Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bruschetta, the Poor Man's Pizza - 52 Pizza Party Pizzas

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This is fantastic!  Yet so simple to make.  You may remember a scene in the movie Julie and Julia where Julie's husband is chomping down on a crusty piece of toast with tomatoes and he exclaims, This is GOOD... Really Good!"

Well, he was right, this is good.

A couple of decades ago when I was first learning about food that was not served in my little corner of a corn field in downstate Illinois I first heard the word, "Bruschetta".  The waiter told me that it was a traditional Italian dish served as an appetizer.  He then explained that it is also known as a Poor man's Pizza as there is little real cooking, no dough, no sauce, just toast and tomatoes.

Well, long story short, I ordered the slices, not really expecting much. But ever since I have been in love with the simplicity, the ease and yet the complex flavors that come from Olive Oil toasted bread and gently sauteed onions and tomatoes in garlic Olive Oil is on my list of foods before I die...


OK... Here's what I did...

the Poor Man's Pizza

  • Slices of Bread
  • 1 Clove Garlic , smashed, chopped and mashed into a paste
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil per slice of bread
  • 2 TBS Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil (more as needed if making several slices)
  • 2 TBS grated Red Onion, per slice
  • half a dozen Parsley Leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Small dice Tomato per slice
Cooking Directions
  1. In a heavy bottomed frying pan, heat the Olive Oil.
  2. Meanwhile, crush, chop and smash the garlic into a paste and add to the hot oil. Saute and mix for 1 minute.
  3. Add the bread slices into the hot Garlic Oil. Drizzle additional Olive Oil on top of the bread.
  4. As the bread toasts, turn and toast both sides evenly. Remove from oil and top with a thin layer of the Mozzarella Cheese.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat a TBS of Olive Oil. Add the onion and parsley and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent.
  6. Add the Tomatoes and saute for only a minute, to get a thin coating of the hot oil and just heat the tomatoes.
  7. Now, assemble the Bruschetta... Bread, Cheese and the tomato/onion mix...
  8. Serve Warm as a lunch, snack, Antipasto or a side dish and ENJOY!

This is Pizza #24 in my list of 52 Pizza Party Pizzas...

Week #1 ...

A simple Salami Pizza (break free of the addiction to Pepperoni).  A classic example of the Italian belief that less is more... Allow a quality ingredient like the artisanal Dry cured sausage, the sauce and the cheese balance beautifully!
This Sausage pizza is Pizza #2 in my list of 52 Pizza Party Pizzas...

I made a fantastic HOT Sausage Pizza... Made with mini balls of sausage (there is a small trick) that also looks as dramatic as it is tasty!

Week #3

I was on the grill making a dessert or Appetizer FANTASTIC Honey - Goat Cheese - Arugula Pizza... Delicious and PERFECT if you want to WOW your friends with something unique on the GRILL!

Week #4

A Pizza from my youth, the (then) exotic sounding Canadian Bacon and Onion GRILLED pizza!  Loaded with color and the unique taste of the sweet juicy back bacon that became a legend back in Pekin, Illinois in the 70's.

Week #5

A fond memory of our time living in the islands... US Virgin Island, St Thomas had a fantastic little beach bar where you could get a Steak and Gorgonzola Pizza (and a bottle of wine) for just $25... one of the few bargains on the island and a darn fine PIZZA!

Week #6

We stayed out on the grill for a fun APPETIZER PIZZA of Goat Cheese, Honey and Walnuts!  Worked perfect to serve as guests arrive, the sweet honey, zippy goat cheese and the savory walnuts paired perfect for a fine welcome treat!

Week #7

HOW COOL IS THIS BREAKFAST PIZZA???  Ham and Eggs... Cheese and tomato sauce!  It is actually a classic Italian recipe for
Bacon and Egg Pizza (Uova e pancetta Pizza)And it is WONDERFUL!

Week #8

Was something really special for me, a chance to cook with another respected Food Blogger, Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, AND to use her open fireplace cooking grate to cook over a live fire and make a pizza topped with Ina Garten's Guacamole Salad!  Fruit, Vegges, Black Beans... Makes a FANTASTIC Pizza!

