How to: Build Your Own Bruschetta Bar

Today I’m giving you a little “How-To” for setting up your own Bruschetta Bar. 

I love to host events and dinner parties. Granted, I may run around like a chicken with its head cut off while prepping for them but, that’s part of the thrill. It may be my roots in the hospitality industry that have spurred my desire to be in the “business” of pleasing people. However; I truly enjoy it! (Just ask any of my friends) I will go above and beyond to try and pull off the perfect evening. This can range from putting together my annual Christmas fundraiser for charity where I’ve done themes including a wine and cheese pairing, ugly sweater party, and this past year I created a Christmas “photo booth”; all the way down to a simple dinner party with our neighbors where elaborate 3 course menus are developed in preparation.

I’ve decided to share one of my latest dinner evening adventures with all of you for some inspiration. During a recent birthday dinner celebration for a friend I put together a Bruschetta Bar. I’ve pulled together some fun decoration ideas, an Etsy company that will become a MUST for all your events, and of course, your ingredient list to make your very own Bruschetta Bar!

First let’s talk table decorating.

I like to use kitchen and food related items around my house to keep it inexpensive. I do like to entertain a lot so buying new themed items each time could get expensive! For my bruschetta bar I put pasta to good use for my rustic Italian theme. Fill vases, mason jars, or any other glass container with shaped or colorful pasta for an easy table embellishment. Same goes for all those wine corks you’ve been saving. Put them in a large flower vase to showcase.

The burlap hanging sign I made was simply letters I printed and cut off of computer paper followed by quick trip to Michaels Arts and Crafts to grab black paper and burlap pieces as the background for the letters. I used clothing pins to hold the letters onto the sign and ribbon rather than glue so I can reuse my black and burlap backdrops to make more fun signs in the future!

On to the part that I do best, the food!

The great part about something like a bruschetta bar is that you can customize every inch of it to your preference. Here’s what I included in mine but feel free to take artistic liberties to add other fun spreads and toppings to yours!

The bread:

I got a variation of flavored breads from the farmers market. I sliced, brushed with olive oil and baked for 10-15 minutes until it was crispy on the outside but still warm and soft at it’s core.

The cheeses:

put a cheese platter out so your party goers can top their bruschetta with whatever their heart desires. I included a mix of sharp and mild cheese including Parmesan, mozzarella, blue, and feta cheeses.

The spreads:

I included 4 different spread options for my guests.

  • Classic: dice tomatoes, red onion, and garlic. Mix with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Olive Tapenade: combine Greek Kalamata olives, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth consistency
  • Herbed Ricotta: mix Ricotta cheese with fresh lemon juice and fresh thyme, basil, and chopped rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Pesto: Blend basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic cloves and olive oil in a food processor or blender until smooth.

The toppings:

I had some added fun toppings that could be loaded on top of all the delicious spreads!

  • Arugula Salad: Fresh arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, shaved Parmesan, salt and pepper
  • Garlic Shrimp: Sautee shrimp with olive oil, freshly minced garlic, salt and pepper (I served them cold)
  • Prosciutto di Parma
  • Melon-slice cantaloupe into thin slices

Lastly don’t forget some olive oil and balsamic vinegar for drizzling! I am currently in love with Tantillo Foods, garlic olive oil and their balsamic “bliss” vinegar. You can these specialty items here: 

 

 

The main objective with these types of dinner parties is to have fun! Pair the bruschetta with your favorite wine and change up the decorations and food as you see fit. Regardless; your guests are going to be impressed with your innovative dinner approach.

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…all for the love of the dish

Missy

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