Tomato Bruschetta

5 from 4 votes

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This is the first thing I think of when I bring home a bunch of gorgeously ripe late summer tomatoes. Use only perfectly ripe tomatoes.

Spoon putting tomato mixture onto bread.

There are a few dishes that embody summer in our house more than tomato bruschetta (pronounced broo-skeh-tah). It takes less than 15 minutes to pull together, including toasting the bread.

When tomatoes are in season, this is my family’s absolute favorite way to enjoy them. Throughout the months of August and September, we eat this as often as humanly possible. It is this dish that made fresh tomato lovers out of my kids and my husband! Try making this with Grilled Bruschetta.

Tomato Bruschetta on a white plate.

Tomato Bruschetta: During tomato season we should all eat this simple appetizer as often as humanly possible. Use only perfectly ripe tomatoes.

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Best Tomatoes for Bruschetta

The answer is that tomatoes are ripe and juicy! There is that moment where the tables at the farmers markets are piled high with all kinds of crazy-looking tomatoes with funny names. You might find Green Zebra, Brandywine, Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom, Mortgage Lifter, Black Crim, and Purple Calabash, just to name a few. These often fall into the category of heirloom tomatoes. This is a great opportunity to let the kids have at it, picking the weirdest-looking tomatoes they can find.

Then you get home and are now wondering what to do with all of these gorgeous specimens. You can always slice them onto a platter, drizzle them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle them with coarse salt. Or you can make this in less than 15 minutes. The only key to tomato bruschetta is to use perfectly ripe tomatoes, even if they don’t have a goofy name.

Ingredients

  • Baguette 
  • Olive oil – For brushing the bruschetta and dressing the tomatoes.
  • Garlic – You will want some finely minced for tossing with the tomatoes, and you might also want to rub the toasted bread with some halved cloves for an added layer of flavor.
  • Tomatoes – Perfectly ripe, please!
  • Fresh basil

How to Make Tomato Bruschetta

  1. Brush the bread with olive oil: Season with salt.
  2. Bake the bread: If desired, lightly rub the flat side of a cut garlic half against the top of the bread after toasting.
  3. Make the topping: Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. Top the bruschetta.
Woman holding a small toasted bread and a spoon with tomato mixture.

FAQs

What is the difference between bruschetta and crostini?

This discussion gets a little murky since there are Italian purist definitions and then definitions that have become more commonly associated with each word. Here is a short version (come over here for more on the subject of crostini vs. bruschetta!)

Crostini translates into “little toasts,” and generally means plain, thin slices of bread brushed with olive oil and toasted. They may or may not be topped with different things.

Bruschetta (not spelled bruscetta, though it sounds more like that) also means toasted bread. Traditionally the bread is toasted on a grill over coals.

Bruschetta is usually thicker and larger than crostini and often eaten with a knife and a fork. They are sometimes rubbed with a garlic clove. Bruschetta also may or may not have toppings, which can be more rugged and messier than crostini toppings, because they are served on thicker bread and usually on a plate, sometimes even with a knife and fork.

What is bruschetta topping made of?

Bruschetta topping might be made of all kinds of things, but when most people think of bruschetta topping, they are thinking about a combination of diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper.

What else can I do with perfect, ripe tomatoes?

Tomatoes with Mint Basil Pesto is one idea. Summer Corn, Tomato, and Bacon Salad is another. Perfect End-of-Summer Pasta Salad, also a contender. You’ll find something good to do.

Leftover Burchetta Topping

Add the tomato mixture to pasta or pasta salad, serve it over polenta, or throw it into a salad.

You can also make a double batch of the tomato mixture, cook up a pound of pasta and toss everything together for an amazing late-summer pasta dish. You’ll probably want to add an extra splash of olive oil, as well as a ladle of water from cooking the pasta to help form a sauce. Add a sprinkle of freshly grated parm or crumbled goat cheese or a small handful of slivered fresh mozzarella on top.

Woman using a spoon to put tomato mixture onto a toasted bread.

The word bruschetta is often associated with toasted bread topped with a chopped fresh tomato topping (like this recipe). However, technically it’s the toast itself that is actually the bruschetta; the tomato topping is just the most common one associated with the toast.

Tomato Bruschetta on a plate with other bruschetta.

More Bruschetta Recipes

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5 from 4 votes

Tomato Bruschetta

This is the first thing I think of when I bring home a bunch of gorgeously ripe late summer tomatoes. Use only perfectly ripe tomatoes.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
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Ingredients 

  • 1 long baguette (sliced ⅓- to ½-inch thick – about 30 slices; see Note)
  • ½ cup olive oil (approximately, for brushing)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves (halved; optional)
  • 5 cups cored (seeded and diced ripe tomatoes; about 4 large tomatoes – you can use any mixture of tomatoes)
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • cup slivered fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Lightly brush each of the baguette slices with the olive oil and place them side by side on the baking sheet (they can be touching but not overlapping — you may need two baking sheets, or do this in two batches). Sprinkle the bread with salt.
  • Bake for 4 to 7 minutes until lightly brown. Remember that they will harden as they cool, so take them out before they get too crisp. If desired, lightly rub the flat side of a cut garlic half against the top of the bread.
  • Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. You can let this, and the crostini, sit at room temperature for up to an hour before topping the crostini.
  • Lay the crostini slices on a serving tray and top each with a spoonful of crostini, or simply serve the tomato mixture in a bowl with the crostini on the side. When you scoop the tomatoes onto the bread, use a slotted spoon, or tilt the spoon a bit, to allow some of the liquid to drain off…or use your clean hands. If you are topping the crostini, do it right before serving, or the bread will become soggy.

Notes

  • Make sure your tomatoes are perfectly ripe.
  • Try making this with Grilled Bruschetta.
  • If you are topping the crostini, do it right before serving or the bread will become soggy.
  • You can also serve the toasted bread and the tomato topping separately and let everyone assemble their own!

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 373mg, Potassium: 180mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 663IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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1 Comment

  1. JoEllyn Paolicchi says:

    Unbelievably delicious! Simple, robust flavors always win, I get asked for the recipe each and every time I make it! Hands down my favorite appetizer!