How to make our favorite homemade bruschetta with tomatoes and basil. Plus, five easy tips for how to make it best.
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How to Make the Best Bruschetta
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.
The recipe is simple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it better. Here are five easy tips for making it best.
If you can, grill the bread. 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. If you can not grill the bread, toast it.
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, but it also 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 best tomatoes you can find. During the summer, we are 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 essential that you don’t refrigerate the tomatoes you plan to use for this (or most things). Something happens after refrigerating tomatoes — they become less flavorful and less tomato-y. We leave them out on the counter. They taste so much better this way.
Season the tomatoes. 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. We do this for our easy tomato salad, too.
By the way, 10 minutes is the ideal amount of time for grilling bread. Score for multi-tasking. After that, add 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. Enjoy!
More Light and Easy Recipes
- Fresh and easy creamy cucumber salad made with Greek yogurt, vinegar, fresh lemon, garlic, and dill.
- Use fresh or canned tomatoes to make our homemade marinara sauce. Store it up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.
- With tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and lots of garlic, this simple orzo pasta has become one of our favorite easy recipes!
- How to Make The Best Caprese Salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
Fresh Tomato Bruschetta
This simple bruschetta recipe with tomato and fresh basil is best when you use fresh, room temperature tomatoes. It’s also important to set aside a little time to allow the tomatoes to sit with salt. As the tomatoes sit, they become extra flavorful. They also release some of their juices, which is perfect for spooning onto the bread later.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, at room temperature (3 to 4 medium)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
Six 1/2-inch thick slices Italian or French bread
2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1Halve 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, a small pinch of black pepper, one tablespoon of the olive oil and the basil. Stir and let sit 10 minutes.
2Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare an outdoor grill for medium heat. Drizzle bread slices with the remaining tablespoon of oil and grill 2 to 3 minutes on each side until warmed through and grill marks appear.
3Rub one side of the bread while still warm with garlic — two to three strokes per bread slice should do it.
4Stir the tomatoes one more time; taste then adjust with more salt or pepper as needed. 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.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Canned Tomatoes: If you do not have access to sweet, ripe tomatoes, use high quality canned whole tomatoes. Reserve the juice for another recipe and chop up the whole tomatoes for the bruschetta. We love San Marzano tomatoes and have also been very happy with canned Muir Glen tomatoes.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.