Looking for an easy appetizer that’s sure to please or maybe looking for light lunch ideas? Bruschetta is just the ticket! Made with a few basic ingredients and served on slices of lightly toasted bread or crackers, even a beginner chef can master this treat.
How it’s made: a baguette is sliced, brushed with olive oil (and garlic if you wish) then lightly toasted in the oven or on the grill. When the bread is ready, top with a mixture of diced tomatoes, basil, diced onions and finely shredded cheese. Season with Kosher salt and cracked black pepper then serve.
Although it’s pretty basic to make, there are a few variations you can try (such as different cheeses, breads and seasonings). You’ll find several ideas below.
First a few tips:
- You can make a fine bruschetta with canned ingredients, but fresh is best whenever possible.
- Use a good quality olive oil for best results (seriously).
- Chop tomatoes and onions into small pieces, you can definitely use large chunks but it’s easier (neater) to eat when the veggies are cut smaller.
- Skip the bargain cheese bin and select a fine block that you can grate yourself before using in the recipe (Try Parmesan, Mozzarella, Provolone, Asiago, Ricotta, Feta, etc.). In other words, pass on the bags of shredded cheese.
Ready to get started? Here is my handpicked collection from around the net, each promises to impress and each so easy to prepare!
- With Ricotta : Extra-virgin olive oil, clover honey, thyme leaves, Kosher salt, ground pepper, baguette slices (1/2″ thick), fresh ricotta, buckwheat or chestnut honey and thinly sliced basil leaves. From Food & Wine.
- Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta & Basil : Can be made a couple days in advance. Ingredients include red bell pepper, finely chopped garlic, feta, dried basil, pepper and balsamic vinegar. From Kitchen Simplicity.
- Grilled : Plum tomatoes are grilled first until charred then mixed with the rest of the ingredients (olive oil, coarse salt and ground pepper, minced garlic, red-wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, basil leaves) and served on thick slices of country bread (grilled till they begin to char). From Martha Stewart.
- Balsamic : Includes basil (chopped), shredded or grated Parmesan, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Kosher salt and ground black pepper. From Pip & Ebby.
- With Roma Tomatoes & Parmesan : French baguette slices are toasted then topped with a mixture including red onion, Parmesan, basil, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper (to taste) and garlic. From Best of the Veg.
- Super Simple : A baguette is spread with aioli then grilled (toasted) and topped with ingredients that include chopped garlic, oregano, olive oil and sea salt. From Kelvin Wu.
- Guacamole : Served on crunchy French bread, this is made with garlic, olive oil, avocados, finely chopped onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. From Just A Taste.
- With Mozzarella : Made with canned whole tomatoes (drained), basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, peeled garlic, Kosher salt and ground black pepper, French baguettes and mozzarella. From What’s Cookin’ Chicago.
- With Provolone : Serve on French bread or ciabatta bread, ingredients include chopped onion, minced garlic, diced provolone, chopped basil, olive oil. From Jo Cooks.