A classic starter from Italy, bruschetta is one of those things that you only get at fancy restaurants, right? Well, if you’ve got some bread, some tomatoes you like, and a little bit of effort, you can make a crunchy, tangy, and delicious bruschetta all on your own!
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A bruschetta is a simple antipasto from Italy consisting of grilled, toasty bread that has been rubbed with garlic and is usually covered with olive oil, salt, and plenty of tomatoes.
The base of the idea of serving a slightly garlicky, grilled piece of bread as a starter exists almost the world over, with a more garlic-forward alternative being Texas Toast in the USA.
While this variety is firmly in the more restaurant category, with it being more of a tomato dish than anything, especially garlicky, it is still super tasty and easy to make, perfect for a fancier appetizer at your next party.
What Kinds Of Tomatoes Should You Use?
Tomatoes are pretty much the quintessential Italian ingredient, but there usually isn’t a lot of information out there regarding what kinds of tomatoes you should actually use for these kinds of recipes.
While you could certainly use pretty much any kind of tomatoes when it comes to making bruschetta, for this recipe, you want tomatoes that have a lot of flavor on their own.
This means any kind of tomato that tastes good, so not those awful quality supermarket tomatoes that taste like nothing.
This recipe uses those small cherry tomatoes you can usually find in the salad aisle. They tend to be sweet and have a decent amount of flavor all on their own.
However, if you are a bit of a gardener and can grow tomatoes in your climate, nothing beats fresh, homegrown tomatoes picked right off the vine.
If you have fresh tomatoes of any variety, they will work perfectly in this recipe, so long as you dice them up really nicely so that they are easy to eat.
Would Any Baguette Work For This Recipe?
Baguettes are sold in basically every bakery, but there are actually quite a few different styles out there to choose from.
From classic French baguettes to the slightly doughier Italian varieties, baguette bread is surprisingly varied.
However, the great thing about this recipe is that the specific type of bread you use doesn’t really matter.
The bread is going to be thoroughly toasted and topped with a whole heaping pile of flavorful ingredients.
Whatever kind of bread you use isn’t going to shine through that much, as the tomatoes and oil will take over most of the other flavors.
Stick to using your favorite baguette from the supermarket, or whatever is the easiest to get a hold of, so long as it toasts up really well, isn’t especially light, and tastes good enough to eat on its own.
How To Stop The Bread From Becoming Soggy
A big part of bruschetta is that crunch when you bite into it. It is, therefore, pretty frustrating to spend time carefully putting your bruschetta together only to take that first bite and find that the bread has gone soggy and lost that satisfying crunch.
The best way to avoid soggy bread is to top the toasted baguette with the tomato mixture and then serve it straight away. The longer the mixture sits on the bread, the more time there is for the moisture to soak down, losing that crunchy bread texture.
If you are planning to serve your bruschetta as more of a canapé than an appetizer, limiting the time that the tomato mixture sits on top of the bread is probably not an option.
The best way to avoid soggy bread in this situation is to apply a thin layer of olive oil to the toasted baguette when they come out of the oven. Oil and water don’t mix; therefore, the olive oil layer creates a barrier between the bread and tomato mixture, helping to preserve that all-important crunch and keeping it from getting soggy.
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Cherry Tomato Bruschetta
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 baguette (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups small cherry tomatoes (multicolored cut in half)
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400°.
- Slice the baguette and brush both sides lightly with oil and place on large baking sheet. Toast bread until golden, 5 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through.
- In a medium bowl toss the tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic.
- Mix in balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Toss gently to coat well.
- Refrigerate in a covered bowl for a minimum for 30 minutes.
- Spoon tomato mixture onto toasted bread slices and serve.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.