How to make easy tomato bruschetta, the authentic Italian appetizer with fresh basil, plus lots of toppings ideas!
Before I get super excited about this to die for heirloom tomato bruschetta, I’d like to elaborate a little on the subject.
Why? Because there seems to be a lot of confusion out there.
So, what is bruschetta ?
Basically a rustic open-faced sandwich, one of my favorite things I grew up eating. In other words: the real garlic bread!
What are crostini?
Crostini are just cute, miniature versions of bruschetta, so you’d be making them with small baguette slices.
Let’s talk about the bread!
The best bread is a crusty rustic loaf like ciabatta or country Italian. You want something with texture that holds together nicely to that garlic being rubbed on it and all the tomato juices. No white potato pre-sliced breads allowed. Ever!
This is your ultimate guide to making bruschetta & crostini:
- You grill the bread on both sides on a hot griddle until charred on both sides but with a soft interior. “ Grill “ being the keyword. Never toast!
- Rub the smoky bread with a garlic clove as much as your taste buds can handle. Don’t be stingy 😉
- Brush it with the best olive oil you’ve got hidden in the pantry.
- Top it with the finest summer tomatoes and delicate herbs.
- Season with sea salt and enjoy with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
The secret lies in using the freshest ingredients of course, but also in grilling the bread! That is the difference between bruschetta and toast. One is grilled, the other one is toasted. Different textures and different flavors.
You guys, there are so many toppings ideas flying through my head, that I actually dream of them. The struggle is real!
- Roasted Tomato & Burrata
- Whipped goat cheese, herbs and marinated roasted peppers
- Con i funghi ~ Sautéed wild mushrooms
- Olive tapenade
- Ricotta, honey and figs
- Burrata, strawberry and balsamic glaze
- whipped ricotta cheese & tomatoes
- salty capers and olives- puttanesca style!
- alla caprese: with pesto and fresh mozzarella di bufala
Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
- 8 slices ciabata or crusty Italian bread
- 1 lb mini heirloom tomatoes mixed colors
- 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 c basil leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- sea salt to taste
- chive blossoms for garnish (optional)
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Heat up a cast iron griddle or pan and grill the bread until nice marks form on both sides. About 3 minutes.
- Rub one side of each grilled slice of bread with a garlic clove to your liking.
- Brush some olive oil over the top of each grilled slice of bread and season to taste with sea salt.
- Dice or slice the tomatoes into small pieces and spoon them over the grilled bread.
- Drizzle your tomato bruschetta with a lug of olive oil over the top, and season to taste with more sea salt.
- Garnish with the fresh basil, oregano and chive blossoms.
- Finish with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice over the top and enjoy.