Simple tomato bruschetta with fresh basil is the perfect way to celebrate ripe tomatoes and is a delicious easy lunch or appetizer.
I’ve loved simple tomato bruschetta since watching Julie & Julia 10 years ago. The way Julie fries the bread in olive oil and butter before topping it with fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes. I mean, I swoon just thinking about it. It’s an easy lunch recipe, perfect as a casual appetizer and the perfect way to celebrate in-season tomatoes.
How to make bruschetta
Slice bread of your choice into 1-2cm (half inch) slices. I like using sourdough but any bread will work well. Heat a splash of olive oil and a small knob of butter in a hot pan and fry the bread until golden brown and toasted on both sides. Alternatively, brush the bread with olive oil and toast in a grill pan until golden brown. Remove the toast from the pan then rub with a halved garlic clove.
Combine chopped tomatoes, 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. Top the toasted bread with the tomato mixture and serve.
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.
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Fresh tomato bruschetta
For the fresh tomato topping
- 500 g (1lb) ripe tomatoes (use a variety of tomatoes for added flavor and texture)
- 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 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, melt the butter and olive oil together in a large frying pan.
- Alternatively, brush the bread with olive oil and grill in a grill pan (or outdoor BBQ/Grill/Braai) until toasted on both sides.
- Fry the slices of bread until golden brown on both sides.
- Remove from the pan and rub with the garlic.
- Top the toasted bread with the tomato mixture and serve.