I’m always finding things to put on toasty-crisp bread, especially for lunch. As a mostly-vegan food fan, I locate the best ingredients, prepare them to show off their flavors and textures, and when I don’t know what else to do with those preparations, I put them on bread and pour a glass of wine.
Last week was a good example. One lunch was a soup, made with our roasted vegetable stock, Cavolo Nero, Rice, and Corona Beans. It was accompanied by toasted slices of my whole grain rye bread, spread with Kite Hill almond-based cream cheese with chives and topped with thinly-sliced smoked salmon. It also gave me the opportunity to put caper leaves from Santorini on top of each.
But it raised an important question in my mind: what’s the difference between Crostini and Bruschetta? While I doubt you have lost any sleep over that question, it intrigued me. A bit of research led me to conclude that the definitions are not that precise. It seems that Bruschetta are made with thick slices of a coarse country bread, grilled (at best over a wood fine), then rubbed with garlic clove, drizzled with olive oil, and consumed as is — or perhaps with a topping like chopped tomatoes, or bean purée with greens, etc. The focus is mostly about the bread, whereas Crostini are more about the toppings. Also crostini are usually made with a fine grain bread, more typically white flour, and cut thin — like a diagonal slice of a baguette. They, too, are crisp, usually done in the oven or a toaster.
So the photo above seems on the boundary; it is whole-grain bread, but it is sliced thinly, not grilled but toasted, and topped with three items on a large slice. For purposes of this post, I choose to say “Crostini”.
Later in the week we had an example more typical of that name, red pepper and cheese crostini.
I roasted a very good-quality Spanish red pepper in the oven, then peeled and sliced it. Then I sautéed the peppers in olive oil for about 15 minutes, and then finished them with salt, pepper and Spanish sherry vinegar.
I cut a few pieces of Tuscan Pane and toasted them, added a slice of sheep’s milk Cacio de Roma (not vegan that day), and finished with peppers and another caper leaf. The wine of choice was a 2009 Ca’ Lojera Lugana, a lovely match.
We’ll do bruschetta when it warms up a little for comfortable grilling.