This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen
This week, Food editor Russ Parsons was all about bruschetta (a hint on the pronunciation: The combination "ch" is pronounced like a hard c, so "bruschetta" is brew-SKET-a, or even, for the truly fastidious, brew-SKATE-a):
When I was cooking a dinner party for a good friend recently, she suggested we try an idea she had seen in a magazine, something the authors called a "bruschetta bar" — setting out toast, olive oil, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and letting guests construct their own bruschetta. I liked the idea — there's nothing that enlivens a dinner like forcing your guests to help prepare their own food.
That assortment didn't seem particularly generous, so I added a couple more toppings — grilled figs, prosciutto and fresh ricotta — just for a touch of abbondanza. It was a lot of fun, but afterward it struck me that even that expanded selection really was just a start. Particularly at this time of year, when the markets are overflowing with the best of the summer vegetables — tomatoes, eggplant, peppers — the possibilities for bruschetta toppings are almost limitless.
Limitless ... and yet simple. There are no formal recipes for this bruschetta bar, but check out Russ' story for inspiration. He'll give you ample ideas for toppings using tomatoes, eggplant and peppers, and walk you through the process of making each.
And if you're looking for a beverage idea, check out this recipe for a refreshing white hot peach sangria.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo: Bruschetta bar ideas. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times