Bruschetta has got to be one of my favourite starters or lunch appetisers when I have guests. It’s simple to make and your guests will love it! Plus it rolls me back to long lunches in Italy with my parents in little trattorias. I remember some of the best we had were in Sicily’s hilltop town of Taormina, relaxing in the winding cobbled streets in the afternoon heat with an ice cold drink – perfect.
Forget the bruschetta you know that is served in Pizza Express, Prezzo or other chains, this is nothing like it should be! The key is good bread, a hot grill or pan and delicious toppings. Obviously there are more toppings to choose from than just the traditional tomato but as Food 52 are celebrating the humble tomato I’ll start with this…
Bruschetta with tomatoes
- First things first, dice your tomatoes. I like doing this a bit haphazardly so they’re different sizes but it’s up to you how precise you want to be.
Top Tip: Some chefs suggest removing the seeds but I think they add to the flavour so it’s up to you!
- Next drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper and mix in some chopped or torn basil into the bowl, mix it up and leave while you prepare the bread, allowing all the flavours to soak in. You’ll find a lot of UK restaurants add raw, red onion but traditionally this isn’t added – I prefer it without personally but again you can decide.
- Slice some ciabatta or French bread into slices about 1 – 1.5cm thick.
- Drizzle it with a little olive oil and rub a cut garlic clove over the bread to flavour it and season with a little salt.
- Place under a hot grill or a griddle pan is even better if you have one.
- Once the bread is lightly toasted, although a bit burnt does add to the flavour (!), remove from the grill.
- Serve with the tomatoes on top and some extra torn basil.
Other bruschetta topping suggestions
Follow the same process for the bread as above and why not try:
- Melted mozzarella with parma ham on top
- Sautéed mushrooms with white wine and parsley
- Ricotta with mint, lemon and grilled courgette
For even more tomato ideas check out Emiko Davies article on Food 52.