For those who have never had this classic Italian antipasto before, bruschetta is a simple and delicious side dish made of grilled bread rubbed with fresh garlic, and topped with a mixture of tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Yup! It’s that simple!
But of course, it’s also delicious! So delicious that, even though it’s easy and quick to make at home, we still like to order it as an appetizer when we go out to an Italian restaurant. What can we say? Bread, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil…sometimes classic is the way to go.
It’s no wonder that similar dishes, like artisanal toasts, are popping up on restaurant menus nowadays – sliced, toasted bread, with your favorite spreads smeared on top, perhaps with some sliced avocado. It’s kind of funny to think that something you usually make at home will be found on restaurant menus, but isn’t that the point? We can’t get enough of certain foods, no matter how simple it is, even if we grew up eating it.
There’s comfort in familiar foods, and while we like something different now and then, we still gravitate towards those classic, delicious recipes. Just like classic tacos and classic BBQ chicken, this Tomato Bruschetta is a mainstay in our recipe repertoire.
Since it’s summertime now, tomatoes are at their peak, and are perfectly juicy and flavorful. We add a bit of balsamic vinegar to bring out the sweetness of the ripe tomatoes. With a nice garlicky flavor from the garlic rub, and crisp, grilled bread, this side is the ultimate side dish to any meal.
Make a classic Italian meal with these favorites:
The bruschetta topping can be made a day earlier. Here’s how to prep the shallots:
Try adding herbs to the tomato topping for an extra oomph!, so if you have some fresh basil on hand, try chiffonading it:
If you already have your grill going, we recommend grilling the bread alongside your meal!
For More Smarts:
Cook Smarts member Jessica has the right idea for leftovers: “I have some leftover tomato mixture, and I’m going to add some mozzarella cubes to it for a little caprese!”
- Cherry tomatoes – 1 pint, halved
- Shallots – 1 bulb, diced
- Balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Baguette or ciabatta – 1/2 loaf
- Garlic clove – 1, peeled
- Make bruschetta topping – Halve tomatoes and dice shallots. Toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- If making bread in oven: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice baguette into 1/2″ thick slices at a diagonal. Brush one side with olive oil and spread out onto a sheet pan. Toast for 5 to 7 minutes, until bread is golden. When baguette slices are toasted, slice your garlic clove in half. Rub the open side of the garlic clove against the oiled side of the bread. This will give your bread a lovely hint of garlic.
- If making bread on outdoor grill: Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Clean grates and add bread to the grill. Toast for about 3 to 5 minutes. When baguette slices are toasted, slice your garlic clove in half. Rub the open side of the garlic clove against the oiled side of the bread. This will give your bread a lovely hint of garlic.
- Spoon bruschetta topping over toasts and enjoy!