Don’t be tempted to make these too far in advance, as the bread goes soggy. Pre-heat the grill or a griddle pan and use to toast 6 thick slices country bread, preferably sourdough, on both sides. Remove from the heat and immediately rub one side with a halved garlic clove. Drizzle over a little olive oil and serve, or add one of the following delicious toppings…
PARMA HAM WITH BASIL DRESSING
Arrange slices of Parma ham on the bruschetta. Whizz 1 small garlic clove with 4 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts and a good handful of fresh basil leaves in a mini blender. Pour in enough extra virgin olive oil to make a smooth, thickish dressing and fold in a handful of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Season to taste and drizzle over the Parma ham to serve.
Halve 1 avocado, remove the stone and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash until smooth, then season with a teaspoon of onion salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir in a handful of diced semi-sun-dried tomatoes and a couple of finely chopped spring onions, spread thickly on the bruschetta and serve.
CHERRY TOMATO, MOZZARELLA AND BASIL
Mix 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar into a bowl with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and season to taste. Stir in 300 g (10 oz) cubed mozzarella or halved mini mozzarella cheeses with 175 g (6 oz) halved cherry or baby plum tomatoes and a handful of torn fresh basil leaves. Arrange wild rocket leaves on the bruschetta, spoon the mozzarella and tomato mixture on top and serve.
ITALIAN BUTTER BEAN
Mash the butter beans in a bowl with a crushed garlic clove and enough extra virgin olive oil to make a rough paste. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and fold in 2 chopped, roasted red peppers (from a jar or can) with a good handful of chopped, pitted black olives and a small handful of roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves. Season to taste, spoon onto the bruschetta and serve.
- 6 thick slices of country bread, preferably sourdough
- garlic cloves
- olive oil