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Sicilian bruschetta recipe

Sicilian bruschetta recipe

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The topping for this rustic southern Italian bruschetta is a combination of marinated anchovies, cherry tomatoes, red onion, rocket, oregano and dried chilli flakes. It is so good and deserves the best crusty bread you can find!

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 500g crusty bread, cut into 8 thick slices and lightly toasted
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 marinated anchovies fillets
  • 150g fresh rocket leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • chilli flakes, to taste

MethodPrep:10min ›Ready in:10min

  1. Soak red onion slices in water with 1 tablespoon salt for 30 minutes. Rinse in cold water; drain well.
  2. Chop the tomatoes and remove seeds; drain in a colander or sieve to remove excess water.
  3. Spread about 1 tablespoon olive oil over each slice of toasted bread; top with marinated anchovies, chopped tomatoes, slices of red onion and some rocket leaves. Drizzle some more olive oil on top and garnish with oregano and chilli flakes. Serve.

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Liguria isn't the only Italian region to proffer up pesto sauce. Sicilian pesto is an equally enticing alternative to the classic version with basil.

Its colors and flavors hold transportive powers – thanks a good part to the tomatoes, which along with almonds and ricotta, comprise the base of the recipe. The tomatoes up the creamy factor, resulting in the perfect consistency for pasta-clinging. This Sicilian pesto can be made in a matter of minutes and it works just as well as on bruschetta and crostini as it does on pasta.

Like most regional recipes, Sicilian pesto is made differently depending on the city, family, or ingredients available. So, in addition to the classic version, we also included a few variations below. Combining everything in a blender is the easiest way to make it, though if you have the time (and the patience), you can use a mortar and pestle, which results in a slightly coarser consistency.

Perfectly ripe tomatoes will make this recipe even better! To find the perfect tomatoes look for heavy tomatoes with a smooth skin. You want it to be plump and free of any big blemishes, bruises, or bug bites.

For bruschetta, you want to choose a high-quality vine ripe tomato. You want the tomato to have as much flavor as possible. For Americans, try purchasing the tomatoes that are sold on the vine in the grocery store. You can also try heirloom varieties which can yield both colorful and delicious results.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other Italian recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Eat Like a Sicilian: 15 Delicious Recipes from This Beautiful Italian Island

The island of Sicily is a collection of many wonderful things. Over centuries it has been influenced by a succession of invaders, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Islamic Arabs, and Spanish&mdashand it has the culinary inheritance to show for it. There's a brightness and simplicity to its food but also many layers of flavor. The local produce is amazing: We love its fragrant lemons, tender greens, and juicy tomatoes. In the rolling hills are wild fennel, pistachios, and almonds, and along the coast, anchovies, sea salt, and capers. We admire the piles of juicy peaches at the Ballaro market, and the live snails and trumpet-like squash and we ogle the purple octopus, massive tuna, and glimmering sardines in Catania.

From high to low, sweet to amaro, and everything in between, Sicily can seem like a series of contrasts: It is the aggressive heat of the beating sun and the delicate touch of a lemon ice. The rich, crunchy pastries with creamy ricotta fillings. It can be over the top, like Palermo's Baroque churches, ornate curves, dusty alleys, and loud markets. And it can be incredibly serene when you stand under towering Greek temples, amongst ancient olive trees, and in peaceful citrus groves, you can feel the quiet weight of the centuries. Sicily can be as decorative as a gold-leaf ceiling or a jewel-like cassata, and as poor and rugged as its bumpy country roads. It's a thrifty sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs, a handful of briny olives, and bowl of pasta or couscous. Sicily is complex yet direct place that deserves exploring, whether in person or through its recipes.


Make the bruschette and garnish with a teaspoon of any of the following topping.

Mix in a bowl ½ lb. diced tomato, ½ small red onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. On each piece, sprinkle grated ricotta salata or another grated cheese.

Sauté chopped mushrooms in olive oil and garlic or sauté your preferred vegetable chopped it and spread on top of bruschetta.

Bottarga – Uovo di Tonno

Dried salted tuna roe. Place a thin slice of bottarga on each bruschetta and drizzle with a few drops of olive oil.

Make a paste combining 12 pitted black olives, 3 anchovies, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Spread paste on each bruschetta and garnish with ½ black olive.

Authentic Bruschetta: A Basic Recipe

Bruschetta is a dish of such astonishing simplicity that you might say it’s not even worth blogging about. After all, the basic recipe for authentic bruschetta is nothing more or less than grilled bread, rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with a sprinkling of salt.

