The dog days of summer beg for foods that come together effortlessly. Bruschetta with Tomato, Mozzarella & Anchovy was inspired by one of our favorite spots featuring rustic Italian food – Cotogna San Francisco, where the phrases “farm to table” and “seasonal ingredients” were standard long before they became trendy. There is nothing new about the ingredients for this recipe, the only requirements are to select the ripest tomatoes, fiore de latte or buffalo mozzarella and a peppery extra virgin olive oil.
The word bruschetta comes from the verb bruscare meaning to roast over coals. Traditionally bruschetta is made using a substantial country style bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices. In Italian homes, bruschetta is generally prepared using a simple & easily available stove top grill called a brustolina. Either a stove top grill or outdoor fire work well to prepare the toasted bread – whatever you have available.
During the last twenty years, America has experienced a surge in popularity in bruschetta – not all of which has been a quality representation of this time-honored appetizer, that’s of course another blog post. Essentially, bruschetta is grilled country bread prepared with a rubbing of garlic, olive oil, salt and perhaps a seasonally available topping. Basil, tomatoes, and garlic are the toppings most often associated with this simple snack during the summer months.
Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Anchovy requires little fuss. This is not your dead of winter bruschetta; garden tomatoes are an essential ingredient and at their peak late summer. When selecting mozzarella, use either fiore de latte or buffalo – these should be as fresh as possible. The process, although straightforward is key to creating a symphony of flavors; thinly slicing the tomato & mozzarella, draining the milky mozzarella on a towel, rubbing the warm toasted bread with garlic, salting and quality extra virgin olive oil. A touch of crushed red pepper and piece of anchovy set Bruschetta with Tomato, Mozzarella & Anchovy apart from the run of the mill bruschetta.
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- 6 slices of country bread with a substantial crust, each ½ inch thick
- 1 peeled clove of garlic, sliced into half
- 5 ounces of fiore di latte or buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 2 anchovies, separated into fillets, each fillet sliced down the center and torn into halves
- Crushed red pepper
- Large flake sea salt
- Parsley leaves for garnish
- Prepare either a stove top or outdoor grill heating until hot, lightly oil the grill. Place the bread slices on the grill and let them remain until they have developed score marks, adjust them to make a second set of cross grill marks. Repeat with the other side of the bread, remove to a rack and immediately rub both sides of the bread with the cut side of the garlic. Drizzle the bread slices with some extra virgin olive oil.
- Lay a slice of the tomato on each of the pieces of toasted bread - sprinkle with some sea salt. Follow with a slice of the mozzarella and a sprinkle of the crushed red pepper to taste. Continue layering with a second slice of tomato and sea salt. Top with some anchovy, again depending upon your taste, drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garnish with a parsley leaf.
- Bruschetta with Tomato, Mozzarella & Anchovy is best enjoyed immediately after it is prepared with a glass of wine and good company.