You see, we Americans have taken a popular Italian dish, "bruschetta," and not only changed the pronunciation, but we've also changed the meaning of the whole thing. Very American of us, no? First, "bruschetta" is pronounced "broo-skay-tah" instead of "bruh-sheh-tuh." Second, the word comes from the verb, "bruscare," which means "to roast over coals." In Italy the bread used in bruschetta is grilled or roasted (and according to Wikipedia--my authority on just about everything--bruschetta was originally a way to use up stale bread). In the US, however, bruschetta is a topping made from tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and other stuff that you pour over bread or toast and serve to guests at wedding showers and New Year's parties.
Well folks, I'm taking it one step further. Call it disrespectful, call it creative, call it untamed, but I've managed to turn bruschetta into a salad. Without bread. Without roasting anything. I'm a regular Chef Boyardee. Che sarà sarà...
With the help of my fave grocer, Trader Giotto's, I took a jar of their bruschetta and added it to quinoa and raw kale.
Make the quinoa according to the package directions (remember to rinse it first) or do what I do and throw it in your rice cooker and walk away. Then, wash your kale (I used the curly leafed Russian Kale), but as you rinse it, massage the leaves until they become soft. Raw kale is super tough to chew as is, but if you use your hands to break it down a little, the texture softens. Next, put the quinoa in a bowl and drizzle olive oil and sea salt over it, then top it with kale leaves and finally pour the bruschetta on top of that. Mix it all together and serve.
I've really had Italy on the brain lately. It might be because some friends of mine just got back from an Italian vacation and two other friends have been talking about their plans to go next year. I'm fortunate enough to have visited Italy once, 10 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long...). I loved the red roofs of Florence, the fan-shaped central piazza in Siena and the solitude of Assisi. Ahh, that was the life. Talk about good food. Someday, if you want, I'll tell you about that bubbling lasagna I had at this little trattoria in Florence. I could also tell you about the hamburger I had at the McDonald's in Siena. Yep, I was that person. These days, though, I'll just stick to my bruschetta.