And besides, there are a million paper and online recipes for bruschetta, or so it seems. It appears on the menu of just about every Italian restaurant sometimes you’ll even get a complementary plate without asking for it. In short, bruschetta has become a cliché, so who doesn’t know how to make it by now? Well, if today’s quick Google search is any guide, a lot of people.

It may be the very simplicity of the dish that throws some folks off. I’ve written before about the tendency of non-Italians to strafare (over-do) when recreating Italian dishes, as if they can’t believe that a recipe could actually be that easy. Surely, a little extra this or that would improve it…

Let me set the record straight and give you the recipe for real, authentic buschetta. If you want to ‘improve’ on it, feel free, but please, do try the original at least once, then decide if it really needs improving. I suspect you will realize that it is truly delicious just as is. Assuming you’re using quality ingredients, that is. You need good, crusty bread with a substantial crumb—day old homemade pane casereccio is ideal—lightly grilled and drizzled with best quality, fruity extra virgin olive oil. And if you add the optional tomato topping, make sure your tomatoes are perfectly ripe and at the peak of their flavor.


Serves 4-6 people as an light antipasto

  • 4 large, thick slices, each cut in half, or 8 small slices, of rustic bread, preferably pane casereccio
  • A garlic clove, unpeeled but cut in half crosswise
  • Extra virgin olive oil, preferably of the deep green, fruity kind
  • Salt

For the optional tomato topping:

  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, de-seeded and cut into rough cubes
  • A handful of fresh basil, torn into small pieces
  • A good pour of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Grill the bread slices over a moderately hot fire until they are nicely toasted on both sides, turning frequently to ensure even browning. Be careful not to burn them they will cook in only a few minutes.

Now take a half garlic clove, which as indicated you have cut into two crosswise without peeling:

Rub each slice of bread while it is still hot with the exposed inside of the clove, squeezing the garlic between your fingers to release its juices into the bread.

Now drizzle your bread liberally with your fruity olive oil. The slices should be nicely soaked. Salt the slices to taste.

Fettunta (Authentic bruschetta at its most basic)

Now you have authentic bruschetta as its basic best. You can eat it just like this and, if your bread and oil are good enough, it will be perfectly delicious (in not very photogenic…)

If you want, however, you can top each slice with the tomato mixture, which you make by mixing together all of the ingredients mentioned above in a bowl right before you serve your bruschetta.


If you don’t have time to make your own bread at home, then find the best quality bread you can find, with a good crust and a firm but open crumb. Usually, breads sold as ‘rustic’ or ‘peasant’ style will work best. Day old bread is preferable. If fact, this recipe may well have started as a way of using bread that had gone slightly stale, and you can use it that way, too. Just beware: older bread is drier, so it will grill very quickly. Make sure it doesn’t burn! One good tip is to slice your bread thickly, as thicker slices are less apt to burn. Older or not, thick or thin, you should never leave the grill unattended even for a moment when you are making bruschetta. Trust me, I know from experience.

The olive oil should be the best you can afford, with a rich, full, fruity flavor. I personally like the deep green olive oils of southern Italy with their assertive flavor and pleasant ‘bite’. But Tuscan oil is wonderful, too. Indeed, the Tuscans make bruschetta, too, and call it, quite appropriately, fettunta, which means ‘greased slice’ or, more poetically, ‘anointed slice’.

The tomatoes, too, should be full of flavor, if you’re making a topping. This is a wonderful way to show off the full flavor of tomatoes from your garden or the local farmer’s market. If you don’t have either, then an acceptable substitute are grape tomatoes or hydroponic tomatoes (I like ‘Campari’ tomatoes, for example) these tomatoes tend to have more flavor than your average supermarket variety.

There are, of course, other toppings you can try. In Campania they are fond of making a caprese-like topping with chopped up mozzarella (or those little mozzarella balls called ciliegine) and olives added to the ingredients listed above. Olive or artichoke paste makes nice toppings as well. The tomato salad topping can be dressed up various ways—you can read about them in our post on Italian Tomato Salad.

One things that you shouldn’t add is too much garlic. As you saw, the garlic is simply rubbed gently over the bread slices while it is still hot. They juices of the garlic infuse the bread with a subtle garlic flavor. There is no need to add garlic to the topping mixture or, God forbid, garlic purée on top of the bread à la American-style “garlic bread”, one of the very worst faux Italian abominations.

