Italian bruschetta is an absolute classic. It’s a common staple on Italian restaurant menus all over the world and for many Italians reminds them of “cucina povera” (or peasant food); dating back to a time where nothing was wasted, day old bread would be smothered with freshly pressed oil and vegetables from the farm. My favourite part about this dish is the sensational flavour you get from the tomato juice when using freshly grown or organic varieties. In Italian households, many foods are topped on oven-baked bread slices and served as an antipasto…simple to prepare but rich in taste, my tomato bruschetta should be on repeat in your kitchens!
Fresh, ripe tomatoes (cherry tomatoes can also be used)
Sourdough bread/Pane di casa (fresh or day old will both work)
2 garlic cloves (skin removed)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt + Pepper
1 medium sized bowl
Baking paper (if using oven)
Chopping board (or long plate) to serve
Fork or spoon
HOW TO PREPARE THE BREAD:
- Tomato bruschetta should be served on golden, crispy bread. Most bread varieties will work, but my favourite are sourdough and pane di casa.
- Start by thoroughly washing your tomatoes, then chop them up roughly, but small, straight into a bowl. Make sure you catch every ounce of juice that falls from the tomatoes into the bowl as this will give you the most scrumptious result.
- Add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and one clove of crushed garlic.
- Then add fresh basil. You can break the leaves into smaller pieces with your hands or leave them whole, whichever you like best!
- Mix together using your hands or a spoon and leave to rest for 10-20min (at room temperature or in the fridge, whatever your preference).
- Slice up to 2 pieces of bread per person for the tomato bruschetta then prepare using one of the below methods:
- Skillet – Place skillet on your cooktop and leave to heat to a very high temperature. Once hot, place the slices of bread on top and leave to cook for a few minutes. Cook until golden and lines start to form. Turn over and cook on the other side too.
- Toaster – Add slices of bread to the toaster and cook to desired texture – you can easily make the bread softer or harder depending on your preference.
- Oven – Place slices of bread on baking paper and heat your oven (using the grill/broiler setting + fan forced option)
- Once the bread is ready, immediately rub the garlic on top of the side facing up and it will slightly melt on top.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop up juice from the bowl of tomatoes and add it to each slice of bread before adding the tomatoes, more juice and a few pieces of fresh basil.
- Want to use cherry tomatoes for your tomato bruschetta? Add the garlic (step 7) and a drizzle of EVOO then cut each cherry tomato in half, squeeze the juice directly on the bread by squashing each half (facing down) onto it then leave each piece on the bread until it is covered. Then add basil!
HOW TO SERVE:
Add each slice of tomato bruschetta to a chopping board and garnish with some added fresh basil or top with your own favourite ingredients.
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!
Learn how to make Delicious Bread at home by following these 2 recipes:
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