From the Italian bruciare (to burn), bruschetta implies slightly charred bread topped traditionally with olive oil and garlic. Tradition, though, is just a starting point.
This article first appeared in the 1 January 2009 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. Visit the R&I website to find out more about the magazine or to search its recipe database.
By Kate Leahy, Senior Associate Editor
Pear-and-Squash Bruschetta (pictured above)
La Tavola Trattoria, Atlanta. For the topping of this winter-ready bruschetta, Executive Chef Craig Richards browns cubes of winter squash in olive oil, adds sage and pears, and then simmers the mixture in vegetable stock until the squash is tender. The warm topping is garnished with shavings of smoked ricotta.
Furio, Scottsdale, Ariz. Diners looking to save money might steer clear of ordering a beef-tenderloin entrée. At Furio, though, they can afford to splurge on beef-tenderloin-topped bruschetta accompanied by grilled asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and a spread comprising cream cheese and taleggio cheese. Truffle oil and balsamic vinegar add final flourishes.
6th Avenue Bistro, St. Cloud Hospital, St.Cloud, Minn. Atlanta-based Morrison Healthcare Food Services revamped one of its cafes to debut an Italian-influenced bistro. For breakfast, scrambled eggs, Jack and asiago cheeses and basil-marinated tomatoes top toasted bread.
Tuscan Bean Bruschetta
San Diego State University, San Diego. Students pick toppings at Chef David McHugh's bruschetta action stations, pairing the selections with bread baked on campus. A vegetarian option includes herbed cannellini and fava beans enriched with créme fraîche and Parmesan.