Do you have any summer drinks parties coming up? Are you always looking for cool finger food ideas for your parties? Well look no further because I’ve got you covered! Bruschetta make the perfect cocktail party/soiree food. They are filling, so your guests aren’t left hungry, they look pretty, they compliment a variety of wines and are incredibly easy.

I love throwing together some plates of bruschetta or a bruschetta bar when I’m entertaining, especially for a last minute get together.

When we are in Italy on a Glam Italia Tour we do this a lot. You will often find us at the end of the day up on the balcony with a plate of bruschetta, some prosecco and a view of the Bay of Naples. It’s fabulously quick and madly chic!

Before we get into making bruschetta, lets learn how to say it correctly. It’s not broo-shetta.

The correct pronunciation is bruss-KETT-ah.

My friends over at gifts.com sent me this post. I don’t have any affiliate marketing with them, and the post is not sponsored or paid for.

How To Build Your Own Bruschetta Bar

If you’re hosting a party, you’re probably worried about what food to serve that won’t leave your guests hungry. That’s why bruschetta, makes for the perfect finger food for your next party. It’s more filling than cheese and crackers, but still isn’t as formal as a dinner party and requires far less preparation.

Though typical bruschetta just has tomatoes and olive oil, you can set up a bruschetta bar station where guests choose from a variety of toppings. Read on to see all the different ways you can serve up bruschetta and impress your friends at your next soiree!

bruschetta

What is bruschetta?

Bruschetta is toasted bread drizzled in olive oil that is typically served as an antipasto, the first course in an Italian meal. It is often topped with garlic and tomatoes, though if you are setting up a bruschetta bar, you’ll find there are many different ways you can serve bruschetta.

How to build your bruschetta bar

Step 1: Prepare the bruschetta bread

The best bread for bruschetta is typically a rustic Italian bread, though a baguette or sourdough bread will also work. Once you’ve selected your bread, you’ll want to toast it for serving.

First, cut your bread it into small slices, then brush olive oil on both sides. Place them in an oven set to 450°F for 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, you can toast the bread without olive oil and put olive oil and garlic on top of the bread once it is toasted, or even grill the bread instead of toasting it for an authentic Italian touch.

RELATED POST: HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN COFFEE IN A MOKA

Step 2: Choose your bruschetta toppings

Types of spreads for your bruschetta bar

bruschetta pairings

Bruschetta is typically topped with fresh tomatoes and basil, but if you are creating a bruschetta bar you can offer much more variety. Stray away from typical tomatoes with different jams, vegetables and other spreads.

Cannellini or white beans: A sprinkle of minced garlic and olive oil can also make a delicious combination. For extra protein, sprinkle some pancetta on top.

  • Pairs with: minced garlic, olive oil, Italian spices

Marinated or sauteed vegetables: Vegetables offer many different options for toppings. Options like zucchini or eggplant are easy choices that only need a little seasoning.

  • Pairs with: feta cheese, red pepper flakes

Pesto: Both basil pesto and sun-dried tomato pesto can be used as a spread for your bruschetta bar. Neither pesto should be combined with sweeter flavors.

  • Pairs with: parmesan, salami

Red onion jam: Red onion jam offers a sweet and tart flavor that other spreads may not. Onion jams pair well with sliced meats and herbs. They shouldn’t be combined with sweeter flavors like fruits. Additionally, you can serve caramelized onions instead of red onion jam.

  • Pairs with: sliced meats, parsley, oregano

Tapenade: Tapenade is made up of finely chopped or pureed olives, making it a great substitute for real olives at your bruschetta bar.

  • Pairs with: salmon and mascarpone

Tomato: The classic tomato and basil combination is an absolute must at your bruschetta bar. To make this classic recipe, chop up the tomatoes and toss them in olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar. When serving, sprinkle basil on top. You can also mix up what tomatoes you use to offer more subtle variants.

  • Pairs with: olive oil, thyme, basil and oregano

Types of meat for your bruschetta bar

bruschetta meat pairings

Adding meat to your bruschetta offers a great compliment to different spreads and makes the snack more filling if you’re only serving appetizers or finger foods. Feel free to stray away from typical Italian meats in favor of your favorites.

Coppa: Coppa is pork shoulder sliced paper thin with a strong paprika taste.

  • Pairs with: harder cheeses, like parmesan

Pancetta: The Italian version of bacon, pancetta is a thicker prosciutto rolled up and cured with pepper. It has a robust, meaty flavor.

