Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine Recipe? Biscotti? NO! Bruschetta!

Did you know that "biscuit" and "biscotti" come from Latin roots meaning "cooked twice?" You don't need to know that to be able to prepare this seemingly oddball appetizer, but we can promise you it's a good one, and not in the least experimental. We've served it several times to favorable and surprised comment. It's the sort of dish that people think outlandish at first, but, upon trying it, readily admit is delicious and, in retrospect, a sensible combination. Ana Darcy made it in Distant Cousin, before she was Ana Darcy Mendez.

Start with toast. Ana's preference is toast from one of her preferred artisan breads, tastier and chewier than sandwich bread. Rub the toasted slices with a clove of garlic and brush with a good quality olive oil. Top with diced tomatoes and strawberries. Yes, that's right. Toast or broil a second time to blend the flavors. Cut into triangles and serve, optionally decorating the tray with an attractive tomato and several juicy strawberries in the center of the plate.

It's not exactly a Valentine's Day dish...but the strawberries and tomatoes are red, after all.

Editor's emendation: the commenter below is correct. We checked, to be absolutely sure, with a professor of Italian. The proper name for this dish is bruschetti. The professor did admit that it was cooked twice, however!

More recipes and ideas are in the right column under the photo of cranberry/apple pie-->


Dianne K. Salerni said...

Interesting! I wonder if it's a regional variation of the name. Out here in PA, the Italian-Americans call this "bruschetta." We use the term "biscotti" to refer to anise flavored cookies that are sort of semi-circle shaped.

Al said...

We shall have to check with an Italian source, but I do not doubt that you are correct. However, there's no denying that these things, whatever they are called, are cooked twice!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Regardless of the name, I like the twice baked toasties that you describe a lot better than the hard, not-very-sweet anise biscuits. Witness that I poisoned the biscotti in A Theshold into Darkness. A quote from my mother: "I know you don't like biscotti, but Dianne, really!!"

I'll have to try your tomato and strawberry variation! Sounds yummy.