How to Make Bruschetta

Classic Tomato-Basil Bruschetta

...the Old Way
and the New Way

First, what is Bruschetta? It's wonderfully glorified garlic toast.

Did you know you can learn how to make Bruschetta just by looking it up in the dictionary? It's true.

According to Bruschetta (pronounced broo skāt' tuh in Italian) is "an Italian appetizer consisting of toasted bread slices drizzled with olive oil and usually topped with tomatoes and basil." Yep, that's classic Bruschetta, but you will not read in a dictionary the "how" of it or all the nuances and options that make Bruschetta the great appetizer, snack or brunch toast that it is. For one, they forgot the garlic; can't have Bruschetta without garlic. Just can't.

Classic Tomato-Basil Bruschetta

Whenever possible, use fresh garlic and basil, and always use quality olive oil.

1 baguette, French or crusty Italian bread
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped and seeded, or 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch slices on the diagonal, elongating the pieces. Lightly toast both sides of the bread slices under the broiler or in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes.

Rub the garlic over one side of the toasted bread, then drizzle with olive oil.

(Or you can brush it on.) Top with chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of fresh chopped basil.

Traditionally, that's how to make Bruschetta but here's an option I dearly love:

The New Way
Start with 5 or 6 chopped cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil and cool. Add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, and about 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Stir and spoon the mixture onto the toasted bread. 

Either way, you'll have 32 to 36 pieces which will serve 10 to 12.

Melon and Prosciutto Bruschetta

More Options:

Add Some Goodies

  • Garnish the bruschetta with sliced black olives, capers, crumbled feta cheese or chopped avocado, or add it to the mix.
  • From the grill: Portobello mushroom strips, colorful bell pepper strips, or shrimp

  • Place the prepared Bruschetta on baking sheets, top with grated Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, and broil them for a few moments to melt the cheese.
  • Skip the tomatoes altogether: After applying the garlic and olive oil to the toasted bread... (1) top with thin slices of melon and prosciutto (Italian bacon) or thinly-sliced ham or (2) top the bread with slices of gorgonzola cheese, broil as above, remove and garnish each with a drizzle of honey or (3) top with the fruit salsa of your choice.

Bruschetta is a time-honored appetizer but any version also cozies up to scrambled eggs quite nicely.

Return to Appetizers for more like "How to Make Bruschetta"

More Brunch Recipes

Benefits of Olive Oil

Chicken Bruschetta Pasta 

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