With the 86th Annual Academy Awards this weekend it's officially time to figure out what to serve during the show. With a bit of advance planning you can host an intimate Oscar viewing bash that will be seemingly effortless on your part. Get a couple bottles of your favorite bubbly on ice and set up a Bruschetta Bar.
First let's talk about Bruschetta - pronounced "bru'sketta" - is an Italian antipasto consisting of grilled bread, usually rubbed with garlic and olive oil and then finished with an array of of toppings. You can grill the bread or make more of a crostini - like I do - which creates a sturdier base for toppings and give you a bit more of a crunch factor.
You can make the crostini in advance - cut a good stick of french bread in slices (on the bias) and lay flat on a sheet tray. Brush with garlic infused olive oil. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Bake in oven at 350 until golden brown. Flip and toast the other side as well. Let cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Prepare your favorite toppings and place into bowls with utensils for scooping and spreading. Organize on a platter with a Menu Card suggesting different combinations so your guests have a solid starting point and can play it safe if they wish to. Keep some good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes (or sriracha for the daring) and finishing salt nearby too. These are fabulous "finishers" for the bruschetta.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Ricotta + Pea Mash + Mint + Lemon Zest + Chili Flakes