I have always loved ciabatta bread in any form as I simply adore rustic variations of bread and bread alone! Every time I peek in to Trader joes my favourite store in the neighbourhood, I never fail to pick a Ciabatta and my favourite Pizza Dough made with whole wheat.
Ciabatta is an Italian white bread made with wheat flour and yeast. The loaf is somewhat elongated, broad and flattish. It’s name is the Italian for slipper. There are many variations of ciabatta. Like many artisan breads, ciabatta bread tastes best when it is fresh. People should try and purchase it freshly baked on the day they intend to use it, although wrapping it in plastic can help it to last longer. However, plastic wrapping will tend to make the bread slightly soggy, which can be an undesirable or unacceptable trade-off. To refresh ciabatta bread which is slightly stale or soggy, it can be sprinkled with water and toasted in an oven immediately before serving. Otherwise, stale ciabbata bread can be allowed to go truly stale and turned into croutons. I simply love the lightness of this bread when toasted because of its airy texture. Ciabatta in its grilled form can also be used to make sandwiches / Paninis.
Half Loaf Ciabatta Bread.
1 Medium Red Onion diced thin and long.
1/4 Cup chopped Cremini Mushrooms.
1/4 cup chopped chinese eggplant.
1/4 cup chopped red peppers.
1/4 cup diced olives.
1/4 Cup Tangy Arkansas Tomatoes or Hierloom Tomatoes/ Tomatillos.
Bunch of Arugula Leaves. (Substitute with baby spinach leaves)
Handful of shredded Fontina cheese.
Handful of shredded Pecorino Romano Cheese.
3-4 Cloves of Garlic.
1/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
1 Tsp Fresh/ Dried Basil.
Pinch of salt.
Fresh Cracked Pepper as per taste.
Chopped Cilantro Leaves.
- Chop the veggies, mushrooms,cut the olives in to halves and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the ingredients for marination and toss it over the veggies. Allow to marinate for half hour at least.
- Pour on to a baking tray and spread all the veggies all over the tray with your hands. This coats all the ingredients with the oil perfumed with the spices.
- Roast in the oven preheated to 350 F for about 7-10 minutes or until the veggies are nicely roasted. Set aside.
- Cut the Ciabatta bread lengthwise in to thin long strips. Line a tray with parchment and arrange all the slices on the tray.
- Sprinkle each bread with salt and pepper and brush with extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake at 400F for 7-10 minutes until almost crisp. Set aside to cool.
- Peel a garlic clove and rub it all over the slightly roughened surface of the bruschetta bread. This perfumes the freshly baked bread with the garlic and gives it an extra flavour to the brischetta.
- Now, place all the bruschetta slices on a baking tray. Line each of their surface with a spoon of marinara sauce. If not available, line with simple Tomato ketchup. This helps the topping to stick to the bread.
- Now neatly place the roasted veggies over the bread smeared with marinara sauce.
- Top the veggies with fresh arugula and finally sprinkle pecorino romano and delicious parmesan cheese.
- Pop in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts and holds all the veggeis firmly.
- Enjoy delicious Bruschetta topped with roasted veggies, arugula and cheeses with a bowl of your favourite Tomato Soup.
- Sweet Heaven!!!