Aggie's Kitchen

Make your Own Bruschetta Bar and Antipasto Salad…

The next time you are planning a get together in your home, think about putting together a Make Your Own Bruschetta Bar.

This was another dish I served at my nephew’s graduation party. It is perfect for serving a large crowd and was very easy to prepare – most of it was done the day before which made it even better. I left toasting the bread to the morning of the party so that it was fresh. The Bruschetta toppings included a tomato and basil mix, roasted red peppers and store bought olive tapenade (another great Costco find!).

I found the tomato and basil recipe from Simply Recipes. I will definitely be making this again over the summer with my home grown tomatoes. I love food so simple and fresh like this, I could eat like this everyday. Roasted red peppers are more of a method than a recipe, you can use these for everything…including the antipasto salad recipe posted below.

Roasted Red Peppers

6 large red peppers
olive oil
fresh or dried oregano
salt and pepper

Place red peppers on hot grill or under broiler. Cook over high heat until skin is charred, turn peppers while cooking so entire pepper becomes charred. Once peppers are done, place them in large glass bowl and cover with top or saran wrap for about 5 minutes, or until cooled down.

Once peppers have cooled, start to prepare peppers by peeling charred skin and taking out stems and seeds. Slice peppers in thin strips and place in serving bowl. Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, chopped fresh oregano or dried oregano to taste, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss and serve. Can be served at room temperature or chilled.

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
Recipe from Simply Recipes6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
1/4 cup olive oil

Cut tomatoes in half and gently squeeze over a sink to remove the seeds. Chop the tomatoes up into a small dice. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for flavors to develop.

Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.

Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.


Our good friend Krista brought this delicious salad to the party and it was an absolute hit! She used her boyfriend’s mom’s recipe and was nice enough to share it with us. It went perfectly with our Italian/Wine and Cheese party theme.

Krista’s birthday is Sunday…Happy Birthday Krista!!

 Mike’s Mom’s Antipasto Recipe

Romaine Lettuce – Cut into bite size pieces

About 1 8oz jar of sweet roasted red peppers – remove all the black, charred bits with a spoon and cut into long slices
1 small jar of marinated mushrooms
1 small jar of marinated artichokes
1 small jar of green olives
1 can of whole, pitted black olives
1/4 lb of hard salami – rolled into tubes
1/4 lb of provolone cheese – cut into cubes
Oregano – dried or fresh
Olive oil and red wine vinegar Using serving platter that has sides that come up about 1/2 inch, cover the bottom with lettuce

then layer the red peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, olives, salami and cheese (in that order)
Sprinkle with oregano then drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Serve within 30 minutes, otherwise the lettuce gets soggy. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend…
you know these Gators are!




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30 comments on “Make your Own Bruschetta Bar and Antipasto Salad…”

  1. I love bruschetta- what a great idea! Hope dinner last night was good 😉

  2. I was looking for a great appetizer for a party that I have coming up and I think this is it.
    Everything looks wonderful, Aggie!
    I love bruschetta soo much.
    Your Gator fans are adorable!

  3. Great appetizers! i might make one or two for an Eagles party tomorrow. Such cute pictures.

  4. That looks so good! What an awesome idea, everyone gets something they like.

  5. OMG I love those recipes. I love bruschetta but never ever thought of making different types. DOH! I am definately going to do this for my next party!!

  6. Oh Aggie, I want to come to your next party! Your bruschetta bar idea is terrific! Each of your toppings would be a hit with me. Your friends salad looks amazing, too. I just love foods like this. Wonderful post, as usual, Aggie. Man, now I’m starving for burschetta!

  7. I second what Paula said.. can I come to your next party? Bruschetta … what can’t you do with it.. the toppings are endless, your presentation is spot on Aggie!!! You even took it up a few notches.. a Bruschetta Bar- you could do some much with that… so when is the opening of your Bistro?

  8. I love italian bread, just about any kind of bread and now that I bought a panini press, I’m in Heaven…I’m going to have to try the tomatoes and basil dip…just thinking about it makes me hungry for bruschetta!

  9. I love your idea of a bruschetta bar – excellent.

  10. What a fun and great idea! I would eat way too much if I had this bar of goodies in front of me. BTW, congrats on the big win!

  11. Love the bar idea! I will be trying this at my next party!

  12. I would love this! Talk about delish! Love your little Gator Fans! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  13. What a great idea! It all looks so fabulous!

  14. Thats a real neat idea about having the guests make their own Bruschetta!& different kinds too. I usually make & serve & thats a lot of work! Definitely doing this for the next gathering I have.
    Lovely ingredients in the salad, esp. the artichokes.

  15. Gooooo Gators! Love the bruschetta bar idea.

  16. Yum…love bruschetta so much. I usually make bruschetta on Saturday nights as a little appetizer for husband…he sits at the bar and talks to me while I’m cooking.

    I love seeing pictures of your children, they are too cute.

  17. Thanks for the props Aggie!! I love both of these dishes!! Yummy! 🙂

  18. What a creative and tasty appetizer idea. I love bruschetta.

  19. This is a fantastic idea. A friend of ours made this perfectly simple tomato bruschetta over the holidays and now I am hopelessly addicted! Your kids are so darling!

  20. This looks like so much fun, what a great idea!

  21. The bruschetta looks great but what looks even better is the Gator gear on your children and dog!!!! Go Gators!!

  22. Bruschetta is a great appetizer and I love the way you made it into bar and have what you like. Great idea!

  23. Looks terrific! Cute kids 🙂

  24. I love the idea of a make your own bruschetta bar! Perfect for an appetizer/hor’douerves-y spread.

  25. We love bruschetta!! I love serve it yourself style. Your little girl is beautiful. And look at all that hair!! No fair!!

  26. mmm… i love bruschetta!! great party idea! but i don’t know if i can read this blog if you’re a gator fan…j/k, food is way more important than football (but go dawgs!)

  27. you have a gorgeous family! Even the pup! This is a great idea for bruschetta thanks for sharing!

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  29. Bruschetta is a big hit here too!! Even for my hubby who normally doesn’t like to eat tomatoes!

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