Tags

, , , , ,

bruschetta antipasti

My nephew, the O, is attending Cornell University this Fall. It’s far, far away from his home, but sort of close to my home, if you consider a 4-hour drive close. Being a loving and considerate young man, he made a stop at our home. So he could see his cousins first, before going off to college, since it had been almost 2 years since he last saw them.

Actually, I made him come. No, actually, I wanted to send him off properly. It’s not every day that you have a nephew going to an Ivy League. Plus, I’m like the embarrassing and un-cool aunt who wants to hang out with her nephews and nieces, all the time. It’s not my fault I like being around them. It’s their fault for being so much fun.

I personally escorted him to Cornell, how was that? Don’t worry, I knew enough not to insert myself unwanted. All I was going to do was interrogate his roommate, nothing major. What?? You’ll never know nowadays of whom you’d end up meeting. Who knows, his roommate might very well be the next Bill Nye, the most recognizable Cornellian. Stranger things have happened.

Actually, the most interesting Cornellian, in my estimation, is Pearl S. Buck, but she’s a woman and my nephew’s roommate is obviously a young man. A courteous and unassuming young man, it turned out, which greatly reassured us. In fact, I thought Cornell students look to be down-to-earth, well-behaved, happy, friendly and helpful. The school feels wholesome and is so green! Just beautiful!

The trip to Cornell also allowed me to expose my own children to what college life is like, and if they continue to study hard, who knows, they might end up in an Ivy League institution, too. You’ll never know. Stranger things have happened.

Before going off, I cooked the O a big Italian dinner. I slaved all day in the kitchen to make him this meal.

bruschetta and crostini party

I jest, obviously. Bruschettas and crostini are about the easiest things you can make. But you won’t tell anyone, will you? It’ll be our little secret.

These appetizers can really save the day when you’re entertaining on short notice. A bruchetta or crostini party can be both filling and satisfying. Just think of all the possible toppings, both savory and sweet. You don’t need to serve different antipasto, primo, secondo, or even dolce. Just make sure you have plenty of wine. Well, actually, I would still serve a dolce, but that’s just me.

A Bruschetta or Crostini Party

Crostini is Italian for “little toasts”. They’re very similar to bruschetta in that the name actually refers to the bread, not the toppings. So for those of you (I used to be one) who think that you’re buying a bruschetta when you go to Sam’s Club and get yourself a jar of chunky and garlicky tomato sauce labelled “Tuscan Bruschetta”, well…..let’s just say you’re really buying a jar of chunky and garlicky tomato sauce, not bruschetta.

Bruschetta refers to the slice of bread itself, that has been grilled or toasted and then rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. Toppings may be added.

Crostini, meanwhile, are smaller and thinner slices of bread that have been toasted until they’re crisp and topped with various toppings.

So, the difference is subtle and sometimes the lines are blurred. I’d like to think that crostini are more dainty while bruschettas are more rustic. Whatever you prefer to call them, we really shouldn’t squabble about two equally delicious appetizers.

bruschetta and crostini
On the left, big = bruschetta. On the right, tiny = crostini. Does anybody really care about the difference or lack thereof? They’re both superb!

For bruschetta
1 ciabatta or Italian bread (any crusty long loaf will do)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Slice bread thickly (about 1-inch).
2. Grill bread slices or toast in oven, for about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Rub garlic on grilled/toasted bread, and drizzle a little olive oil.
4. Top as desired.

For crostini
1 baguette, sliced thinly (about 1/2-inch)
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Brush slices of bread with olive oil.
2. Toast in pre-heated 350°F oven until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Top as desired.

Topping ideas
There is no fast rule or limit. Whatever takes your fancy. My favorite are those with tomatoes, either fresh or roasted. If you can get your hands on them, try using heirloom tomatoes or those extra-sweet cherry tomatoes.

roasted tomato bruschetta

heirloom tomato bruschetta

More topping ideas
Creamy cheese, such as ricotta, burrata or goat cheese with sliced fruits, drizzled with honey and topped with crushed candied walnuts.
crostini with cheese plums and walnuts

Caramelized onions with roasted peppers and shaved Parmesan.
caramelized onion and pepper bruschetta

Pesto, basil & pine nuts and pea & mint.
pesto

***

Features from FF30 are:


Waffle Sandwiches with Avocado, Caramelized Onions, & a Fried Egg from Katie @Le Petit Artichaut. This is what Margy has to say, “Are you sure you can call this a sandwich??? In my mind, this recipe shakes up the entire category of sandwiches.”

This is what I have to say, “Are you sure you can call this a sandwich??? (triple question marks) I think you’ve just shaken up the entire world’s idea of a sandwich, Katie!!! (triple exclamation points) What a recipe!”


Wild Apple and Rose Geranium Jelly from Hilda @Along The Grapevine. In Margy’s words, “Do I need a motivation, for real? I think not. I cannot help but admire Hilda for her passion and deep knowledge of plants and fruits. She made a unique apple jelly. Really, that’s enough for me,”

Uhm…Hilda, I also have such an apple tree. I usually just let the squirrels have at it, but maybe I should steal some from them this year. That pretty jelly convinced me. All I need is a rose-scented geranium. Or maybe I can use my rose water? Since I still have almost a full bottle and no idea what else to use it for except for a few desserts, and I mean like 2 recipes. Great, great way to use those less-than-perfect apples!


Leche Puto from Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook. Oh, c’mon, this is so not fair! How could you tease us so, Jhuls?? I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s half cake and half flan. That is so clever! I love cakes and I’ve never turned down any flan, so this one is definitely on my must-try list. Just an excellent recipe from The So Clever Cook!


Easy Peasy Pudding Rhubarb Swirl Cheesecake from Emma @EmmaSouthLondon. No way, you cannot be serious! This is an easy peasy cheesecake that took only 20 minutes to prepare? I’m in! Looks so delectable and such a happy color. Love it, Emma! Will. Try. For. Sure.

***

Fiesta Friday #31 is officially open. This is my last weekend before work starts, so of course I got sick and of course I forgot to get co-hosts. But don’t worry, I’m on antibiotics so I’m alive and kicking and will be eager to party with you. All the way from Charlottesville, Virginia. One last trip. I intend to squeeze my summer dry. And I will end it with a bang, by partying with all of my friends, all of you. So link up, everybody, I’ll be waiting!

Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

Lori

Andrea

Cynthia

Mr Fitz

Mr Fitz

Mr Fitz

Mr Fitz

Mr Fitz

Julianna

Skd

Nell

Mermaid

Katkapow

Nimmi

Tina

Claudia

Justine

Ahila

Chava

Michelle

Kaila

Nick

Lisa

Nicky

Josette

Su

Loretta

Arl

Stephanie

Indira

Selma

NancyC

Namrata

Namrata

Sue

Nino

Nino

Suzanne

Sarah

Anjana

Anjana

Cat

Lina

Lina

Elaine

Apsara

Aruna

Krumkaker

Tracey

Mandi

Julie

Jess

Meaghan

Meaghan

Jess

V & V

Sonal

Naina

TooZesty

Sarah

Hilda

Anna

Tracy

Indu

Bemiam

Juju

Martina

Chitra

Chitra

Cristina

Shelly

Ted

Ted

Noony

Johanne

Andy

Kloe

Petra

Mr Fitz

Shelly

Garima

Polianthus

Swayampurna

Swayampurna

Swayampurna

Charanya

Charanya

You’re next!

You’re next!

You’re next!

Advertisements