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Find out how to make authentic Italian tomato bruschetta with this easy recipe! This bruschetta al pomodoro is perfect for any summer occasion. 

A beautiful platter of grilled bruschetta with tomato topping is perfect for any summer party.

Bruschetta al Pomodoro was one of the first recipes I learned to make when I took a weekly cooking class in Florence years ago. It makes sense our teacher chose this particular recipe to teach. Tomato bruschetta is one item I’m seeing on just about every menu here in Tuscany. In the summer when the tomatoes are dark red, sweet, and juicy, there is no better way to eat them than atop grilled crusty bread with garlic, basil, and a little good olive oil. If there’s one simple and authentic Italian recipe to know, it’s this bruschetta.

What is Bruschetta and How do I Make it?

Technically bruschetta refers to the way the bread is prepared rather than the topping. Many Americans think bruschetta is the tomato topping you see here. Even Trader Joe’s sells “bruschetta sauce” that’s made with Roma tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic. In Italy, there are endless types of bruschetta, from plain toasted bread with garlic, salt and olive oil, to bruschetta with white beans, to the pesto bruschetta that’s popular in Liguria. This tomato bruschetta, is certainly the most traditional version here in Tuscany.

A restaurant in the charming town of Greve in Chianti, Italy has a sign that reads Bruschetteria.

In the town of Greve in Chianti, one of the restaurant awnings even reads, “bruschetteria.” It’s a lovely place to stop for an afternoon aperitivo and snack.

Bruschetta al Pomodoro makes a terrific snack or appetizer whether it’s at home or to bring to a summer party.  When I have extra tomato bruschetta topping I love adding it to salads, quinoa, or lentils.

A plateful of classic tomato and pesto bruschetta is an easy appetizer. Simple tomato bruschetta served in a restaurant in Radda in Chianti.

Some places serve bruschetta al pomodoro even more simply. This deconstructed tomato bruschetta was from a restaurant in the charming town of Radda in Chianti. In the Tuscan heat, the fresh tomatoes and hearty toast went so well with a chickpea salad.

A bowl of traditional Italian tomato bruschetta served with grilled bread.
Traditional tomato bruschetta, or bruschetta al pomodoro, is one of my favorite things to eat, whether it’s a simple snack at home or as a party appetizer.


Bruschetta al Pomodoro

Find out how to make tomato bruschetta the traditional Italian way. This bruschetta recipe is perfect for any summer occasion.

Ingredients:

  • 5 Roma or other medium sized tomatoes
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 small loaf rustic Italian or French bread, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved crosswise

Directions:

  1. Dice the tomatoes and place in a medium sized bowl. Tear or chop the basil into small pieces and add to the tomatoes. Add the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the balsamic if using. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
  2. For the bread, either grill on a BBQ or grill pan, or toast in the oven until. While the toast is still warm, rub the cut sides of garlic over one side of each piece of toast. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Top with the tomato mixture and enjoy!

An easy recipe for authentic Italian tomato bruschetta.