Brustolina, tostapane, and graticola are common names for this kitchen staple throughout Italy. Virtually every kitchen has one. The Venetian word brustolina is a derivative of brustolar, meaning toast or roast, and can also mean toasted pumpkin seeds. Tostapane is the Italian word for a bread toaster, and graticola is the word for a grill or grate. One brand name is La Gratella.
A brustolina has many uses: grilling slices of polenta, toasting thick slabs of Tuscan bread for bruschetta, roasting peppers, eggplant or zucchini, or heating up slices of pizza, focaccia or cornetto and other sweet breakfast rolls.
- Use the brustolina over any kind of stove-top, electric or gas.
- Cover with foil when roasting peppers, eggplant that might mess up the wire grid.
- Adjust your heat source to warm or cook.
- Simply place over your stove with the grill side up
- Place slices of food on the grill
- Monitor the underside of the food for desired doneness
- Turn over the food to toast or heat the other side
- The wide handle can get hot! Use a potholder.
- Your Brustolina will darken with use. This is normal.
- Place the toasted food under cover to keep warm before serving.
- When you’re done, let the brustolina cool, then just turn it upside down to shake out breadcrumbs. You can use a dry stiff brush for any remaining crumbs. The grid is not removable.
- Grill bread for bruschetta or crostini.
- Thaw bread and other baked goods.
- Add more crunch to bread, rolls, croissants, etc.
- Add crisp to polenta
- Roast peppers, zucchini, eggplant and other vegetables
- You should never need to wash the brustolina.