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Martha: 10 tasty bruschetta variations

Learn how easily dress and assemble the Italian favorite! Martha Stewart shares her delicious recipes, including bruschetta with roasted red peppers, olives, and capers and with ricotta, lemon, basil, and honey.
/ Source: TODAY recipes

Love eating bruschetta? Martha Stewart explains how to grill and dress bread in three easy steps: Begin with a crusty white boule or artisanal loaf — its soft center provides textural balance — a fresh head of garlic, and first-rate olive oil. (For sweet bruschetta, skip the garlic and oil.)

1. Grill the bread: Place thick slices on an ungreased grill or grill pan. Toast each side for 5 minutes over medium heat. (If you don't have a grill pan, broil bread until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.)

2. Rub toasts with garlic: Remove toasts from grill, and immediately rub with cut side of a head of garlic. The warmth of the bread releases the garlic's aroma.

3. Drizzle with olive oil: On a cutting board or a baking sheet, drizzle oil generously over toasts. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Cut slices in half if they're large.

VariationsFava Beans, mint, and pecorino romano: Toss cooked fava beans with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a few chopped mint leaves, Season with coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes. Spoon onto toasts. Top with thin shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese

Mozzarella, pesto, arugula, and parmesan: Place slices of mozzarella cheese on toasts. Drizzle with homemade or store-bought pesto. Top with arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese, and season with freshly ground pepper.

Prosciutto, melon, and balsamic vinegar: Top toasts (do not rub with garlic or drizzle with oil) with thin slices of prosciutto and melon, such as cantaloupe. (Use a vegetable peeler or a mandoline for the fruit.) Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar.

Melted chocolate with fleur de sel: Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, and spoon over toasts (do not rub with garlic or drizzle with oil). Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Mixed tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and dill: Toss halved cherry tomatoes and teardrop tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and a pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon onto toasts, and garnish with a few dill sprigs.

Avocado, celery, and scallions with mâche: Mix together fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil; toss some dressing with sliced scallions and celery. Place thin avocado slices on toasts. Spoon on scallion-celery mixture. Top with mâche (or watercress) and coarsely chopped walnuts. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

Roasted red peppers, olives, and capers: Toss together sliced roasted red peppers, pitted Kalamata olives, drained and rinsed capers, and thinly sliced garlic. Drizzle with red-wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Spoon onto toasts.

Charred carrots with goat cheese and parsley: Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle carrots with extra-virgin olive oil, and season with coarse salt. Roast until soft and charred, about 45 minutes. Toss fresh flat-leaf parsley with red-wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and crumbled goat cheese. Mash carrots, and spread onto toasts; top with parsley mixture.

Ricotta with lemon, basil, and honey: Mix fresh ricotta with lemon zest, and spread onto toasts (do not rub with garlic or drizzle with oil). Add a few basil leaves, and drizzle with a delicate honey, such as acacia.

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