Strangely enough, we’re pretty boring when it comes to what we make at home. (Does that deduct some of our food blogger credit?)
We like things to be simple — wholesome ingredients, fresh flavors and few ingredients. So when we find something we love — we make it often. Did you know most people have five to ten recipes they rotate throughout the year? We’re no different, which is why we make this simple bruschetta recipe with tomato and fresh basil all the time — especially during the summer.
Make it Better: Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
Sure tomato bruschetta is simple, but did you know you can probably make it even better? Here are five (easy) tips for making it best.
If You Can, Grill the Bread
To us, bruschetta just isn’t right unless the bread has been grilled. You don’t need to do this outside, although it’s a great option. Since we make this so often, we’ll reach for our indoor grill pan. It works beautifully and creates just enough smoke to add a little flavor to the bread itself. Grilling the bread is less about the grill marks and more about the smoky flavor you achieve.
Rub with Garlic Instead of Mincing
We’re sticklers on this one. The moment the bread comes off the grill, give it a quick rub with a peeled garlic clove. The garlic practically melts into the warm bread. Not only is this the more authentic way to make bruschetta, it tastes much better than if you were to mince garlic and add it to the tomatoes. The amount you rub onto the bread is up to you — we keep it pretty light.
Use The Freshest, Sweetest Tomatoes You Can
This bruschetta recipe is extremely simple and only relies on a few flavors to make it amazing. Because of this, you really want to use the best ingredients you can find. During the summer, you’re probably inundated with sweet, plump tomatoes. In other months though, you might need to look a little harder.
When we’re in the mood for tomato bruschetta outside of summer, we do have one go-to — Look for Kumato tomatoes, we’ve found them to be pretty sweet and consistent all year round. They are darker, almost brown and usually come in a plastic-wrapped package. You might also get lucky with smaller, vine-ripened tomatoes.
Use Room Temperature Tomatoes
It’s really important that you don’t refrigerate the tomatoes you plan to use for bruschetta (or most things). Something happens after refrigerating tomatoes — they become less flavorful and less tomato-y. We just leave them out on the counter. They taste so much better this way.
Season and Walk Away
Seasoning tomatoes really takes them to the next level. Before doing anything else, we chop the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Not only that, but we leave them alone for about 10 minutes. As the tomatoes sit, they become extra flavorful. They also release some of their juices — this is perfect for when we’re topping the bread later.
By the way, 10 minutes is the perfect amount of time for grilling bread. Score for multi-tasking.
The tomatoes are seasoned, the bread is grilled and rubbed with garlic and now all we need to do is put everything together. Add a little olive oil to the tomatoes and if you have it on hand, some fresh basil. (Parsley or even chives would work, as well).
Spoon the tomatoes onto each bread slice and make sure you spoon a little leftover tomato juice that seeped out while you were seasoning the tomatoes– that stuff is gold. Then enjoy.
You May Also Like
- With similar flavors, you could try our Baked Cheese Dip With Tomato And Basil.
- If this bruschetta was the appetizer, these Turkey Meatballs in a light tomato sauce would be the perfect main dish.
- You could also look at more Inspired Taste Tomato Recipes.
- Or, take a look at this Smoky Corn and Tomato Bruschetta Recipe from Epicurious and this Bruschetta Recipe from The Pioneer Woman.
What You Need to Know: Try to use room temperature tomatoes for this. Something happens after refrigerating tomatoes -- they become less flavorful and less tomato-y. Also, to thinly slice the basil, stack the leaves up then roll them like a cigar then slice the roll into thin strips.
Special Equipment: Grill pan or barbecue.
- 3 to 4 medium ripe tomatoes, at room temperature (1/2 pound or 225 g)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Six 1/2-inch thick slices Italian or French bread
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- Halve tomatoes then remove and discard the majority of the seeds. Chop tomatoes into 1/4-inch chunks then add to a medium bowl with a generous pinch of salt, small pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the basil. Stir and let sit 10 minutes.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare an outdoor grill or barbecue (medium heat). Drizzle bread slices with remaining tablespoon of oil then grill 2 to 3 minutes on each side until warmed though and grill marks appear.
- Remove bread then lightly rub one side with garlic -- two to three strokes per bread slice should do it.
- Stir tomatoes one more time, taste then adjust with more salt or pepper as needed. Then, spoon a generous amount onto each bread slice. Drizzle a little of the juice remaining at the bottom of the bowl over tomatoes and enjoy.