How To Make Bruschetta: A Delicious and Easy Italian Appetizer
A Fresh Tomato and Basil Delight!
Once you know how easy it is to make delicious Bruschetta it will become a great go to for any meal, party or get together. A refreshing appetizer fabulous for vegetarians too, this a must have recipe to keep handy in your arsenal of Italian dishes.
Having a father who is not only an Italian immigrant but also a chef, I have been lucky to eat lots of great Italian food. Bruschetta is one of our favorites and a staple, it has all the ingredients that scream Italian - tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and bread, yum!
I am excited to share our family recipe, hope you enjoy it and as we always say before a big meal - and is there really any other kind when it comes to an Italian family? - Buon Appetito!
All photos from my personal collection
I am not giving exact amounts on the ingredients because it really depends on how many people you are serving and other factors such as tomato size or garlic preference. If it is a starter course 2-3 pieces per person works great. In this recipe I used 3 medium sized tomatoes, 6 basil leaves and 3 cloves of garlic (strong garlic taste which I love!) and it produced 12 slices of bruschetta.
You can definitely make bruschetta with any personal choice of tomato and it will still be delicious; however, I have to point out that whenever possible I highly recommend using Heirloom tomatoes.
They are like natures candy and will really make your bruschetta explode with flavor. They are also wonderful because they come in a variety of colors, mixing them up makes for a visually beautiful presentation. Unfortunately, I was not able to get any for this recipe, sorry.
You can use a variety of breads but try to keep it in the sour dough, baguette or ciabatta families. I suppose you could use your typical sliced bread but I have never tried it so cannot attest to how it will come out.
There is an amazing array of Olive oils out there too, so pick your favorite. I tend to use extra virgin.
Sea salt really gives a good punch rather than regular table salt but either will work.
- A loaf of your favorite sour dough bread
- ciabatta or baguette.
- 3 or more Tomatoes depending on the size of them and how many you wish to serve. 3 tomatoes are perfect for 2 -3 people.
- A Fresh Basil Bunch
- Garlic Cloves - It really is a personal preference however I would say for a full loaf at least a miniumum of 3 or 4.
- Olive Oil
- Salt - Preferably Sea Salt
- Chop your tomatoes into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl
- Cut up your fresh basil and add it to the tomatoes in the mixing bowl
- Add salt to taste and about a two count pour of the olive oil. You want just enough to coat them not to drown them.
- Gently stir all the ingredients so as to avoid crushing or smashing the tomatoes.
- Peel your garlic gloves and cut off a small piece on one side of each clove.
- Slice the loaf into fairly thin slices, too thick and it can becomes more difficult to eat, think half an inch.
- Toast each slice of bread.
- As they come out of the toaster take a garlic clove and scrub the bread with it. This really infuses the garlic flavor. If you want more garlic, which I always do, you can dice a clove or two and add it to the tomato and basil too.
- Coat the now garlic toast with olive oil.
- Put the tomatoes on top of each slice, arrange on a platter and dig in!
Need a Great Set of Knives? - A Kitchen Must
It is so important to have a great set of knives in your kitchen arsenal. It makes cooking easier and far more pleasurable when your knives are sharp and do their job with ease and precision.
This is a great set and I love that the block is made of bamboo an environmentally conscious resource.
Gathering the Ingredients - Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic, Olive Oil, Salt and Bread
What a lovely ensemble of flavors!
Tomatoes and Basil Prepped - With the Salt and Olive Oil at Hand
Once you have prepped your tomatoes and basil add them into the mixing bowl adding your salt and olive oil
Did you know that Bruschetta is commonly mispronounced? We often say brew-che-ta giving it our "ch" sound. In the Italian language "ch" produces a "k" sound so it is really pronounced brew-ske-ta.
The Olive Oil Kiss - Adding the Olive Oil
All the ingredients mixed
Prepping Garlic - A Personal Preference
I prep the garlic for scrubbing and I also finely chop up a clove or two to add it to the tomato and basil mix, as I like the extra garlic flavor. However it is a personal preference.
Garlic Peeling Made Easy
Peeling garlic can be time consuming, this handy little tool makes it a piece of cake. It is possible to buy already peeled garlic but I have found the flavor is not as good so I prefer buying a garlic bulb and peeling them as I need them for the best taste. This is one of my favorite handy kitchen gizmos, easy to use, clean and store.
Old fashioned peeling no more, it just got a lot easier with this handy kitchen tool. I love mine and it doesn't take up a lot of space either.
The Bruschetta Patiently Awaits - It's an Italian Flag
Here is the garlic, tomatoes, basil, olive oil and salt mixed together.
Cutting the Bread
Keep Your Bread Fresh
I always have a few different loaves of bread. Storing them and keeping them fresh is important, a bread box is perfect for that. When making bruschetta you may not need a whole loaf especially if it is for only 2 people, keep the loaf for later use by storing it in a bread box.
Bread can easily go to waste if not used in a timely fashion, keep it fresh in this handy bread box
Prepping the Toast - Scrub the Garlic and Coat with a Light Layer of Olive Oil
Need a Platter - Presenting Your Bruschetta
Part of serving food is in the presentation of it. If you are making bruschetta for a party it is wonderful touch to arrange them on platter like these. The white is a nice background for the rich color of the tomatoes and basil.
Using a white platter is a fun way of sneaking in the Italian flag colors; the red of the tomatoes, the white of the platter and the green of the basil. These are on my wish list!