Crostini: Meaning “little toasts” in Italian, crostini are small, thin slices of toasted bread, which are usually brushed with olive oil. The word also describes canapés consisting of small slices of toast with a savory topping such as cheese, shrimp, pâté or anchovies. Sometimes crostini refers to the equivalent of a crouton used for soups or salads.
Bruschetta: From the Italian bruscare meaning “to roast over coals,” this traditional garlic bread is made by rubbing slices of toasted bread with garlic cloves, then drizzling the bread with extra-virgin olive oil. The bread is salted and peppered, then heated and served warm.
Get popular crostini and bruschetta recipes
Pronounced “broo-sketta” by the nanas and papas in Italy, bruschetta is simply a piece of bread, lightly grilled and topped with any assortment of ingredients. Though fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil may be a classic combination of bruschetta flavors, the possibilities for toppings are endless and best inspired by some of your favorite dishes. The bruschetta recipes below celebrate classic sweet and savory pairings and boast welcomed lightness and freshness in traditional two-bite appetizers.
Put your garden veggies to good use this summer by cooking up Food2’s recipe for Zucchini and Pine Nut Bruschetta. Overflowing with fresh eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and garlic, these crispy toasts are dotted with crunchy pine nuts and rich kalamata olives. Make extra of this savory topping to serve alongside grilled swordfish or broiled tilapia.
Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Shallot-Bresaola Bruschetta (pictured above) combines effortlessly the classic flavors of salty cured beef and tangy marinated shallots. Serve these hearty rounds as a light lunch with soup or salad or before dinner as a meaty starter.
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