  • Pairs with: mushrooms or vegetables

Prosciutto: There are two types of prosciutto—one from Spain and one from Italy. While both are absolutely delicious, if you want to stick with Italian flavors for your bruschetta bar, it’s best to go with the Italian prosciutto. This prosciutto is usually more thinly sliced and aromatic, making it perfect for bruschetta.

  • Pairs with: mozzarella, balsamic vinegar

Salami: Salami can be from either pork or beef, and usually has a sweet, salty flavor with notes of pepper that complements other savory flavors.

  • Pairs with: tapenade, olives and all cheeses

Smoked salmon: Smoked salmon is salmon that has been cured either hot or cold and requires no additional preparation on your end. It has a smoky flavor, differentiating it from most of the meats above.

  • Pairs with: creamy cheeses and fruits like apples and pears

Types of cheese for your bruschetta bar

bruschetta cheese pairings

Everyone loves cheese, so adding a few types of cheese to your bruschetta bar gives your guests a great chance to mix things up and opt for different flavors. Italian cheeses are always a safe bet, but if you have other options you like more, those can be substituted. A few non-Italian options have been included below.

RELATED POST: HOW TO MAKE A CHARCUTERIE BOARD

Brie: With a nutty, earthy flavor, brie is often a crowd favorite for soft cheeses. It also makes for a great alternative should you be unable to find burrata or other soft Italian cheeses.

  • Pairs with: honey and fruit jams

Burrata: Burrata is an Italian buffalo milk cheese with a creamy and soft texture, making it easy to spread onto your bread. Made of mozzarella and cream, burrata has a thick outer curd that, when sliced open, reveals a buttery, soft cheese.

  • Pairs with: fruits or tomatoes and olive oil

Feta cheese: Feta is a Greek cheese with a salty and briny flavor. It can be served at your bruschetta bar crumbled into a bowl or served as is.

  • Pairs with: juicy tomatoes, vegetables and sweet fruits like pears or peaches

Goat cheese: Goat cheese is a type of cheese made from goat’s milk. It has a soft, crumbly texture with a strong, pungent flavor. Like with feta, you can crumble it into a bowl for easy serving.

  • Pairs with: eggplant and most meats

Gorgonzola: Gorgonzola is a sharp, Italian cheese that can be either crumbly or firm. It is often compared to bleu cheese, and can be substituted with said cheese if needed. Given its strong flavor, be sure to separate gorgonzola from other cheeses so it won’t transfer its flavor.

  • Pairs with: tomatoes, arugula and other Italian herbs

Mascarpone: Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese that is used in desserts, but can often be used to substitute butter as well.

  • Pairs with: apples, berries or whipped with fresh herbs

Mozzarella: Mozzarella cheese has a semi-soft texture and can be made from either cow or buffalo milk. It has a creamy, milky flavor, though you can opt for smoked mozzarella for a smoky taste.

  • Pairs with: pesto, salami and other meats

Parmesan: Parmesan is a flavorful, hard Italian cheese with a fruity, nutty taste to it. It is typically aged for about two years and inferior versions of this cheese can have a bitter taste, so consider that when deciding which cheese to add to your bar.

  • Pairs with: coppa, prosciutto and salami

Ricotta: Ricotta cheese is made up of leftover mozzarella. It’s creamy and fresh with a slightly sweet flavor. Additionally, don’t hesitate to put burrata, mozzarella and ricotta on your board as it gives guests different texture options!

  • Pairs with: sweet jams, meats and vegetables

Additional bruschetta toppings

bruschetta toppings

Beyond cheese, meat and different spreads, there are various toppings to consider leaving for your guests to add to their bruschetta. Be sure to include at least a few spices so people can add a sprinkle of flavor to their bruschetta as well as one type of nut and fruit to give people variety.

Condiments: balsamic vinegar, honey, fruit jams, marinara sauce

Fruits: avocado, dates, dried fruits, figs, grapes, olives, sliced apples or pears

Herbs and spices: arugula, basil, black pepper, Himalayan sea salt, minced garlic, oregano, parsley, scallions, red pepper, rosemary, thyme

Nuts: hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sliced almonds

Step 3: Select your wines

It’s not a bruschetta bar without wine! Both red and white wines will do, though it is best to consider what type of cheeses you are serving for the most complementary flavors. Provide a variety for guests of both reds and whites, unless you know there is a unanimous preference.

