Basic Bruschetta with Tomato, Garlic & Basil Topping

April 6, 2009 | By andrea | Filed in: Appetizer, Italian, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Vegetarian.


Bruschetta (prounounced “broo-SKEH-tah”) is grilled bread that is served with some kind of topping (fresh or grilled vegetables, cheese, etc.). Bruschetta is one of those appetizers that, when made with good-quality ingredients, is a crowd pleaser. I especially love bruschetta topped with tomato, fresh basil and garlic. This simple tomato mixture is absolutely delicious atop a golden-brown piece of grilled artisan bread. Obviously, this topping is best in summer when tomatoes are at their peak of flavor. Sometimes, though, I can’t wait until summer so I pick out the ripest tomatoes I can find (usually tomatoes on-the-vine or cherry tomatoes). Don’t even think about using the scary orangish-looking things they call tomatoes in some grocery stores. If you can’t find decent tomatoes then figure out a different topping for the bruschetta. I like lots of basil so I double or triple the amount that this recipe calls for, and I just chop the garlic instead of mashing it into a paste. Taste the tomato topping before serving to make sure it is properly seasoned; add more salt if needed.

When grilling the bread, you must tend to it so that it doesn’t burn. You can go back to multi-tasking once the bread is grilled. Stay close to the grill so that you can check the bread slices and turn them to toast the other side.  You’re going to love this appetizer!

Basic Bruschetta
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

As a starter or on the side, bruschetta is an ideal choice for outdoor entertaining: You can make it in minutes, eat it while mingling, and top it to suit everyone’s tastes. Just start with Basic Bruschetta and top it as you please.

Serves eight to ten.

1-lb. loaf rustic country bread or crusty baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick (cut baguettes on the diagonal)
Extra-virgin olive oil as needed, about 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves (optional)
Bruschetta toppings (optional)

Coat the bottom of one or two rimmed baking sheets with olive oil and set the bread slices on top in a single layer. Brush the tops with a little more oil and set aside until you’re ready to grill.

Light a charcoal fire and heat it until you can hold your hand above the grate for no more than 2 seconds or heat a gas grill to medium high. Grill the bread until one side has dark grill marks and then turn them to toast the other side.
As soon as the slices are done, rub with garlic, if using, and cut the bruschetta into serving-size pieces (if using large slices of bread). Now add a topping and serve right away.

Chopped Tomato with Garlic & Basil Bruschetta Topping
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

Serves eight to ten. Yields about 3 cups topping.
1-1/2 lb. ripe tomatoes (about 5), cut into 1/4-inch dice
Kosher salt
Pinch cayenne
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt (use a mortar and pestle or a knife)
2 leafy sprigs basil, leaves picked and torn or roughly chopped
1 recipe Basic Bruschetta

Season the tomatoes well with salt and put them in a colander to drain for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl and fold in the cayenne, garlic paste, olive oil and basil. Taste for seasoning and add salt or a pinch more cayenne if you like. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the grilled bruschetta.

3 comments on “Basic Bruschetta with Tomato, Garlic & Basil Topping

  1. You forgot to say how much olive oil to put into the topping. At least I didn’t see it!