This favorite antipasto (appetizer), found on almost every Italian restaurant menu, has ancient roots. Thousands of years ago, the Romans tested the quality of freshly pressed olive oil by swiping it with “fire-toasted bread.” The term in Italian for the method was bruscare, “to roast over coals.” Over time bruscare evolved into a poor man’s snack and eventually into what we now enjoy as “bruschetta,” a slice of Italian grilled bread slathered with olive oil and topped with tomatoes, herbs and garlic.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 baguette; sliced into ½-inch slices, about 24 pieces
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes; seeds removed, diced
- 1 baby seedless watermelon, diced into ¼-inch pieces
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced into slivers
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- Zest of 1 orange
- 4 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
- Heat a grill to high heat. You can also use a skillet over high heat on your stovetop.
- Combine olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Brush mixture on bread slices (called “crostini” in Italian); season with salt and pepper. Place bread oil-side down on grill for 30–60 seconds to make char marks. Remove and set on a wire rack to cool.
- Gently combine tomatoes, watermelon and olives. Spread mascarpone cheese on each crostini. Top with tomato mixture. Garnish each crostini with pinch of orange zest and a few slices of basil; drizzle with olive oil.
PER SERVING: 317 cal; 7g prot; 14g fat; 42g carb (12g sugars); 402mg sodium; 3g fiber