"Bruschette" (singular form is Bruschetta); is a grilled rustic Italian
bread, embellished, with a variety of toppings. In its simplest form, Bruschetta
can consist of toasted bread, rubbed with fresh garlic and drizzled with extra-virgin
olive oil. Or it can be topped according to your own tastes and imagination, like
these mouthwatering variations from Carrabba's. Carrabba's Manager Charles
Criswell graciously shares their tantalizing version of this simple, rustic antipasto,
which includes some with sauteed mushrooms paired with Fontina cheese, as well as
the ever-popular tomato-pesto-mozzarella combination. The pesto can be made at home,
but it is widely available now in our markets.
1 loaf Italian-style or French bread
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 slices Fontina cheese, thinly sliced and trimmed to fit bread slices
3 slices mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced and trimmed to fit bread slices
3 ounces mushrooms, sliced, and sautéed in butter
3 slices Roma tomato, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 tablespoons pesto sauce (use the classic Pesto containing basil and pine nuts - available in most grocery stores)
Pinch of extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of fresh basil, cut into fine strips (julienne strips)
Bake loaf of Italian bread in oven until lightly browned. Slice the bread into
1/2-inch slices and discard end pieces. Cut larger middle slices into equal halves.
Mix softened butter with chopped garlic and garlic powder. Spread garlic butter
over six of the smaller pieces of bread. Place Fontina slices on 3 buttered slices
of bread. Place mozzarella on the three remaining pieces of buttered bread. Place
sautéed mushrooms on top of the Fontina cheese. Top the mozzarella cheese with the
tomato slices and Pesto.
Place all six slices on a baking pan and bake in a preheated
500 degree F oven for 4 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
Remove from oven and
top Fontina-mushroom bruschette with a drizzle of olive oil. Do not add olive oil
to the tomato-pesto bruschette. Sprinkle all bruschette with the thinly sliced basil