Food, Recipes, Starters

Bruschetta with tomatoes and basil

September 3, 2015

When it’s tomato season, sometimes you don’t need to do anything fancy with them. Just pile them up on some garlic rubbed crusty bread, season well, add some basil and you have the perfect bruschetta with tomatoes and basil.

This tomato bruschetta (pronounced bru-sket-ta) is a true classic. When I picked up some tomatoes on the vine in the market (if you live in Glasgow, Roots and Fruits is my favourite), they were so red and ripe that I knew they didn’t need much else and that they were destined for bruschetta. As with anything where you are serving the one ingredient, it’s really important that the best quality you can buy and in season.

Also, a little tip with tomatoes, keep them at room temperature. They do go off quicker, so only buy them as you need them, but the temperature of the fridge kills a lot of those amazing flavours.

I’ve used a mix of tomatoes here, but you can definitely just stick to one kind. My big tomatoes were really, really ripe so I added some firmer cherry tomatoes. I might have also ate some of the tomatoes before they made it to the bruschetta so I had to pad them out!

The other ingredients are equally important. Use really good quality sea salt to season your tomatoes, I love Maldon or Cornish sea salt. Buy the best balsamic vinegar you can afford. Keep it for dressing dishes and use a cheaper one for adding in to sauces. A really good extra virgin olive oil. Remember extra virgin for dressing and finishing dishes, regular olive oil for cooking (I sometimes go against this if I’m making a oily pasta sauce as I want the flavour of extra virgin). And delicious bread, if you can make your own even better.

Taste all your ingredients first. Is the bread seasoned well? If not you might want to add a bit more salt to the tomatoes. Are the tomatoes sweet enough? Maybe add a tiny pinch of sugar. Make the tomato mixture in advance and leave it to sit for a few hours at room temperature to let all the flavours mingle. Taste before serving and adjust seasoning if necessary. To be honest the tomato mixture is delicious just on its own (try spooned oven grilled chicken or fish or tossed with pasta).

If you like this I have PLENTY of other bruschetta style recipes to check out. It’s strange, I’m not a sandwich person but I clearly like serving things on toast!

I think it was a success.

Bruschetta with tomatoes and basil
Serves 4
Sometimes simple is best, and nothing tastes better than this delicious bruschetta with tomatoes and basil.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
  1. White loaf, cut into thick slices
  2. 1 garlic clove
  3. 2-3 large tomatoes
  4. 8-10 cherry tomatoes
  5. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
  7. Pinch of sea salt
  8. Freshly ground black pepper
  9. Fresh basil
  1. Begin by preparing your tomatoes. You want as little liquid as possible. So for the big tomatoes, quarter and using a spoon or a small paring knife, cut out the seeds in the middle. Cut off the core too. Cut into small cubes and place in a bowl. For the cherry tomatoes, I just quarter these.
  2. Lay 2-3 large basil leaves one on top of the other, roll up length ways and cut into thin stripes. Add to the tomatoes along with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss well then leave to sit.
  3. Brush a little olive oil on both sides of the bread (I like using spray oil for this as it gets a nice even coat without soaking the bread) and place in a medium hot griddle pan. Toast on either side for a couple of minutes, checking regularly to make sure it's not burning.
  4. As soon as you have removed the bread from the pan, take a peeled garlic clove and cut it in half. Rub the cut side over both sides of bread.
  5. Serve piled high with the tomatoes and some small basil leaves.
a girl and her home

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