Authentic Italian Bruschetta
Bursts of fresh flavors from vine-ripe tomatoes, aromatic basil and garlic topped on grilled bread makes for the perfect traditional bruschetta
Bruschetta is a traditional Italian starter/side made of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with a mixture of juicy tomatoes, basil and spices for an explosion of flavors that will take your senses to “Little Italy”. The key to the perfect bruschetta is using the freshest ingredients, which is why this dish is perfect for summer days when the garden is overflowing with vine-ripe tomatoes and bundles of basil, or when a weekend trip to the farmers market results in a score on the freshest produce.
Growing up we would make bruschetta every Sunday before dinner. My job was to rub the bread with a clove of garlic after it was hot off the grill. It took me forever and a day to get the garlic odor out of my fingers, but it was worth it.
Whenever the summer passed and we couldn’t grill anymore (New England weather), we settled for a grill pan which worked just as fine.
Tips to make the perfect bruschetta
1. Use a good quality bread. My favorite bread to use is a baguette. Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, it’s small enough to lend to many servings. Alternatively, you can use ciabatta or sourdough. Just be sure the bread is crusty and sturdy enough to hold the toppings!
2. Vine-ripened tomatoes. The best quality tomatoes is key. Be sure to use big, juicy tomatoes. If they are from your garden, all the better. If from the grocery store, be sure to get the ones that are on the vine, as they will provide the most flavor.
3. Fresh basil. Dried basil simply will not work. Pick some fresh basil from your garden, or buy a small plant at the grocery store to yield the best taste. The aroma and taste of fresh basil will have your senses thanking you.
Be sure to save this recipe for a summer day when you need a quick but delicious appetizer to throw together for a dinner party. Or, just make it for yourself. Either way, you won’t regret it. If you’re looking for a dish to pair it with, check out my Vegan Lentil Bolognese or Pasta with White Beans and Spinach.
Authentic Italian Bruschetta
Bursts of fresh flavors from vine-ripe tomatoes, aromatic basil and garlic topped on grilled Italian bread.
- 1 large baguette cut into 10-12 slices (or ciabatta or sourdough bread)
- 2 tomatoes large
- ¾ cup basil fresh
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cloves garlic for rubbing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more
- balsamic vinegar for drizzling
- Turn on the grill or heat a grill pan over medium heat.
- Slice the bread and brush each slice of bread with some olive oil.
- Place the oiled bread slices on the grill or pan and toast each side for about 2-3 minutes, until golden.
- While the toast is still hot, immediately rub the whole garlic clove all over the surface of each slice of toasted bread.
- Dice the tomatoes into chunks and add it to a bowl.
- Chop the basil and add it to the bowl with the tomatoes, along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano. Mix to combine.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the bruschetta mixture on top of each slice of toast. If desired, drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!
- Bruschetta is best served immediately, or else the toast will get soggy.
- I do not recommend making it ahead of time, as the mixture will become too liquid from the tomatoes releasing their juices over time.
- This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so it should only be used as an approximation.