Bruschetta is a delicious Italian appetizer that consists of toasted bread and a tomato mixture of garlic and herbs. Here’s a very simple recipe with many different ideas for variations as well.
Bruschetta is a delicious and wonderful tomato based spread or dip commonly served as an appetizer with bread. Though it originated only as toasted bread, it is most commonly associated as the tomato dip that is so common in Italian restaurants or others. It is very easy to make and is a fantastic appetizer for an Italian themed dinner or to accompany other appetizers.
You can use any types of tomatoes to make Bruschetta, but in general it is recommended that it be made with plum tomatoes. This is because plum tomatoes have softer peels and have less seeds than others. They also have a nice flavor that well compliments the mixture of garlic and basil. Some may insist that the tomatoes be peeled prior to dicing, but it is not uncommon to see it with the skins on, and it is still just as good either way.
6 plum tomatoes (You can also substitute 1 drained can of diced tomatoes if you are in a pinch, but won’t be as flavorful tasting as using fresh tomatoes!)
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves, chopped.
Salt and pepper to taste
1 loaf French Bread
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Grated Parmesan cheese and garlic powder to taste
Dice the plum tomatoes into small little pieces, mix with the garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil leaves, and salt and pepper until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Slice the bread into 1/4 inch slices and arrange on a large baking pan. Lightly brush on olive oil and if desired add garlic powder and Parmesan cheese lightly to top. Toast in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until tops have lightly browned.
You can either serve with the bread arranged on a platter and the bruschetta in a dish with serving spoon or immediately before serving, scoop and spread a spoonful of the tomato mixture onto the bread. (If you do this too early however you run the risk of the bread soaking up all of the juices from the tomato and becoming soggy!) Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley makes for a nice garnish on the top.
Another variation to this recipe is to bake the slices of bread with the tomato mixture on top of the bread and topping with shredded mozzarella cheese. This is also very good – if you decide to go this route you’ll only want to bake for about 7-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the cheese has become melted on top.
Do you have any favorite bruschetta recipes, suggestions, or reviews? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.