When you’re making breakfast for a crowd, variety is key. But the amount of time, energy and ingredients it takes to create a traditional breakfast spread can be exhausting. Next time you’ve got company on the way, ditch the heavy eggs and pancakes and opt for something lighter, interactive and more delicious: a breakfast bruschetta bar.
Yes, we know bruschetta is usually served at the start of a meal. But who says it can’t be a meal unto itself? Whether you’re laying out a breakfast bruschetta bar for two people or 10, your guests can experiment with different ingredient combinations and have fun whipping up their own take on this classic food.
Any self-respecting bruschetta starts with good bread. You can’t go wrong with a hearty Italian loaf, but stay away from French breads and other lighter fare that won’t hold up well to toppings. If you’re cooking for a crowd, feel free to select several different breads — pumpernickel bruschetta might just be the next big thing.
Use a countertop, dining table or buffet to lay out the makings for your bruschetta. Be sure to have good olive oil and a few brushes on hand, along with plenty of napkins to clean up oil drips. Make sure each of your ingredients has its own serving fork or spoon, and arm your guests with plenty of small plates for eating their creations.
When it comes to building your bruschetta, the sky is the limit. We love having some healthier vegetarian options, such as kale or spinach lightly sautéed in garlic and olive oil, as well as the traditional diced tomato and garlic combination. White beans provide a good source of protein and are delicious when cooked in a veggie broth or tomato sauce. Caramelized onion is a perennial bruschetta favorite for us and can be dressed up with goat cheese, smoked salmon or thin slices of steak. In summertime, grilled fruit makes for a great topping, whether you prefer peaches, apricots or pineapple. And if you really need a traditional breakfast, whip up some bruschetta with tomato, garlic and red pepper flakes, then throw a fried egg on top. You won’t regret it.
Do your friends or family have a competitive spirit? Host a bruschetta brunch complete with bloody Marys and mimosas, and compete to see who can make the tastiest bruschetta. You can even hold blind taste tests and vote to determine the winner!