      4 years ago

      I want some now!

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