Bruschetta is a mixture of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and Italian herbs served on top of toasted Italian crusty bread.
It is quite simple, but sometimes simple is best. Fresh and garlicy, it makes a wonderful appetizer, or serve it on its own as a snack.
This is a VERY healthy recipe. Tomatoes are high in lycopene and other healthy nutrients. We all know that garlic and olive oil are extremely good for us. Plus the herbs provide lots of health benefits. The only way I can think of to make this recipe healthier is if you can find whole wheat Italian crusy bread. I know I can get it in my area and it is quite good made into bruschetta.
Traditionally, this Italian appetizer is made with fresh raw tomatoes and is served at room temperature, but all kinds of variations on the basic bruschetta recipe have developed in North America in recent years. You will find some of them above.
We have included a variation of the recipe that involves cooking the tomatoes if you think you would prefer that. I love the fresh tomatoes, especially when they are in season and luscious.
Some people actually use canned tomatoes too. See the Notes section below the recipe for that version.
Although, as stated above, the traditional way of serve this garlicky bread is at room temperature, we sometimes switch things up a bit in North America and you will see a variation above for a hot version that calls for mozzarella cheese sprinkled and melted on the bread.
It might not be totally authentic, but it’s definitely very yummy. I love the fresh taste of the original, but you might try some of the variations and see which you prefer.
Italian Bruschetta Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 clove garlic, left whole
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 1 teaspoon basil, dried, or 4 teaspoons minced fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 10 - 1/2 slices Italian bread, thickly sliced
- In a colander, sprinkle the tomatoes with salt. Let drain for 30 minutes.
- To make an uncooked topping:
- Mix together the chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, oregano, basil and oil. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to meld the flavors.
- Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden.
- Slice the end off the whole garlic clove. Rub the cut end of the garlic over the warm toasted bread.
- Top each slice of bread with a generous portion of the tomato mixture. Serve.
- Some people cook their oil with the herbs and garlic before adding the tomatoes. Here is the method for the cooked topping:
- In small skillet gently cook garlic and oregano in olive oil for 3 minutes, stirring. Let cool. Stir in basil, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture on toasted Italian bread.
- Makes 10 slices but can be easily multiplied to serve as many as you like.
- The tomato-herb mixture will keep covered, for a few days in fridge if not used all at once.
- Instead of the fresh tomatoes, you can use 2 - 28 ounce cans of plum tomatoes, chopped.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated, over the bruschetta slices and broil until cheese melts for a hot bruschetta.
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