Bruschetta derives from the Italian 'bruscare' meaning "to roast over coals”. At its most authentic, Italian country-style bread is toasted over coals, rubbed with garlic and seasoned while hot with sea salt and fruity, virgin, cold-pressed olive oil. More commonly in English-speaking countries, the toasted garlic bread is topped with tomatoes and summery herbs. This version, without tomato, is a little different and is perfect for a casual lunch for 2 people, or as an appetiser for 4 people.
- 4 slices Italian bread, 3/4-inch -1-inch thick (no thicker, or it won't warm right through)
- 2 garlic cloves, each peeled and sliced in half
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces lean bacon or 5 ounces pancetta
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 large avocado, peeled, stoned and cut into small chunks
- 1 cup coarsely chopped rocket
- 12 basil leaves, roughly torn
- 3 teaspoons pine nuts, lightly toasted in a low oven
- 2 -3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Prepare all ingredients just before planning to eat.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the feta cheese, avocado, rocket, basil, pine nuts and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add an extra tablespoon of olive oil to further moisten this mixture if preferred.
- Saute the bacon or pancetta in a little oil until crisp, then chop finely and add to the feta cheese/avocado mixture.
- Set topping mixture aside while preparing the bread.
- Toast the bread over hot coals (preferably), on the bbq or under the oven grill/broiler, until crusty and golden brown on the outside, but warm and soft inside. Keep an eye on it as it can suddenly burn!
- While the toast is still piping hot, rub one side of each slice with the cut side of a garlic clove, then quickly brush each slice with a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Spoon the topping mixture on to the toasted bread, and season with freshly cracked black pepper - depending on the saltiness of the feta and bacon you use, you probably won't need to season with salt.
- Serve immediately.