Tomato and Basil Bruschetta is by far the most popular and well known bruschetta in the world. Simply prepared, using plump juicy tomatoes, it will make your tastebuds sing. This recipe is real Tomato & Basil Bruschetta, the way Italians make it. Super simple. The way it should be! This is one of three bruschettas for a Trio of Bruschetta Spread.
There are gazillions of Tomato and Basil Bruschetta variations “out there”. Many have lemon juice or a vinegar in the topping, and often garlic too. Though still tasty, it’s not the way Italians make it.
Real Tomato and Basil Bruschetta topping is just tomato, basil, salt, pepper and extra version olive oil. Garlic is rubbed on grilled bread which is then topped with the tomato and drizzled generously with extra version olive oil.
This is one of 3 bruschetta recipes in my Trio of Bruschetta Spread – Tomato & Basil, Cannellini Bean with Lemon and Celery and Lime (the freshness of this will knock your socks off!). A Bruschetta Spread is a great starter or light meal for guests because you fill bowls with Bruschetta toppings alongside a pile of grilled bread and let your guests serve themselves.
A great tip I discovered recently for making ahead is to grill the bread the day before. Because the bread is supposed to be crunchy, it is best to use slightly stale bread anyway, so to make ahead, I grill the bread then leave it overnight, uncovered, to dry out even more then just reheat them in the oven. Then just rub with garlic prior to serving. The bread is wonderfully crunchy and perfect for the juicy topping.
You don’t have to do this, but it is a good tip when you are cooking for a lot of people.
This is a classic recipe that is a must try if you’ve never had bruschetta before!
- 4 slices of good quality crusty bread like sourdough or ciabatta, sliced 1cm/0.5" thick, preferably slightly stale
- 1 garlic clove, halved (unpeeled)
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 3 tomatoes, the ripest and juiciest you can find
- ½ cup basil leaves, roughly torn
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat a griddle pan or barbecue (grill side, not hotplate side) on high.
- Place bread on the barbecue or griddle pan, and cook each side until nicely toasted and golden brown with char lines. You can also toast the bread in a toaster or grill/broil.
- Remove from heat and rub the surface of the bread lightly with the garlic.
- Place ingredients in a bowl and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pile topping onto bread. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
2. To make ahead, grill the bread and leave overnight (not in a container or covered in anyway) to dry out and become stale. This makes the bread even crunchier which is even more authentic. To serve, reheat in a moderate oven, then rub with garlic.
3. The tomato for the topping can be made a few hours before serving but DO NOT season with salt because it will draw the moisture out of the tomato, making it watery. Season it just prior to serving.