Below are some common options that complement most of the cheeses mentioned above.

bruschetta wine pairings

Step 4: Prepare your bruschetta bar

After you’ve picked out the various spreads, toppings and other garnishes you want to serve, you’ll want to prepare them to be served at your bruschetta bar so people can easily serve themselves.

If you’re making your own spreads, like the classic tomato and basil or homemade tapenade, you’ll want to do this before the party so you can keep things fresh. For things that can be preserved in a jar, like jams or pesto, you can even make or buy these ahead of time.

30-45 minutes before the party starts, set out the cheese so it can warm to room temperature by the time guests eat it. Open up any wines that need time to aerate and chop up bruschetta toppings that need additional preparation. Once you’re ready to prepare your bruschetta bar, gather all the different toppings and spreads and lay them out on either a cheese board, cutting board or several large plates.

You can separate based on flavor, such as a savory plate and a sweet plate, or organize each plate based on suggested combinations. For instance, you can have one plate with a traditional bruschetta spread of tomatoes, olive oil and basil and another plate with goat cheese, fig jam and proscuitto. It’s up to you and what you think your guests will prefer!

REALTED POST: 21 LOST LADY TRADITIONS THAT STILL APPLY TODAY

Bruschetta recipes

BRUSCHETTA RECIPES

Besides the classic tomato and basil combination, it may be difficult to know what tastes best with on bruschetta. That’s why we’ve curated some of our favorite bruschetta recipes for you to create when you set up your bar.

With all the toppings for your bruschetta bar, you’ll need several plates for all the cheeses, meats and other spices you’re serving. Opt for a fun slate cheeseboard so you can write out all the yummy different things you’re serving so guests know exactly what they’re trying. Not only is it decorative and useful, but you’re sure to use it time and time again during other housewarming parties.

Looking for cool plates, cutting boards and serving accoutrements? You can find some fabulous ideas here at gifts.com

If you enjoyed this post you can find more like it at gifts.com/blog.

Today’s post is a guest post written by Carolyn Clarke. Carolyn lives at the beach in Southern California, so was the perfect choice for a post about your summer beach essentials. Have fun at the beach my friends!

Any affiliate links in this post are not attributed to Corinna B’s World.

8 Summer Beach Essentials

 

 

Is it just me, or is 2018 is just flying by? It feels like just yesterday I was putting up my Christmas tree, and now summer is right around the corner. Of course, I don’t mind; if you ask me, nothing is better than a summer afternoon at the beach! But if you want to get the most from your summertime fun, it’s important to have the right supplies — like these:  

 

A Super-Cute Suit 

 

 swimsuit

 

First and foremost, a beach excursion requires a truly gorgeous bikini. Find something cute and flirty — and most importantly, make sure it’s something that makes you feel confident and beautiful. Not a fan of showing skin? Don’t settle for some boring, basic one piece; there are plenty of modest swimsuits out there that will keep you covered and still looking cute!  

 

Athena Hidden Garden Blouson Bandini Top, $74 at SwimSpot 

 RELATED POST: THE MODERN GIRL”S GUIDE TO SUNLESS TANNING

Some Sweet Sunglasses 

 

 

 Ray Ban Aviators

Once you’ve found the perfect swimsuit, it’s time to accessorize. Whether you’re wearing vintage cat-eye sunnies, some hippie-chic round lenses, or a pair of sporty Ray Bans, your look won’t be complete without a pair of chic sunglasses. Not only will this simple accessory take your look to the next level, they’ll protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays! 

 

Ray-Ban Unisex-Adult Round Metal Round Sunglasses, $153 at Amazon 

 

Skin and Hair Care 

 

 spf

 

A day at the beach is a lot of fun, and all the swimming, walking, and sandcastle building can be wonderful exercise. However, a long day in the sun can seriously damage your skin and hair! Make sure you pack sunscreen (and reapply it every two hours) and bring some leave-in conditioner if you plan to swim in the ocean.  

 

50 Fierce Daytime Moisturizer & Sunscreen, $41 at Robin McGraw Revelation 

A Water-Resistant Pouch 

 

 waterproof beach pouch

Of course, it’s important to protect your skin, hair, and eyes while you’re having fun in the sun, but it’s also important to protect that other precious item on your person: your phone. Sticking your phone in a waterproof pouch will protect it from any drips or splashes it might encounter. Trust me, this is definitely a beach day must-have! 

