How to Make Authentic Tomato Bruschetta
Find out how to make authentic Italian tomato bruschetta with this easy recipe! This bruschetta al pomodoro is perfect for any summer occasion.
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.
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.
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.
Bruschetta al Pomodoro
- 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
- 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.
- 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!