I’m not going to give complete recipes here, but rather ideas for what to put on toasted or grilled bread. Traditionally, bruschetta is bread that has been grilled over a fire, rubbed with garlic cloves, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with kosher salt. If you don’t have a fire, feel free to do the same in the toaster or oven or grill. When laziness overcomes me, I omit the garlic or use garlic oil instead of olive. It is great served alone or with any of the following toppings.

Olive puree: Throw some chopped black or green olives in a food processor fitted with a steel blade with a steel blade with a little olive oil and, if you want to get fancy, some anchovy fillets. Or you can purchase it at a grocery store. Serve with or without mozzarella cheese.

Chopped fresh tomatoes, basil, a drizzle of olive oil and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese

White bean puree topped with arugula leaves

Roasted red peppers and anchovy fillets

Melted mozzarella cheese, slices of Roma tomatoes and basil leaves

Cheddar cheese and salsa (completely untraditional but great served before an entrée like chili)

Shredded radicchio with melted mozzarella cheese

Mozzarella cheese melted over prosciutto, topped with fresh sage leaves

Mozzarella cheese melted over chopped Kalamata olives and arugula

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)