Fresco's Bruschetta Flavored by Hawaiian Farms Print
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Fresco BruschettaAs some of you no doubt already know, the word "bruschetta" really just means grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. What you put on top of that is really up to you -- even though many people (especially in the U.S.) associate bruschetta with chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion and basil. At Fresco, the new Italian restaurant in the Rainbow Bazaar at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, Executive Chef Rodhel Ibay -- inspired by the name of the restaurant ("fresco" means "fresh" in Italian) -- decided to take the flavors of local farms to create his version of the dish.

"Going out to the farms brought to light how much the flavors of one simple fresh vegetable or spice can transform into a single dish," said Ibay. "When I first tried the tomato straight off the vine at Waimanalo Farm, that first bite is what motivated me to create my bruschetta."

In addition to the "traditional" tomato bruschetta, Ibay highlights other local produce with a macadamia-crusted avocado bruschetta and a roasted Big Island mushroom bruschetta -- and was kind enough to share his recipe here with us (below). Enjoy!

Fresco Bruschetta

1 small diced Waimanalo vine ripe tomato
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 bulb sliced garlic confit
1 fresh sweet basil leaves chiffonade
To taste fresh crack black pepper
To taste Hawaiian salt
1 slice grilled Focaccia

Macadamia-Crusted Avocado
1 slice avocado
2 pinch ground Macadamia nuts
1 pinch Panko
1 slice grilled Focaccia

Roasted Big Island Mushroom
1 oz. Shimenji mushroom
1 oz. Alii mushroom
Olive Oil
Chopped garlic
Kalamansi juice
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 slice grilled Focaccia

(Roast mushroom in oven set at 500 degrees for 2 minutes.)