This recipe for a classic Tomato Basil Bruschetta features the perfect, bright and herby tomato topping served over crisp garlic toast.
Antipasto (or plural antipasti) means “before the meal” in Italian. Typically the Italian antipasto course would include cured meats, olives, mushrooms, cheeses, and other small bites. These bites are traditionally served at the table to mark the beginning of a multi-course meal. So, while they may seem like American appetizers or a French hors d’oeuvres, they’re really more of a starter course.
While antipasto is traditionally the first course in a formal Italian meal, we love serving antipasto-inspired bites for parties. Small bites let people graze while they mingle. And, little bites mean that people don’t have to commit to sitting down with a full plate of food, when what they really want is another cocktail.
Traditional Italian Bruschetta
Bruschetta (pronounced bru-SKET-ta) is a traditional Italian antipasto. While we normally think of bruschetta as a tomato and basil topped garlic toast, the main element of bruschetta is not the tomato and basil topping. It is the grilled or toasted bread, brushed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, that makes bruschetta.
The toppings can vary: vegetables, beans, meats, and cheeses are all fair game. It’s bruschetta, as long as it’s served on top of toasted garlic bread.
Our Tomato Basil Brushcetta Recipe
This is our recipe for what most Americans think of when they hear bruschetta: the tomato basil version.
The recipe for the topping makes quite a bit, which makes it perfect if you are entertaining a crowd. But, it also freezes or cans well.
The flavors of this topping only improve over time, so don’t be afraid to make a larger batch ahead of time (store it in the refrigerator) so you can quickly whip up some bruschetta when those unexpected guests pop over.
- 2 tomatoes, diced (roughly 3 cups)
- 2 tsp basil, dry, or 2 Tbsp fresh, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 tsp oregano, dry, or 2 tsp fresh, chopped
- 2 c Bruschetta Topping (see above)
- 12-16 slices Italian bread
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl, mix together all topping ingredients. Let set in refrigerator for 1-2 hour before using for best flavor.
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush slices with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder to your taste.
- Toast bread in the oven for 5 minutes, until they begin to crisp.
- Top with 1-2 Tbsp of tomato topping and sprinkle with cheese.
- Return to oven for 3-5 minutes to melt cheese.
This recipe was updated November 2016. We made a few tweaks to make it even better. Enjoy!