Bruschetta and toast – a simple yet satisfying appetizer. Bruschetta is one of my favorite sides to serve when tomatoes are in season and fresh.
Bruschetta is like a mild Italian salsa served with toast. Always use the freshest tomatoes and only fresh Italian basil for the best results. Pictured here above, I used very ripe hot-house tomatoes. You can use roma tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes for a beautiful mix of color and complexity. Also, go easy on the garlic. Raw garlic is strong and your guests will thank you for it later.
Flavors in bruschetta will intensify as it sits.
Here’s a tip
Tear the basil with your hands or roll and then cut it with a knife in strips. This is called a chiffonade. Basil bruises easily and will brown if you chop it too much.
What you’ll need
4 or 5 medium sized fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
Fresh basil (handful)
Small garlic clove (crushed, finely diced)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil (about 1 tbsp)
Always choose a flavorful high quality extra virgin olive oil for salads and bruschetta. A little goes a long way.
I prefer a rough chop to the tomatoes. This gives the bruschetta a more rustic Tuscan appeal. Chop the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and place into a bowl. Tear a handful of fresh basil into pieces with your hands and place into the bowl. Add crushed garlic and approximately a table spoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss all ingredients together. Only use kosher salt or a fine Mediterranean salt. The kind of salt you use makes a huge difference in flavor as well.
Making homemade toasts for cheese, dips or bruschetta is easier than you may think. When it’s just 4 – 6 people, I generally slice rustic bread, brush it with a little olive oil and take it out on the grill. However, if you need lots of toast for a party, I make it in the oven ahead of time. It’s more economical to make your own as well.
Ideally, you want a light flavored simple rustic bread. I decided to try this mini artisan sourdough bread and it worked well. Alternatively, you could use a light wheat or buttermilk sandwich bread, crusts removed and cut into quarters.
Seasoning for the bread
Artisan mini bread
Extra virgin olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely diced
pinch of salt
Bruschetta and toast
Bruschetta is like a mild Italian salsa served with toast. Always use the freshest tomatoes and only fresh Italian basil for the best results.
- 4-5 medium sized fresh tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 1 handful fresh basil (torn)
- 1 clove garlic (crushed and finely diced)
- 1 pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1- 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf mini artisan bread
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1-2 cloves garlic (crushed, finely diced)
- Place chopped tomatoes into a bowl. Tear a handful of fresh basil into pieces with your hands and place into the bowl. Add crushed garlic and approximately 1 – 1 1/2 tbsps of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss all ingredients together.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a bowl combine the olive oil, garlic and pinch of salt. Lightly brush the seasoned oil onto one side of the bread. Lay out the bread oil-side down on a large baking sheet. Bake in batches for about 8-10 minutes or until a light golden brown. Turn the bread over about halfway through the baking time. Cool before serving.