Simple tomato bruschetta with fresh basil is the perfect way to celebrate ripe tomatoes and is a delicious easy lunch or appetizer.
This tomato bruschetta recipe couldn’t be simpler, which is why you need to use the very best quality ingredients you can find. Using in-season, ripe tomatoes is key. A good tip to ripen tomatoes that aren’t already at their peak is to leave them on the counter at room temperature for a few days before you need to use them. This even works for almost-green tomatoes and I’ve used this tip when I’ve wanted to ripe tomatoes, even in winter.
- Bread. Ciabatta, country loaf, sourdough, etc.
- Tomatoes. Use any tomatoes of your choice. I most often use Roma tomatoes but using a variety of tomatoes will add more flavor and visual interest.
- Red onion. (Optional) I don’t always add red onion but it does add great flavor.
- Fresh basil leaves.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Red wine vinegar/Balsamic vinegar/Fresh lemon juice. Even though tomatoes are naturally acidic, adding vinegar or lemon juice adds serious brightness and zip to the finished bruschetta. Balsamic Glaze is also a good idea.
- Salt and black pepper. I also like finishing the bruschetta with flaky sea salt.
How to make tomato bruschetta (summary)
- Make the tomato topping: Combine chopped tomatoes, finely chopped onion, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice or Balsamic vinegar, finely sliced basil leaves, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. This can be done 20 minutes in advance as it will allow the tomatoes to release some of their juice.
- Toast the bread: Slice bread of your choice into 1-2cm (half inch) slices. Drizzle the bread with olive oil then grill on a hot grill pan until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove the toast from the pan then rub with a halved garlic clove.
- Serve: Spoon a few tablespoons of the tomato mixture over each piece of toasted bread and serve immediately.
How to chop tomatoes for bruschetta
I like to chop tomatoes into chunks that will be easy to eat. Using a sharp or serrated knife, slice larger tomatoes into cubes. Small varieties like cherry tomatoes can be halved or quartered.
Can I make bruschetta ahead?
The tomato mixture can be made 20-30 minutes ahead. Any longer than that and the tomatoes will release too much moisture and they could become soggy and floury. The bread can be toasted or grilled up to an hour ahead however it is always best served warm.
- Roasted tomato pesto pasta with ricotta
- Grilled tomato caprese salad
- Easy roasted tomato sauce
- Roasted Caprese tomatoes
- Tomato salad with Basil dressing
Fresh tomato bruschetta
For the fresh tomato topping
- 500 g (1lb) ripe tomatoes (use a variety of tomatoes for added flavor and texture)
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice/Balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
For the bruschetta
- 4-8 slices (depending on size) bread of your choice (sourdough, baguette, Italian or Tuscan bread all works well)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 garlic clove halved
- To make the tomato mixture, chop the tomatoes and onion then place in a mixing bowl.
- Add the basil, olive oil and lemon juice then season to taste and mix well. Allow to stand for 10-20 minutes to allow the tomatoes to release some of their juices.
- To make the bruschetta, brush the bread with olive oil and grill in a grill pan (or outdoor BBQ/Grill/Braai) until toasted on both sides.
- Remove from the pan and rub with the garlic.
- Top the toasted bread with the tomato mixture and serve.
I usually just grill bread under the broiler but frying the bread is so much more delicious. I served our bruschetta drizzled with Balsamic reduction and it was a hit.