You can make classic tomato-basil bruschetta at home with simple, fresh ingredients. It’s easy! Start by dicing your tomatoes (see step 2) to give them time to drain while you work on the remaining ingredients. Recipe yields 20 to 24 small toasts.
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 5 to 6 medium tomatoes, but any variety will work)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion (about 1/2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (about 3/4 ounce)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 baguette (French bread)
4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Preheat the oven (or a gas grill*) to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up, if desired. If your baking sheet is smaller than mine, you may need to make the toast in two batches.
Dice your tomatoes and transfer them to a medium mixing bowl, leaving the tomato seeds and juice behind on the cutting board. Stir the salt into the tomatoes, and add the onion, basil and garlic as they are ready. Stir to combine and set the mixture aside to marinate while you work on the bread.
Slice your baguette on the diagonal into pieces no wider than 1/2-inch (see photos). I can usually fit 20 to 24 slices on my large baking sheet; you might have some bread left over. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with olive oil (this will require about 2 to 3 tablespoons oil).
Place the slices in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet and bake them on the middle rack for 6 to 9 minutes, until they’re crisp and nicely golden on top. Transfer the toasts to a serving platter(s), if desired, and set aside.
When you’re ready to serve, carefully drain off the excess tomato juice that has accumulated in the bowl, using your hand as a stopgap. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to combine, and season the mixture with additional salt, to taste (I usually add another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon). If you don’t feel like your bruschetta is garlicky enough (I like mine lightly but not overwhelmingly garlicky), add another pressed clove of garlic.
Top each toast with tomato mixture, tipping your spoon against the bowl to release excess juice as necessary. Lightly drizzle a couple of tablespoons of thick balsamic vinegar on top, and sprinkle lightly with flaky salt if you have any. Bruschetta is best served promptly.
Prepare in advance: You can make the tomato mixture up to 2 days in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator. The toasts are best made within a few hours of serving.
Make it gluten free: Use gluten free bread, if you can find a good one. Or, serve the tomato mixture with gluten-free crackers on the side for scooping.
Change it up: The tomato mixture would be great on plain hummus, or as a dip for a simple quesadilla stuffed with mozzarella cheese. You could even toss it with warm pasta for a light sauce, like this. You can’t go wrong.
*How to grill your bread: Simply brush the slices with olive oil as directed and place them directly on the grill grates with tongs. Cover and let the bread toast for about 3 minutes. When the undersides are golden, with nice grill marks, carefully flip them with tongs and repeat on the other side. Transfer to a large serving platter and top them with the tomato-basil mixture and optional balsamic vinegar and/or flaky salt as directed.
▸ Nutrition Information
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