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This easy tomato bruschetta recipe is a spin on the ever-popular Caprese salad. We start by cutting a sourdough demi-baguette into thin slices, and brushing it with olive oil and roasted garlic. Then we’ll add a layer of creamy burrata, and then fresh tomatoes and basil that have been dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Although bruschetta is normally eaten as an appetizer, it’s one of my quick and easy mid-week recipes. What I like about bruschetta is that I can toast the bread and chop the tomatoes ahead of time and then assemble it later for a quick lunch or snack.
Roasting the garlic probably takes about 40 minutes, but you can always skip adding the roasted garlic if you’re in a hurry! If you skip roasting the garlic, you can have this bruschetta done in about 25 minutes.
What is bruschetta?
In Italian, the word bruschetta simply means toasted bread. When most people use the word bruschetta though, they’re usually also referring to the bread with the tomato topping. You can top bruschetta, with anything though, it doesn’t have to be topped with tomatoes.
What type of bread should I use to make bruschetta?
This version uses sourdough, but any firm, crusty bread will work. I’ve experimented with flatbread, ancient-grain and ciabatta and these all work well. If you’re going to use a softer bread, you may just want to toast it a little longer so that it’s firm enough to hold the topping.
What kind of tomatoes should I use for bruschetta?
Campari, Roma, vine-ripened tomatoes or even Kumato tomatoes are all great choices for bruschetta. You want to use tomatoes that are ripe, but still firm and are bright in color. You should avoid using tomatoes that are mealy or mushy in texture, otherwise you’ll have soggy, unappetizing bruschetta!
Is tomato bruschetta a summer appetizer?
The summer is peak season for tomatoes, but you can find quality tomatoes at the market and prepare this easy tomato bruschetta recipe year-round. If you’re the type of person who prefers only local, in-season vegetables don’t forget to bookmark this recipe so you can come back to it when tomatoes are in season!
Tomato Bruschetta Ingredients:
- Thin sourdough baguette – sometimes this is labeled as or referred to as a demi-baguette. I like to use sourdough bread for bruschetta because of its firm, crusty texture.
- Quality tomatoes – you don’t want to use tomatoes that are pale in color, or mealy in texture. Fresh, quality tomatoes are best. Campari, vine-ripened, Roma or Kumato tomatoes are my favorites.
- 2 whole heads of garlic – I roast the garlic by keeping the entire head in tact. Then I brush the toasted bread with the softened cloves for added flavor.
- Burrata cheese – similar to fresh mozzarella but has a creamy filling in the center. You can substitute sliced fresh mozzarella for the burrata if desired though.
- Leafy fresh basil – leafy basil with deep green leaves is best!
- Extra-virgin olive oil is used at various points throughout this recipe, it’s used to brush the bread, roast the garlic and dress the tomatoes and the basil.
- Balsamic vinegar – used to dress the tomatoes and basil, lends a sweet and acidic taste to this dish
- Kosher salt and black pepper are used to taste.
How to make this easy tomato bruschetta:
Start by roasting the garlic
You’ll want to keep the bulbs in tact, and just cut the top ¼-inch off of the heads to expose the flesh. Roasting the garlic heads in a muffin tin helps to keep the garlic sitting upright.
Drizzle each head with a teaspoon or 2 of olive oil and cover the top of the head with foil. Roast the garlic for 35-40 minutes at 400°F. The flesh of the garlic will turn golden/amber in color.
Prepare the bruschetta
Cut the sourdough loaf into thin slices, like the photo shown below. Arrange all of the bread pieces on a large baking sheet and brush each slice of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper.
Toast the bruschetta for 10-15 minutes at 400°F, or until your desired level of crispiness is achieved.
Prepare the tomato topping
Wash, dry and dice your tomatoes and basil. Dry everything off with a paper towel. Chop the tomatoes using a sharp or serrated knife and set them in a bowl that’s large enough to toss them in.
Roll up the basil leaves and thinly slice or chop the basil. Add the basil to the bowl of tomatoes. Dress the tomatoes and basil with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Mix together and season with enough kosher salt and black pepper to suit your liking.
Assemble the bruschetta
Take each slice of bread and rub it with a clove of softened garlic. You can use a butter knife to help with the spreading.
Dry off the burrata cheese and put it on on a plate. Use a knife to split the ball of cheese in half and gently deflate each half to release the creamy center. Use a butter knife to spread a layer of burrata over each piece of bread.
Top each piece of bruschetta with about a teaspoon of tomatoes. Try to drain off some of the liquid by tilting your spoon and letting some of the juices drain off the side of the spoon before placing the tomatoes on the bread.
Serving and storing tomato bruschetta:
Arrange the bruschetta on a platter or cutting board and serve!Bruschetta makes a great appetizer or mid-week lunch!
If you know that you won’t be able to eat all of the bruschetta in one sitting, can wrap tit up or store the bread in a plastic container for later. Be sure to store the bread in a cool and dry place, or even in the refrigerator. Leftover tomatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.