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What's the Difference Between Bruschetta and Crostini?

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2008-09-01 11:13

Bruschetta and crostini? What's the difference? They’re both wildly popular, easy-to-make Italian appetizers of toasted bread with toppings.

In my family, bruschetta was toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil, tomatoes, and basil, while smaller slices of toasted bread with various toppings were called crostini.

I wanted to provide you with a more thorough explanation of the difference between the two, so I explained to Jeff that we needed to take a trip to Italy to conduct research for my blog. We were all packed to go until Bernanke cut the fed two more bits yesterday thereby dropping the dollar further against the Euro, quashing our plans. So instead I just Googled it.

Brushcetta, from the Italian "bruscare," which means "to roast over coals," refers to the bread, not the toppings. Rather large slices of bread are grilled, rubbed with garlic, then drizzled with olive oil. They are usually topped with tomatoes and basil, though other toppings from meats to vegetables can be used.

Crostini, "little toasts," are thinner, smaller slices of bread (usually from a baguette) that are always toasted then piled with various toppings, such as vegetables, savory spreads, and cheeses.

Honestly, technicalities beyond that just aren't important. If it’s crispy bread toasted with olive oil and piled with savory toppings and cheese, just call it “irresistible.” Then make some for the next party you're going to where everyone will love you for it.

That’s why I'm bringing my Roasted Pepper, Olive, and Brie Bruschetta (not crostini -- did you see the size of those bread slices?) to lovely Mansi’s Game Night party. This is a fast, easy, and vegetarian recipe, which is just what Mansi wants. With garlicky roasted peppers, salty olives, and creamy Brie cheese, this is flavorful, classy bruschetta that takes 15 minutes to make.

Roasted Pepper, Olive, and Brie Bruschetta

Topping:
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced cured olives, such as Kalamata and Cerignola
1 cup bottled roasted red and yellow peppers (thinly sliced or diced)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

8-10 ounces of soft Brie cheese, sliced, or 1 ounce per slice of bread
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
extra chopped fresh parsley, optional garnish

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