This toasted slice of bread topped with the freshest tomatoes marinated in beautiful flavours of basil, lemon and garlic will excite your palate. A drizzle of basil-infused oil just before serving the bruschetta brings the dish up to the next level with this delicate herby scent that fills the air.
Fall in love with the perfect appetiser
Bruschetta, pronounced Brus-ket-ta is one of the most popular appetisers in Italy. It celebrates the freshness of tomatoes married with olive oil, garlic and basil leaves topped on a slice of toasted bread. If you want a lazy recipe that goes well with a glass of chilled crisp white wine, then you’ve come to the right place! The tomatoes release their own juices while soaking up the flavourful and herby ingredients, creating this easy, effortless and summer-worthy appetiser.
It tastes like summer on a plate
I was introduced to Bruschetta while al-fresco dining with an Italian friend at a restaurant near Charing Cross in London on a hot summer evening. The antipasti was so fresh, packed with herby flavours that it felt like summer on a plate. The most authentic Bruschetta I had though, was at a small café near the Rialto market in Venice. Italian ingredients paired with the vibrant setting made the Bruschetta eating experience sensational! Since falling in love with this appetiser, I have been making Bruschetta when tomatoes are in abundance in the garden.
What ingredients make a Bruschetta?
Bread – Rustic bread is the best for this recipe.
Tomatoes – Use the best you can find. They should be ripe, plump and fresh. These are so easy to grow, and I make Bruschetta in the summer when tomatoes are red and ready to be picked.
Fresh basil – I love the scent of fresh basil! Add them to the tomatoes just before serving so they keep their bright green colour and delicate flavour.
Basil-infused olive oil – Shred some basil leaves and stir in the extra virgin olive oil before you start making your Bruschetta. This will give it time to infuse in the oil before using it in the dish.
Garlic – I use one or two garlic cloves for this recipe. You do not want it to overpower the taste of the tomatoes and basil.
Lemon – A couple of drops of lemon brings out the freshness of the tomatoes.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – They enhance the existing flavours.
Great tips for Bruschetta
- For the Bruschetta to look fresh, you want to add half of the basil when mixing the ingredients and the other half just before serving. This guarantees a green and fresh looking Bruschetta.
- The whole point of toasting the bread is to make it crispy. Try adding the tomato mixture just before serving to prevent the bread from absorbing too much of the liquid, making the toasted bread soggy.
- Try mixing your favourite ingredients to create your perfect appetiser, such as Parmesan or Mozarella for a cheesy taste. Tomatoes go really well with other herbs such as coriander and parsley. You could also add a little heat to your Bruschetta by drizzling chilli oil, or scatter some chilli flakes on top. Bruschetta has endless possibilities. Be creative and let your imagination play!
Basil-infused Tomato Bruschetta
- 3 large ripe, plump and fresh tomatoes diced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves ribboned
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- 1/2 rustic or artisan bread
Basil-infused olive oil
- 1 clove garlic halved
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp basil leaves ribboned
- Marinate the tomatoes: Add the tomatoes and ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Set aside to macerate. This step is important to allow to tomatoes to soak up the flavours.
- Make infused oil: Infuse the oil by adding the shredded basil leaves, stirring well. Gently heat the oil for 2 minutes and add the halved garlic cloves. Turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 5 minutes.
- Toast the bread: Heat a skillet. Brush each side of the bread slices with the basil-infused olive oil and place in the skillet to toast for about 2 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Alternatively you can use the grill function in your oven to toast the bread slices.
- Assemble the Bruschetta: Gently rub half of the garlic clove from the infused oil on top of the bread. Top with the marinated tomatoes and drizzle with the leftover basil-infused olive oil. Serve immediately.