 

Travelon® Waterproof Smart Phone/Digital Camera Pouch in Orange, $9.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond 

RELATED POST: 6 SUMMER MAKEUP TIPS

A Beach Spiker 

 

 beach spiker

 

How many times have you reached for a refreshing drink of water during an afternoon of sunbathing, only to discover that your cup or bottle is covered in sand? If you don’t like brushing sand off your cup, beach spikers are here to save the day! This little plastic spike is a cupholder, keeping your drinks high, dry, and sand-free. 

 

Personalized Beach Spikes, $5.50 at Etsy 

A Quick-Dry Towel 

 

 quick dry beach towle

 

If you want to make drying off after a swim easier than ever, it’s time to invest in quick-dry towels. Microfiber towels or swim chamois are highly absorbent, but they also dry very quickly, making them much easier to transport. With these little beauties, you’ll never have to lug your kid’s sandy, wet terry cloth towel into your car again!  

 

Bohemian Beach Towel, $59 at Tesalate  

 RELATED POST: THE MODERN GIRL’S GUIDE TO HAIR REMOVAL

Sand Remover (Seriously, it Exists!)  

 beach behind sand remover

If you ask me, the worst part of a day at the beach is packing up to go home — everything is so wet and sandy! When I found out that sand remover existed, I jumped for joy. This moisture-wicking powder makes sand slide right off your body, so you don’t wind up tracking it into your car or your home! 

 

Unscented Beach Behind Sand Remover, $7.99 at Beach Behind 

 

A Beach Bag

 

 straw beach bag

 

We’ve all seen those beachgoers with too many supplies: they stumble along the sand, dropping toys, towels, and snacks the whole way. Don’t be like them: a cute tote handbag will keep all your belongings safe and secure in one place! This way, you can easily transport all your belongings from the car to the shore and back again.  

 

Flora Bella Tybee Beach Tote, $195 at Paula & Chlo 

 

With these beach essentials, you’re certain to have an incredible day. So pack up, slather on that sunscreen, and hit the waves! Enjoy the sunshine and the sea — I know I will! 

 

Author Bio: Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer and fashion enthusiast based in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her full time job as a buying consultant for small boutiques, she also writes fashion advice blogs that have been published across a number of digital platforms. In her free time, she takes her dog running along the Malibu coastline. 

Positano is synonymous with Italian glam. This incurably chic, picturesque little town is the most famous of all the towns along the Amalfi Coast. You have probably seen it at least 100 times in movies and on social media, and I am guessing you already know how  beautiful it is!

pathway of the gods, positano

Whether you are stopping in for a day, staying nearby, or staying in Positano itself, here are 10 things you really need to do in Positano:

10 Things You Absolutely MUST Do In Positano

1. Hike The Pathway of the Gods

If you need to burn off some gelato, or maybe rack up some gelato credits, you cannot beat a walk along the Pathway of the Gods.

pathway of the gods, positano

image courtesy of Adriano de Falco

This 5 km hike starts by Praiano and walks you along the top of the hill to Nocelle, above Positano. The views are sensational! It is recommended that you wear decent hiking shoes. The hike is medium difficult.

About Nocelle: I am fascinated with this little hamlet sitting on top of the hill.  (well, way up there anyway!) Roughly 450m above sea level is has remained largely untouched by tourism, even though Positano below it is the hub of tourist activity on the coast. Nocelle has the most spectacular views of anywhere on the coast.

Staircase Nocelle

The staircase from Nocelle to Positano

More intriguing is that the people of Nocelle live to a very old age and always have done. For centuries the only way in and out of Nocelle, and thus the only way for the locals to get to and from work on their fishing boats and in the town of Positano, was for the to walk the stairs. There are 1700 stairs – I had thought it was only 1200, but have been corrected. So every day the people of Nocelle walked down 1700 stairs to go to work, then back up again at the end of a long hard day. They lived on a Mediterranean diet, and as such lived to be old and healthy.

pathway of the gods, positano

View of Positano from the Pathway of the Gods, courtesy of Adriano de Falco

My very dear friend Adriano leads my tour groups along the path, you can book him for this walk or for many other fabulous local  hikes at il.duomo trekking. Find him on facebook HERE

