Easy Garden-Fresh Tomato Basil Bruschetta is a delicious classic Italian appetizer made with ripe summer fresh tomatoes and served on top of crusty golden brown crudites. Serve it as an easy appetizer for an outdoor summer dinner party, a super quick healthy snack, or as a side dish pasta topping.
Throw together summer tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, garlic cloves, onion, capers, good quality Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture on top of a crusty slice of warm garlicky rustic bread and the perfect Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Bruschetta is born. If this bruschetta wasn’t so good and healthy, I’d almost consider it sinful!
HOW TO MAKE GARDEN FRESH TOMATO BASIL BRUSCHETTA
What you’ll need:
Fresh, juicy ripe tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, or more to taste
yellow or red onion
good quality extra virgin olive oil
Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh mozzarella, or any hard or semi-hard Italian cheese (goat cheese is good in this recipe too)
capers, they are so good in this appetizer
Fast Easy Steps
STEP ONE… Cut, chop tomatoes and onion into small pieces.
STEP TWO…Chiffonade the basil (roll into a cigar shape and cut with a knife horizontal…it will make ribbons of basil)
STEP FOUR… Combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, onion, salt and pepper, and capers in a medium bowl. Mix gently, add cheese then mix slightly again…cover and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
STEP FIVE… Using a slotted spoon, scoop the tomato mixture on top of each slice of bread. Serve immediately.
What we call bruschetta is actually garlic-toasted bread slices. The delicious fresh tomato mixture is really just a tomato salad or Caprese salad (fresh mozzarella is sliced, not grated in Caprese). Who knew…right? But for common American purposes, I am going to refer to this classic Italian appetizer recipe as Bruschetta.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BRUSCHETTA BREAD
A really great bruschetta bread starts with good fresh hard-crusty sourdough bread like a French baguette, regular French bread, or a rustic Italian bread like Ciabatta.
Cut bread with a serrated bread knife into 1/4″ diagonal baguette slices. Place the individual slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
Using 2 to 3 garlic cloves crush the garlic and then scoop into 3 tablespoons of olive oil. (use this method to crush the garlic or use a garlic press).
Brush or drizzle garlic-oil mixture on top of each baguette slice making sure the oil covers most of the bread surface. Sprinkle on some Italian seasoning if desired.
Bake at a lower temperature like 300 for about 15 minutes. Just enough to get a little toasty. This ensures you won’t have soggy bruschetta bread.
KITCHEN TOOLS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
BEST BRUSCHETTA SERVING OPTIONS
Here are a few additional serving ideas👇
As a dressing for a garden salad
Over baked or grilled chicken or fish
Add jalapeno and use it as a taco topping
As a pasta sauce or in combo with a basic sauce
Topping for a baked potato
Use it as a pizza sauce
Addition to an Italian sandwich
The possibilities are endless!!!
With so many different recipes for Bruschetta out there, my family prefers the version of Bruschetta without the balsamic vinegar. Using balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar is the traditional way to make it but I found out years ago that to get my kids to eat it I had to leave it out. They just didn’t like vinegar…seriously can you blame them?
GOOD BRUSCHETTA NOTES
What are the best tomatoes to use in this delicious appetizer?
I use all kinds of tomatoes. Whatever is ripe and ready to eat in the garden or on my windowsill. If I get a bruschetta craving during the winter I will buy fresh Roma tomatoes, grape or cherry tomatoes, or any kind of plum tomatoes I can find that look good in the grocery store. Canned tomatoes do not work for me at all in this recipe.
Does it matter if I use red onion instead of white onion?
Absolutely! In fact, I actually prefer red onion in fresh bruschetta but my grocery store was out of them. Can you imagine?
Can I use balsamic vinegar in this recipe?
Of course, drizzle or shake a dab of it on the finished appetizer right before serving. Remember…a little vinegar goes a long way.
HOW TO STORE GARDEN FRESH TOMATO BASIL BRUSCHETTA
If you have leftover bruschetta (ha, ha, doubtful) you can easily store it in a glass or plastic airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. Bruschetta does not freeze well, it unthaws to a squishy, mealy mess.