bruschetta in my mind is not an exact science, but more of a method.
For me it starts withSUPERRIPE tomatoes, tossed with minced garlic and/or minced red onion, basil, S&P and olive oil. Sometimes I'd add capers, or chopped calamata olives. the trick is to let the mixture sit at room temp for an hour or so.
When I lived in boston I used to be able to get this amazing bread called tuscan sourdough (I think from iggy's bakery? Clearflour?) which would make for the most fantastic toasted base.
Experiment, you'll find what you like.
Here's what I do:
1. Get some good peasant bread with lots of holes.
2. Grill the bread and spread some room temperature goat cheese on it.
3. Top with really good tomatoes, EVOO, shredded basil leaves and salt and pepper to taste.
This dish will only be as good as the ingredients that you use.
I do mine a little different. Start with the grilled bread rubbed with garlic.
I sautee a fine dice of red onion, yellow pepper, red cherry peppers (the chiles; most important ingredient), and tomato (no more than 1/3 of total mass) with a little garlic in olive oil. Add in a little chiffonade of freshest basil towards end. When soft, cool to room temp and pile on the bread.
Not traditional, but has a nice little bite (amount depends on how thoroughly you clean the cherry peppers) and definitely tasty. My wife wants me to make it every time we have company, though seasonal ingredients are really key.
Something to file away for when tomatos aren't in season - I got a recipe out of a Spanish wine promo booklet that uses roasted red peppers. Peppers, anchovies, lemon juice, chopped parsley, and a splash of olive oil. Thats what I can remember off the top of my head. After toasting the crostini give them a quick rub with a garlic clove and top w/ pepper mix.
I run slices of thick, dense (not a lot of air holes) bread under the broiler to toast on both sides and then rub on one side with sliced garlic. This is probably more than enough garlic for flavor but I also add minced/pressed garlic to my tomato mixture because I like it.
For the tomato mixture I seed and dice some ripe tomatoes, about 3 or 4 medium sized for 2 people. To this, I add a couple of cloves of pressed garlic, a chiffonade of basil, about 20 leaves, a glug of extra virgin olive oil, a smaller sprinkling of good balsamic vinegar, fresh ground pepper and kosher or sea salt. I like to let it sit out at room temp as long as possible before serving.
This is a weekly dinner once the tomatoes get going.
for a real visceral experience and tasty bruschetta,
grill olive-oiled bread until very crusty but not charred
rub clove of garlic against bread
use very ripe, organic tomatoes. squeeze and grate against bread until tomatoes fall apart in your hand and end up on bread
top w/ chiff'd basil, sprinkle salt and chomp.
the feeling of pulpy tomatoes all over the hands are real nice.
Who needs a recipe. They sell bruschetta in a jar ;) :(
Seriously as has been mentioned bruschetta is toasted bread. Now what you put on it is up to you. I sense that you are interested in the popular tomato based recipes we find everywhere in the US.
Common ingredients I seen and had in restaurants included any combination of the following
Diced seeded plum tomatoes
fine diced garlic; although I like to rub the garlic on the bread after it's been toasted
flat leaf parsley
diced red, yellow or green peppers
The list can get pretty long.
When any of these salad toppings are added I like a dressing of either sherry or balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, a dash of sugar, salt, pepper and good olive oil. Mix the acid or combination of acids plus oil and seasonings of your choice and marinate the toppings a short time before topping the toasted bread.
A bit outside the norm, but memorable, I promise, based on the Italian mantra of using only minimal number of ingredients for maximum impact. Inspired by La Cantina Ristorante in Hamilton, ON
As you normally would ... thinly sliced is best for this. Grilled is wonderful. Toasted is just fine.
Take some good quality sundried tomatoes packed in oil and dump in a blender
add 1-2 cloves garlic and enough extra virgin olive oil until the mixture resembles less of a paste and much more of a liquid.
Drizzle "crostini" judiciously with sundried tomato mixture. However, be generous with the "oil" that may accumulate on top of sundried tomato mixture. Make sure to get those important toasted crusty parts.
Get the best and freshest goat cheese you can and place a few pats on top of this bruschetta.
I promise you, people will swoon!