If you don’t have a grill, by the way, you can make bruschetta on top of the stove with a small hand-held grill that fits over your burner called a brustolina. Otherwise, a regular toaster will do the trick, even if you will lose some of the rustic charm that a live flame lends to the dish. Indeed, you are heading into crostino territory, a similar but distinct way to enjoy toasted bread, which I will feature in a future post.

Finally, a linguistic note: The word ‘bruschetta‘ is Italian, not German, so it is pronounced broo-SKEH-ta. It is NOT pronounced broo-SHEH-ta. This is a huge pet peeve with me, and I always cringe when I hear wait staff in restaurants (or ‘chefs’ on TV!) mispronounce the word. And since you’re taking care to make authentic bruschetta, why not pronounce it correctly?

What is the difference between Ratatouille and Caponata?

Ratatouille is a French dish, made with courgettes, peppers, carrots, onions stewed with tomato sauce, with a delicate flavour.

Whilst, Sicilian Caponata has robust and punchy flavour, showcasing aubergines (eggplant) as main ingredient.

Both of the dishes can be enjoyed as a side dish or appetizer… depending on your preference.

How long can you keep Sicilian Caponata for?

Caponata can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days in a refrigerator. This is because the acidity of the vinegar and the sugar are prolonging the shelf life.

Check out my article about the Mediterranean Diet which will help you keep a healthy lifestyle for you and the whole family!

By Linda Bilo Brechtel

my Sicilian kitchen cookbook is an authentic Italian cookbook influenced by traditional Sicilian family recipes. My cookbook was crafted with love and family history, bringing you the true culinary influence from Palermo Sicily. Using fresh ingredients with these easy to make recipes will give you and your family the full Italian culinary experience!

Enjoy my Sicilian kitchen , now from my kitchen to yours!

Allergy Friendly, Easy Bruschetta Recipe? Sure!

This recipe can be used on top of gluten-free bread with Daiya cheese as your dairy-free option. And it’s also fabulous on top of salads and even over fresh pasta. Sometimes, if I make pasta with pesto sauce, I add this as a topping along with Daiya cheese. This is also amazingly good if you want to make bruschetta pizza. We like it with a pesto or a red sauce base, and then the bruschetta on top.

In the summer, my sister makes this recipe ahead using allergy-friendly ingredients, and we each add our own cheese and the whole family enjoys it together. So if you have family gatherings where some are dairy-free and others aren’t this is great.

  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup Daiya Mozzarella style shreds or vegan Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pink Himalayan salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 gluten-free baguette (8.4 ounces), cut into half-inch slices
  • ¼ cup raw/organic butter or raw organic coconut oil, softened
  • 8 ounces Daiya Mozzarella style shreds or fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  1. In a small bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients.
  2. Spread baguette slices with butter. Top each with Daiya Mozzarella style shreds or fresh mozzarella cheese slice/s.
  3. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  4. With a slotted spoon, top each slice with about 1 tablespoon tomato mixture.

Get Mama Z’s Help Eliminating Gluten This is just one of Mama Z’s amazing, gluten-free recipes. See all her Gluten-Free Italian Recipes in her new cooking class here.

How do you serve bruschetta? As an appetizer, or a side dish? I’ve been to many social events, including weddings, where bruschetta was served as an appetizer. It feels so fancy served with some sparkling cider!

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How to Make It

For the Bruschetta:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until light brown (but still soft in the middle).
  3. While the bread bakes, mix the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove the bread from the oven and arrange on a large serving plate or individual plates.
  6. Top half with the tomato mixture.
  7. Slather the other half with the ricotta, then top with a small scoop of the peppers from the pepperonata (see how-to below).

For the homemade Pepperonata:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stainless steel skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic cloves and pepper flakes and cook just long enough to infuse the oil, about 1 minute.
  3. Toss in the peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are soft and lightly blistered (the best way to do this is with a screaming hot pan).
  4. Add the vinegar and cook for a minute. Season with salt and pepper. Store tightly covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Eat This Tip

These five flavor combinations also make beautiful bruschetta:

  • Canned chickpeas sautéed with tomatoes and diced jalapeño
  • Jarred tapenade and feta
  • Sautéed spinach and shaved Parmesan
  • Canned white beans sautéed with jarred artichoke hearts
  • Pan-roasted mushrooms

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

Watch the video: Σπετσοφάι Επ. 29. Kitchen Lab TV. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (November 2021).