In anticipation of the food fair, I decided upon preparing a dish which would showcase wonderful Italian cuisine in a healthy and simple manner; Bruschetta.
Bruschetta is a popular antipasto dish thought to have originated from Ancient Rome. The dish was created as a way of not only salvaging stale bread but also as a way for olive farmers to taste the very first oil of the season. While this style of Bruschetta now known as Fettunta is unique to the region of Tuscany, other variations include toppings of beans, cured meat or cheese.
Bruschetta with tomatoes is the most popular recipe outside of Italy; I felt it was fitting to serve at the fair considering how it is a familiar and healthy dish. The topping was prepared with Italian produce in mind; diced Roma tomatoes and garlic seasoned with balsamic vinegar, salt, extra virgin olive oil and basil accompanied with grilled Pani di Casa bread.
While tomatoes were originally introduced as an ingredient from the Americas, it is complemented with traditional ingredients such as olive oil and grilled Pani di Casa bread which makes the recipe notably Italian; particularly Southern Italian with the usage of vegetables, bread as a starch and olive oil as opposed to animal fats.
One particular challenge in preparing the dish was preserving the freshness of the ingredients. I prepared the toppings on the morning of the fair however the texture of the bread regrettably softened in the following hours; the dish is normally served with freshly grilled bread. Fortunately the dish was well received with fellow foodies complementing the freshness of the tomatoes and balance of seasonings!