Ah, the rewards of summer. Devouring Italian bruschetta (pronounced “bro͝oˈsketə”) is a fabulous way to seize the luscious taste of ripe summer tomatoes, pungent garlic and fresh garden basil.
I used to make this delicious appetizer when I worked at an Italian bakery.
Oh, how I loved it when we prepared too much and I could take some leftovers home. Now mind you, this didn’t happen very often. Bruschetta was a favorite for most of our customers. In truth, people would come from miles away just to dine on bruschetta and red wine. Oftentimes they would make a meal out of it. So when I could take a little bruschetta home, what a treat! I couldn’t wait to dig into this mouthwatering delicacy.
This bruschetta recipe is simple to make and can be enjoyed for lunch with a side of fresh garden salad and maybe some organic cottage cheese. A little bit of sulfur-free wine and you have the perfect get-together brunch.
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Wine Pairing with Bruschetta
Reds: Keep away from heavier wines that have a lot of tannin, as the tannin will make everything just taste flat and tinny. Try Chianti, Barbera or Zinfandel; they hold up well with the tomatoes and strong flavors of garlic and olive oil.
Whites: Sauvignon Blanc brings out the flavor of the tomatoes and refreshes the palate after you savor the garlic. A semi-dry to dry Riesling is also nice.
Rose: This wine pairs well with bruschetta. The light fruity flavor of Organic Rose’ pairs nicely with the tomatoes.
The Best Beer
Beer is fabulous with bruschetta.
A lighter tasting wheat beer mellows the strong flavors of garlic and basil.
Pilsner is also a clever choice. This beer heightens the amazing bruschetta flavor plus washes down the oil aftertaste while refreshing the mouth for the next savory bite.
And now the Easy to Make Recipe
- 7 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBLS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped fine into long strips
- Himalayan salt, to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C)
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add tomatoes and parboil for one minute. Drain and rinse with cool water. Using a small sharp knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. When the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves; remove the seeds and juice from the center of the tomatoes. Make sure to cut out and discard the stem area
- Finely chop the tomatoes, garlic and basil. Place in a bowl and add 1 TBLS olive oil and vinegar (if desired). Mix until well combined
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Diagonally slice the baguette, about 1/2 inch thick slices. Using a pastry brush, coat one side of each slice with olive oil. Position the slices on a cooking sheet with the olive oil side down. You need to toast the slices in the top rack in your oven. If you have a small oven then you will need to do these in batches. Toast for 5-6 minutes or until the bread just starts to turn golden brown
- Arrange the slices on a serving platter with the olive oil side up. Place the tomato topping over the slices. To avoid soggy bread, place the topping over the slices right before serving. Enjoy!
- The more traditional method of making bruschetta is by toasting the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Customary, the slices are toasted on a griddle for one minute on each side. Each slice is scored three times with a sharp knife. Next, garlic is rubbed into the slices with ½ teaspoon of olive oil on each slice.
- Variation: For a nice variety, sprinkle grated or sliced mozzarella cheese (feta or brie) on the toasted bread then broil for about 45 seconds or until melted. You can also serve the bread separate from the tomato mixture and allow your guests so assemble according to their liking.
Perfect Italian Ingredients (Organic)
Pizza size bruschetta: feministjulie via photopin cc
Bruschetta on white platter: SummerTomato via photopin cc
Bruschetta on platter with cherry border: smiteme via photopin cc
Grilled bruschetta: wiccked via photopin cc
Close up of bruschetta with black pepper: Pondspider via photopin cc
Bruschetta with brie cheese: rvdh via photopin cc
Italian bistro: Kotomi_ via photopin cc
Single slice of bruschetta on whole wheat: Barni1on pixabay