One of the BEST things about summer’s juicy, ripe tomatoes fresh from the garden or farmers’ markets, is that you can enjoy Classic Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic like no other time of the year!
This traditional Italian appetizer recipe is from my sister-in-law who makes the best, and I mean THE BEST bruschetta in the world! The essence of all those fresh garden flavors is captured perfectly in her super-easy recipe.
First of all, something needs to be set straight about HOW to say the word ‘bruschetta’. When you first look at the word you might think it sounds like a brush with ‘shetta’ added on. NOPE, wrong . . . you don’t pronounce the ‘ch’ sound as you do in the word ‘shoot’. In Italian, the ‘ch’ letters are pronounced like a ‘K’ such as in the word ‘kind’. And the ‘u’ is pronounced ‘oo’ in Italian too.
So repeat after me three times, ‘broosKETTa’, ‘broosKETTa’, ‘broosKETTa’. Also the accent is on the ‘KETT’ part of the word. You also want to hold your tongue down longer when you say the two “t’s”.
There, that’s a little Italian lingo lesson for the day. Learn something new everyday, huh?
Now if you can’t get tomatoes from a garden or farmers’ market, you can order the best tasting, no-substitutes, imported tomatoes from Italy: Link to order –> Imported San Marzano Tomatoes from Italy and they are canned already with the peels off for you! There is a large variety of brands to choose from and they aren’t very expensive at all!
OK, back to Diane and her bruschetta! Diane is a master at entertaining . . . actually that’s exactly what her businesses with my brother are all focused on in Phoenix, Arizona . . . they have an entertainment company! This talented lady is all about partying, catering, decorating, menu-developing and more. So if you’re planning a get-together or party, this bruschetta is perfect!
Prepare this at least an hour ahead of time so that all of the delicious flavors marry and blend nicely. Serve bruschetta already topped on small slices of toasted bread OR set it out in a pretty serving bowl alongside toasted bread slices which allows guests to top their own bread slices (the latter way also prevents the toast from getting soggy as they sit on a tray from the juice of the tomatoes).
Then sit back and watch this classic bruschetta devoured by your guests!
- 1 - 2 long loaves of Italian bread, sliced about ½" thick
- 3 - 4 large cloves garlic, minced (I like more garlic, but use what you prefer)
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. Roma plum tomatoes, chopped (or used whatever freshest tomatoes you can find; from the garden is best!)
- 10 - 20 fresh basil leaves, chopped (I like more basil, but use the amount you prefer)
- 2 - 3 pinches of freshly grated sea salt or to taste.
- Fresh grated black pepper to taste.
- Optional: Juice of ½ lemon (if you need more, then add it).
- Optional: Balsamic vinegar added (slightly) to taste.
- Preheat broiler to high or heat up the grill.
- Place bread slices on a broiler pan.
- Toast bread on each side under hot broiler, keeping an eye on the bread so that it doesn't burn!
- Or if you're just doing a few slices of bread, use your toaster.
- Remove from the oven, grill or toaster.
- Optional: Rub each bread toast with garlic on the cut side.
- Optional: Drizzle each toast with a little olive oil.
- Place chopped tomatoes in a medium to large mixing bowl.
- Add the sliced chopped basil to the bowl of chopped tomatoes.
- Add minced garlic.
- Drizzle the olive oil, sea salt and black pepper into the mixture.
- Drizzle a little bit of balsamic vinegar into the bowl (optional).
- Gently toss all of the ingredients.
- BEST WHEN ALLOWED TO SET FOR 1 - 2 HOURS for flavors to marry.
- Top each of the toasted bread slices with the tomato-basil mixture and place on a serving platter.
- OR use a pretty serving bowl with large serving spoon and lay the toasted bread slices around the bowl on a platter for guests to self-serve.