This quick classic tomato bruschetta recipe is so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it in a jar. Garden fresh and full of flavour.
My friend, Denise, is visiting her extended family in Italy and her Facebook posts have me itching to be there, savouring traditional Italian cuisine. Sweet, sun-ripened San Marzano tomatoes, crusty bread, fresh herbs, rich flavourful olive oil, tender pasta, robust sauces . . . Italians taught us the art of eating. Food is an integral part of their lives. It’s almost like a second language. It’s love. Wholesome homemade food is lovingly prepared, shared and savoured with family and friends.
While the island on which I live here in the Pacific Northwest doesn’t have the romance of the Tuscan countryside, the passion of its language, or the history of its towns and villages, it has a romantic appeal of its own and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Close proximity to the ocean gives us mild winters, warm summers and an extended growing season so we can grow and harvest our own vegetables and fruit. Just like in Italy, families and friends gather around the table to share good homemade food and local wine that’s enjoyed with lots of love and laughter.
With tomatoes and fresh basil in the garden, I decided to make a classic tomato bruschetta. While it’s easy to pick up a jar of bruschetta at the store, why buy it when it is so easy to make at home? This quick classic tomato bruschetta can be out of the garden and on to your crostini rapidamente.
Seed and chop fresh tomatoes (if you use tender cherry tomatoes you won’t have to remove the skins) mince some garlic, chiffonade* a few basil leaves, toss it all with some good quality olive oil and your bruschetta is ready to be scooped on to a slice of crusty Italian bread.
- 2 cups fully ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 10 basil leaves, chiffonade*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 - 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 slices fresh baguette
- olive oil for brushing bread slices
- Prepare tomatoes and mix with basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside to allow flavours to blend for an hour or more.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Make the crostini. Slice the baguette in ½ inch slices. Brush both sides with a little olive oil and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven, turn the slices over and bake for another 5 minutes or until just slightly crispy. The crostini should still be soft on the inside.
- Just before serving, top crostini slices with 2 heaping tablespoons of the bruschetta mixture. Garnish with additional basil and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serve immediatelly.
- Alternatively, serve the bruschetta mix in a bowl and allow guests to make their own crostini. This option avoids possible soggy bread if the crostini sit too long.
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