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Help! How far ahead can I toast and garlic-rub my bruschetta?

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Making dinner for 10 tonight - one of the starters is bruschetta - little grape tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella torn, fresh basil, great olive oil....can I toast and garlic-rub my bread a couple hours ahead, or would that be wrong? Should I keep them at room temp in the open air? Seems that covering them would make them steam....

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  1. I'd toast and pre-rub. Let cool then store then in tupperware of air tight container. A couple of hours won't make a difference at all.

    1. They might be a little crisper if you do in advance, but they should be fine. I recently asked a similar question, here are the responses: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/346816

      1. Excellent! Thanks, folks. I'm brushing and toasting right now, then.

        The rest of the dinner's a jambalaya (chicken/shrimp/local sausage as well as trinity); butter lettuce hearts of palm salad with vinaigrette and toasted mustard seeds tossed over; lemon yoghurt pound cake with creme fraiche mixed with a little powdered sugar and infused with orange flower water.

        Your help really eases any residual stress.