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Brushcetta comes from the Italian word “bruscare,” which translates to “to roast over coals,” and refers to the toasting of the bread. Thick, larger slices of bread are grilled, rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Traditional Bruschetta stops there, but it has become popular to top the toasted bread with everything from tomatoes and basil, to meats and seafood. 

Sourdough Bread 3

My homemade Sour Dough Bread makes a perfect foundation for bruschetta. Drizzle a slice with some extra virgin olive oil and grill it over a hot grill pan and it is hard to beat. Bruschetta traditionally includes a rubbing of the toasted bread with raw cloves of garlic, but this step is optional, depending upon the flavor profile you are looking for. 

Avocado Toast Shishito

The avocado toast I make at home is basically a bruschetta. Here I have topped the sliced avocado with pan-seared shishito peppers from my greenhouse. Click here to see my avocado toast recipe and post and for a link to watch the video.


The Lodge 12-inch cast-iron square grill pan is a must-have for any kitchen, in my opinion. There are days when I don’t want to cook on my outside grill and the grill pan is a way to create “grilled” food without the drama. Now you don’t benefit from the smoky flavor a real grill will impart, but honestly, the grill marks from a grill pan are often better. It is also great for small items like grilled vegetables or sliced calamari that all too often slip between the grates.


Above are two bruschettas I made last summer. The one on the right is Maine lobster meat tossed with a light coating of sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and chopped dill (kind of like an open-faced lobster roll) and the bruschetta on the left is sliced feta cheese with grilled Cornito pepper slices topped with purple and green basil leaves.


Here is a tray of bruschettas from our Foodie trip to Tuscany.

  • Diced tomato with basil and balsamic
  • Grilled zucchini and yellow bell peppers
  • Olives, sun-dried tomatoes and Pecorino di Pienza
  • Roasted red bell peppers with fresh buffalo mozzarella

My bruschetta recipe below features roasted yellow bell peppers, caramelized onions and fresh mozzarella cheese. Above is a link to my video for roasting peppers. Roasting your own peppers is well worth your effort. Canned or bottled roasted peppers can’t hold a candle to those roasted over an open flame either in your own kitchen or on a barbecue grill. Any color of ripe bell pepper will work well and a combination of colors is nice too.


Recipe by Michael SalmonCourse: AppetizersCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This recipe for Bruschetta is from my second cookbook and features roasted yellow bell peppers, caramelized onions and fresh mozzarella.


  • 1 large yellow bell pepper

  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped yellow onion

  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 10 large basil leaves

  • 4 half-inch thick slices of crusty country-style bread (approx. size: 5”x2”)

  • 2 whole peeled cloves of garlic

  • 2 large (4-oz) balls of fresh mozzarella

  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle


  • Heat a medium sized sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil and then the chopped onions. Cook the onions for about 10 minutes, or until they are well caramelized, stirring occasionally. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar and reduce for about 5 minutes, or until the vinegar becomes a glaze. Remove to a small bowl and let cool. When cool, stir in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 4 basil leaves that have been finely chopped and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Burn the skin of the bell pepper over an open flame and place in a plastic bag to steam for 3 minutes. Peel away the charred skin. Cut in half and remove the seeds and stem. Cut into 8 strips.
  • Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush both sides of the bread slices with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and grill in the hot pan, making nice golden brown grill marks on each side of the bread.
  • Remove the bread from the pan and rub each slice with the whole garlic clove, like you would use a grater. The garlic will “grate” into the bread.
  • Slice each mozzarella ball into 6 slices and finely slice 2 of the remaining basil leaves.
  • Spread the onion mixture evenly onto the grilled bread slices, and top with alternating slices of fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers. Sprinkle the top with the finely sliced basil, and the final garnish of a whole basil leaf. Place on a serving platter and drizzle the entire platter with extra virgin olive oil.

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