Summer BBQ and picnic season is quickly approaching. One low-stress solution for summer entertaining is creating a bruschetta bar for your friends to enjoy. With three steps, you can have an easy appetizer table to impress guests!
How to Create a Bruschetta Bar
Creating a bruschetta bar is easy and fun! In addition to being super tasty and versatile, the best part about a bruschetta bar is that most of the work can be done ahead time so you’re not prepping everything right before your guests arrive. It’s also a fun and creative way to let your party guests mix and match ingredients to create their own unique snacks!
Making summer entertaining low-stress can be a challenge so one way to do it is to keep your menu pretty simple, especially if you are having a large party. Each component of the bruschetta bar is easy to make and some can be purchased pre-made, cutting down your prep time and making your life a little easier!
Start with the Bread
The first step is to get the bread ready. You’ll start with a sourdough or french baguette. I prefer sourdough because it’s a little sturdier under the wet ingredients. Either cut the loaf into slices of even thickness or pick it up at your favorite bakery pre-sliced. The bakeries in most grocery stores can slice it for you. This cuts down on prep time and ensures even thickness of slices. If you’re already using your grill, you can just spray or brush the slices with a little olive oil and pop them on the grill to toast them up. If not, a regular oven or toaster oven works too!
Prep the Toppings
Once the bread is toasted, you’ll start by making the traditional tomato bruschetta. You want to give the flavors a little time to meld. Then I whip up the honey lemon ricotta and any other spreads I plan on placing out.
Putting it all Together
The final step is to pull it all together just before you are ready to serve. I like to use a large platter or a slate cheeseboard as the base of the bar. Then grab a few small bowls to use for the tomato bruschetta, the honey lemon ricotta, and your other spreads. Add a small bowl of pesto, slice the fresh mozzarella, and add that to the platter. Next, add some prosciutto and the toasted bread. I like to put out some balsamic vinegar for drizzling on top of everything. Other nice add-ons include olives and some marinated artichoke hearts. I put about two-thirds of everything out to start and then just replenish the tray as the day or evening goes on.
Set the platter out and let your guests have some fun coming up with their own creative combinations! A bruschetta bar is sure to be a hit at just about any type of gathering.
- 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 4-5 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp honey
- 8-oz ball fresh mozzarella
- 1/2 cup basil or other pesto
- 1 sourdough or french baguette, sliced
- Olive oil spray
- 3-4 oz prosciutto
- marinated artichoke hearts
- balsamic vinegar
- cracked pepper
- Lightly spray the baguette slices with olive oil. Toast to a golden brown in your toaster oven or grill for 5-7 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside until ready to serve.
- To assemble the traditional tomato bruschetta, mix the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar in a small bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Top with chopped basil leaves before serving.
- To assemble the honey lemon ricotta, mix the ricotta and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Drizzle the mixture with honey just before serving.
- To assemble the bruschetta bar, place bowls of the tomato bruschetta, honey ricotta, and pesto on a large platter. Add the toasted bread, sliced mozzarella, and prosciutto. Add any other extras such as olive and artichoke hearts.
Home Chef Tip: Set out some balsamic vinaigrette for drizzling. It works so well with so many flavor combinations when it comes to a bruschetta bar.
We hope you love this simple Bruschetta Bar set up and summer entertaining tips from SoFabFood Home Chef, Kathryn from Foodie Girl Chicago, as much as we do. If you love these recipes and you’re looking for more ideas for your summer entertaining, be sure to visit our Appetizer Section. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!