March 24: World Bruschetta Day

Islander’s former colleague, Luigi M. from Sardinia, would always bring bruschetta to work potlucks. The classic Italian antipasto (appetizer) is relatively easy to make with affordable ingredients. When assembled on a tray, the colors are very appealing. Luigi toasts bread slices and makes the tomato-basil topping at home. Then at the potluck, he puts the bread out on a tray with the topping in a separate bowl so people could help themselves. That way the bread does not get soggy when sitting out for a while.

Not only does Luigi like to share his cultural cuisine. He also likes to give a detailed background to anyone interested in listening to his long stories (Islander does not mind learning about what she is eating—true foodies want to know it all!). He even told her how to make it and how to say the name properly: bruce-KET-tuh (not brew-shetta).

World Bruschetta Day is the perfect time to make these easy Italian appetizers. Try these toasty tidbits with a tomato-basil topping today!


(From Luigi M.)


  • 1 loaf Italian bread or baguette
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped


Place the oven rack near the top heating unit. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the bread about ½ inch thick (may be cut diagonally for wider space). Brush a little olive oil on both sides of the slices. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Lay them flat on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 4-6 minutes or until lightly crisped and browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Gently rub the cut garlic cloves over the top of the bread slice. Set aside.

Make the relish topping by chopping the tomatoes and basil leaves. Place them in a bowl. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Let the flavors blend while the bread slices are baking in the oven. Arrange the bread slices on a platter. Spoon the relish on top of each slice. Serve immediately.