On a trip to Orvieto years ago, a few chefs and I visited a small, off the beaten path spot called Champagneria. There we had chef Velia De Angelis' bruschetta, probably as we agreed, the best we'd ever had.
Of course, as most Italian food depends largely on the quality of its ingredients, you must only use the very best you can find or it's sort of a waste of time. With just a few items, you can taste every bit of summer in this dish, so don't skimp. Buy the best and you'll taste the difference.
A native to Umbria, Velia has taught cooking classes on the outskirts of Orvieto, a region famous for it's namesake white wine, endless fields of sunflowers that turn to face the rays of light as the sun moves across the sky. This fortressed medieval city is perched atop a hillside and its fire roasted varieties of bruschette are well known.
Since we couldn't shoot Velia last summer, she graciously shared with us her technique and offered that you may use some oregano, or parsley in lieu of basil if it's not available. Celia of course uses freshly picked tomatoes, Umbrian olive oil and day old bread she baked herself.
Serving Size: Serves 10-12
10-12 thick slices of day old bread, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, cut into a few pieces
Sprig Fresh Basil, oregano bruised or 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F. Place the bread slices on pan and toast them for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into small pieces and add the garlic and herbs. Season with salt.
When the bread is slightly crisp and golden on the outside, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Remove garlic and extra liquid from tomatoes and top the bread off. Drizzle with plenty of extra extra virgin olive oil.