Il Duomo Trekking

Ladies this is my handsome friend Adriano, guiding a group on a hike along the Pathway of The Gods. I don’t know if he is single right now or not, but regardless you should hire him and flirt with him! 🙂

RELATED POST: 18 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT POMPEII

2. Stay At or Eat At Hotel Villa Gabrisa

My favorite hotel in Positano is the beautiful Hotel Villa Gabrisa.

positano hotel villa gabrisa

Hotel Villa Gabrisa has lovely rooms facing the ocean with giant patios and local ceramic tables set among the foliage – the quintessential Positano experience is sitting on the patio enjoying breakfast or an early evening glass of wine with a view!

positano hotel villa gabrisa

Hotel Villa Gabrisa is right in the heart of Positano, an easy walk to anywhere. If you have a little romance on the mind this is definitely the place to stay, but it is also perfect if you are traveling alone and want to feel madly glamorous!

positano hotel villa gabrisa

Not only is this boutique hotel an absolute gem, but it also has the most wonderful restaurant. I have spent many fabulous evenings sitting at one of the outside tables, breathing in Positano, looking out over the water and enjoying a meal to die for. Don’t miss this one!

3. Shop For Linen

Positano is a wonderful place to shop for linen. From flowy white linen pants, dresses and skirts and tops to beach cover ups the local shops have it all! White linen is ideal for the hot sunny Amalfi Coast days.

RELATED POST: 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO ON THE AMALFI COAST 

4. Buy Lemon Soaps and Candles

I love to walk through the market street and potter around at the shops down by the waterfront. I always stock up on lemon soaps and candles, both for my own home and also for Christmas gifts.

shopping in Positano

The soaps and candle both hold their fragrance for years. I put Positano lemon soaps in all my drawers to keep folded clothes and lingerie smelling lovely. Soaps that I bought 10 years ago still smell exquisite!

shopping in Positano

 

RELATED POST: 10 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO IN RAVELLO

5. Mangia!

The food along the Amalfi Coast is fabulous! Especially for seafood lovers.

Food in Positano

Everything is fresh and grown locally and the Campanian cuisine it just wonderful. Pair your meal with an icy fresh and crisp glass of local Fiano wine.

6. Take a Boat To Capri

From the little port in Positano boats go back and forth to Capri throughout the day. Take the earliest crossing you can so that you can spend more time on the island!

Capri View

Taking in the view in Positano, summer 2017

Depending on where you are staying some hotels have complementary crossings.

Capri Boat

If you budget allows for it hire a private charter and sail your way over to and around Capri!

RELATED POST 8 THINGS TO DO ON CAPRI

7. Visit The Grottos

Take a boat trip along the coast to explore some of the grottos. My favorite is the Grotto Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto), just outside of Positano. It was only discovered in 1932, and is really quite spectacular.

Emerald grotto Positano

image via Google

8. Wander Aimlessly

Shopping Positano

Positano is tiny, so it is easy to wander around town and not get lost. Pay attention to the tiny details – the interesting little things that most travelers blow right by, such as the interesting doors, little buildings, views of and from people’s gardens.

RELATED POST: WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT THE ISLAND OF PROCIDA, NEAR CAPRI

9. Hit The Beach (glamorously)

In the name of all things glamorous you have to spend some time sunning yourself on the beach and swimming.

Beach Positano

break out your most sensational bikini, rent a chair and an umbrella at one of the lidos along the beach, order something fabulous to drink, and keep telling yourself that yes, you really are here and this really is your life!

10.Buy Ceramics

The Amalfi Coast is a fabulous area to buy hand crafted Italian ceramics. You really are spoiled for choice as you wander the coast road, especially around Positano and Praiano.

Ceramics, Positano

These ceramics are all handmade (fatto a mano) normally onsite. They also are hand painted (dipinto a mano), so normally no two stores have the exact same pattern.

Ceramics, Positano

Whether you are shipping a set of dishes home or just buying a couple of pieces to bring with you (as I have done many times!), you will love having this reminder of such a lovely place.

Ceramics, Positano

The images above were all taken at Lizart in Praiano

 

While you are in the area you may want to check out these posts:

RELATED POST: THINGS TO DO NEAR AMALFI – THE PALACE AT CASERTA
RELATED POST: THINGS TO DO NEAR AMALFI – THE GREEK TEMPLES AT PAESTUM
RELATED POST: THINGS TO DO NEAR AMALFI – 8 THINGS YOU MUST DO IN NAPLES