Week #9

My beloved Rotisserie Chicken gets dressed up with Taco seasonings to help create a Taco Chicken and Pickled Red Onion Pizza!  A wonderfully colorful and spicy pizza.  Something you would expect at a California fancy pizzeria... or now at home!

Week #10

Cul de Sac Famous empty Nestors that we are, we were a bit intimidated with the idea of sitting for 7 (YES, SEVEN) of our nieces and nephews for a weekend.  I decided to make pizza one night, even more challenging I decided to offer each of the kids a chance to pick their own toppings... CHEESE PIZZA was by far the most requested.  But just because it is a simple cheese pizza is no excuse not to make it the best.  LOTS of tips to make yours better than a pizzeria!

Week #11

A new twist on the original classic pizza... A Basil Mint Pesto Margherita Pizza.  Pesto is loaded with fresh herbs (herbaceous), Pine Nuts (Nutty) and Garlic (you guessed it... garlicky!), making this pizza layers upon layers of flavors!  And pretty too!

Week #12

Another big change of pace that was HUGELY successful as an appetizer was this Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Pizza.  Lots of fresh grilled Corn and a sweet sauce of honey and mascarpone cheese.  Unusual combination of ingredients, sauce,cheese and a DELICIOUS Change of Pace!

Week #13

Fresh, Local, and best and SUMMERTIME!
Great produce is available at just about any street corner... And sometimes even your own garden.  Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow and work great in container gardens.  And they make a FANTASTIC... Cherry Tomato Margherita Pizza.  Colorful and Summertime fresh tasting!

Week #14

More fresh local And Best...
Seasonal Summer Pizzas are very simple.  You want the ingredients to shine.  The sauce, dough and cheese takes a back seat to fresh garden herbs.  This Fresh Herb Pizza tastes like summer in a garden!

Week #15

This pizza was a delicious trip to my back yard garden!  MY TOMATOES ARE IN MY TOMATOES ARE IN!!!  A Fresh Heirloom juicy sweet tomato pie!  This is what an Italian pizza ought to be... fresh local and loaded with flavors.  My favorite so far!

Week #16

This pizza is a stretch of leftovers.  I had grilled some wonderful Korean Style Short Ribs but only had a single serving left.  SO... Stretch those ingredients to make a wonderful pizza for two, A Korean Beef Short Rib Pizza for 2!

Week #17

I experimented with a new technique today when I made an Italian Brick Oven Style Pizza AT HOME. The trick is HOT HOT HOT, not only the oven but a Pizza Stone as well.  My first was this FANTASTIC White Sauced garlic and Tomato Naples style Pizza!

Week #18

I went a little more traditional American Pizzeria style this week with a sausage pizza.  In Fact, this got an Italian upgrade with a Spicy Italian Sausage and Tomato Slices Pizza.  Made Naples style in the HOTTEST OVEN Possible.

Week #19

I vary a bit from a traditional looking pizza with a simple BEER BREAD Crust, MARGHERITA TOPPED Pizza.  A bit unusual but fast and EASY to make and a great Bar Snack or Appetizer.

Week #20

I added a cooking with beer pizza.  I simmered Rotisserie Chicken in a combination of beer and Hot Sauce, PLUS used a Beer Pizza Dough recipe to make these appetizer Buffalo Pizza Sticks with Blue Cheese.  All the tastes of a bar snack, Buffalo Chicken Wings on a Pizza!

Week #21

I was feeling very California this week with a now new CLASSIC, my version of the pizza that made Wolfgang Puck famous, the Salmon, Goat Cheese and Shaved red Onions Specialty Pizza.  Delicious and exotic (especially for Kansas)!

Week #22

As everyone says (and every married man knows), Happy Wife... Happy Life!  And that counts for pizzas as well.  This is my wife's pizza of choice... Your basic Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza.  Basic, but the post has plenty of tips for Italian Brick Oven style at home!

Week #23

This is best when served along side a HOT bowl of soup.  Barely qualifying as a pizza, using garlic butter as a sauce, but this Cheesy Garlic Bread Pizza is just perfect for an open face toasted cheese sandwich for soup or just call it... Cheesy Garlic Bread Pizza!

OK, be sure to come back next Sunday... I already have plans for next weeks' Za!

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