This tomato bruschetta recipe is easy, elegant, and eminently impressive when set out for guests. It draws on the perfect proportions of fresh ingredients to create an iconic Italian appetizer.
This tomato bruschetta recipe is an iconic Italian appetizer that’s easy and comes together in minutes from just a handful of fresh ingredients, making it a no-brainer in terms of entertaining—whether guests or just yourself. And while you could just toss some tomatoes with garlic and olive oil and call it a day, we find the below proportions and surprise ingredients to be quite inspired. It should go without saying (although we’ll say it anyways) that you want to rely on tomatoes that are fresh from the garden or greenmarket.–Renee Schettler
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRUSCHETTA AND CROSTINI?
Bruschetta (from bruscare—to roast over coals) and crostini (little toasts) are really, really similar. Toasted bread, covered with all kinds of delectable little bits from tomatoes to mushrooms to cheese to well…anything. Bruschetta doesn’t have to be just tomato-based, either. That’s just the most common iteration. What the difference actually comes down to is the size of the bread. Bruschetta is generally made from ciabatta or any wider, more rustic Italian bread. Crostini, on the other (tinier) hand, is made from a smaller loaf, similar to a baguette.
☞ Table of Contents
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 4 medium (about 1 lb) ripe tomatoes, cored and diced (may substitute chopped cherry or grape tomatoes)
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 (12-ounce) loaf ciabatta, sliced 1/2 inch (13 mm) thick on the bias (about 12 slices)
- 1 clove garlic halved lengthwise
- Toss the olives, 1/3 cup (78 ml) oil, basil, tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high. Brush the slices of bread on both sides with the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil. Grill the bread, flipping once, until crisp and slightly charred at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Move the bread to a cutting board and immediately rub one side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic. Top each slice of bread with a scant 2 tablespoons tomato mixture and, if desired, drizzle with oil. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I picked up beautiful heirloom tomatoes Saturday morning at the farmers’ market. When life hands you heirloom tomatoes, make tomato bruschetta. Wow, so simple and so delicious! After my first bite, I was only able to get out gleeful noises. I loved my husband’s reaction. He had a bite and stated, “This tastes like summer.”
We invited a couple of neighbors over to enjoy this with us. Everyone loved it. I know what I am buying at the farmers’ market this Saturday! I used a cast-iron double burner grill pan. After 3 minutes I needed to turn the bread slices over, and then after 3 more minutes, I took them off. This would feed 4 to 6 people, depending on how much self-control they have.
This tomato bruschetta is a fast, simple, and delicious appetizer. Grilling the sliced bread took about 2 minutes per side in a very hot grill pan. I got 12 nice slices from the ciabatta loaf. I used about 2 tablespoons of the tomato mixture per bread slice. The garlic rubbed on the toasted bread added a nutty and delicious flavor.
Depending on the size of the ciabatta loaf, you could make 6 to 8 servings. It really depends on how hungry everyone is. My testers ate 2 slices each. This is a rustic but sophisticated appetizer to serve with a glass of wine. I'll definitely be making it again.
Originally published August 19, 2016