New twists on classic bruschetta

Scott Peterson
Bruschetta toppings (from top to bottom): chickpea and octopus, tomato and basil, mixed herb, eggplant with mint, and braised pepper
Six simple recipes for creative toppings -- eggplant with mint, chickpea with octopus, and more

Basic Bruschetta

Eggplant with Mint Bruschetta

Chickpea and Octopus Bruschetta

Mixed Herb Bruschetta

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Braised Pepper Bruschetta

Jennifer McIlvaine's customers are a loyal bunch. They show up for her bruschetta rain or shine, offering apologies and explanations whenever they've missed a week or placed a smaller-than-usual order.

And no wonder, given the quality of what she serves. After stints at several Seattle restaurants, McIlvaine gave her passion for Italian-inspired seasonal fare its ultimate expression at Bruschettina ("little bruschetta"), the small food stand she sets up each week at several Seattle-area farmers' markets. Armed with a cooler and a portable grill, she serves up to six bruschetta varieties each day, from simple tomato-basil to chickpea and octopus (her specialty).

McIlvaine's bruschettas make the perfect pick-me-up to eat while cruising the stands, and we love them just as much at home, where they make hearty appetizers or casual dinners. We've given her basic bruschetta recipe followed by several of her most popular toppings. The recipes are simple, so use high-quality ingredients ― each element should shine.

INFO: Visit Bruschettina at these Seattle-area markets:

Ballard (10-5 Sun; Ballard Ave. at 20th Ave. N.W.; or 206/781-6776)

Columbia City (3-7 Wed; 4801 Rainier Ave. S.; or 206/547-2278)

Edmonds (9-3 Sat; Fifth and Bell Streets;

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