Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

VideoFavorite SummerQuick and EasyItalianVegan

Bruschetta with tomato and basil! Chopped fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, and vinegar, served on toasted slices of French or Italian bread.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Ah bruschetta, one of the best ways to enjoy the bounty of summer. Pronounced “brusketta”, this classic Italian appetizer is a perfect way to capture the flavors of garden ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil. Think of it as summer on toast!

My friend Dee showed me how to make it years ago, and it couldn’t be easier to prepare. It’s just a mixture of chopped tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and garlic, spooned over olive-oil brushed slices of toasted baguette or rustic bread.

It’s perfect for a party because you can make a large batch of the topping ahead of time, as well as toasting baguette slices. Either bring out a bowl of the bruschetta topping for people to put on their own toasts, or do it for them right before serving.

How to make bruschetta

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 24 small slices, serves 6-10 as an appetizer

Use any flavorful, ripe tomato for this recipe. If you use cherry tomatoes, just quarter them, don't bother blanching or peeling them.

Ingredients

  • 6 or 7 ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced* or chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil

*To thinly slice basil leaves, stack the leaves on top of each other and roll up like a cigar. Then make thin slices from one end of the basil cigar to the other.

Method

1 Blanch and peel the tomatoes: Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. As the water is heating make shallow cuts in a cross pattern at the tip ends of the tomatoes (this will make the tomatoes easier to peel).

Once the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat. Put the tomatoes in the hot water and blanch for 1 minute.

Remove with a slotted spoon and let sit until cool enough to handle. Then gently peel off the tomato skins. Cut out the stem base with a paring knife.

Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and squeeze out most of the juices and seeds.

2 Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) with a rack in the top slot of the oven.

3 Chop tomatoes, toss them with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper: Finely chop the tomatoes and place them in a medium bowl. Mix in the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar.

Stir in the thinly sliced basil and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more to taste. Note, tomatoes love salt; you may need to add more than you expect.

4 Toast the baguette slices: Use a bread knife to slice the baguette on the diagonal making half-inch thick slices. Brush one side of each slice with olive oil (a pastry brush helps here) and place olive oil-side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan.

The baguette slices will toast best in the top rack of your oven, so you may need to work in batches to toast them all.

When the oven has reached 450°F (230°C) place the slices in the oven on the top rack and toast for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.

If you want you can toast the bread slices without coating them first in olive oil. Toast them until lightly browned on both sides. Then cut a clove of garlic in half and rub over one side of the toast. Then brush with olive oil. (See Easiest Ever Garlic Bread.)

5 Serve toasted bread with tomato mixture: Arrange the toasted bread on a platter, olive oil side facing up (the olive oil will help create a temporary barrier keeping the bread from getting soggy from the chopped tomatoes).

Either serve the toasts plain with a bowl of the tomato bruschetta mixture on the side for people to top their own, or use a spoon to gently top each toasted bread slice with some of the tomato mixture. If you top each slice individually, do it right before serving.

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Links:

Wikipedia on Bruschetta

Guacamole Bruschetta from Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste

Bruschetta Chicken from Ree The Pioneer Woman

Strawberry Bruschetta from Annie's Eats

Peach and Prosciutto Bruschetta from TheKitchn

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

 

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

176 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Helen

    best recipes ever

  2. Scott

    First time ever making Bruschetta , added more garlic than recipe called for just because I like garlic. My wife and friends raved over it..

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Wendy

    Love this! Simple and delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Maggie G.

    This is my go-to recipe for homemade bruschetta. Over time I tweaked it for my own tastes – I don’t bother with blanching and peeling anymore, but I do core/seed the romas – no squeezing required. I usually splash in a little bit more balsamic than called for, but otherwise the ratio for the seasonings is great. So good with the baguette toasts and some fresh sliced mozzarella.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Susan R.

    I’ve made this several times, though I’m not sure I peeled the tomatoes every time. But I did tonight. They were locally grown, very juicy tomatoes, which meant I had trouble removing so much juice, but oh! the flavor! I omitted the vinegar, as I sometimes do, and it’s great either way. I served it as a side to my wonderful creamy onion soup. So light and fresh next to the richness of the soup! Oh, and I bought my baguette at Panera; much better than grocery store fare, and perfect for this use. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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