Both bruschetta and crostini are Italian appetizers based on bread, but the main differences between the two are the type of bread used and the preparation method. The bread used for crostini is finer than that used for bruschetta. In addition, crostini are usually smaller than bruschetta.
Crostini, which means "little toasts" in Italian, are made from small, thin slices of Italian bread brushed with olive oil and toasted. The word "crostini" also refers to croutons used in Italian soups and salads.
Bruschetta comes from the Italian word "bruscare," which means "to roast over coals." Bruschetta is a traditional Italian garlic bread. Wide slices of rustic Italian or sourdough bread get brushed with garlic, drizzled with olive oil, salted and served warm.
Popular toppings for crostini include pesto, sun-dried tomato jam, prosciutto with melon, cheese, paté, tuna tapenade, chopped tomatoes and caramelized onions.
Bruschetta often takes more preparation. One option is to top the bread with tomato, mozzarella and basil, and then toast it in the oven. Another option is to cook spinach, topping the bread with it, add grated fontina cheese and warming the bread under the broiler. Other popular bruschetta toppings include arugula with brie cheese, shrimp or fresh tomatoes.