September 28, 2008

A Nibble for a Sunday Afternoon (Bruschetta with Tomato & Basil)

When you go to an Italian restaurant, frequently they will place a dish on your table that has some slices of toasted baguette topped with a mixture of tomatoes, basil and garlic. This delicious pre-dinner nibble is called Bruschetta. I love the fresh flavor of the chopped tomatoes and basil mixed together and probably could make a meal out of it all on it's own. Now, even though many people associate this as Bruschetta, it's not the only way it can be prepared. You can toast the baguette slices by brushing olive oil on it, then after it's been toasted you can rub fresh garlic slices over it for a different way to enjoy this as a pre-dinner nibble.

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta is a simple combination of ingredients, but since I had not made it before I wanted a recipe to follow for a guideline. I found one at Simply Recipes. Fortunately, I was able to find some wonderful plum tomatoes even though we are near the end of the season. There is a lot of chopping involved, but it's well worth it.

This recipe was delicious, and I can see making some small changes according to what you can find at the market would work well in it. I also like to use fresh bruschetta to top a breaded baked chicken breast. I love the combination of the hot, crispy chicken topped with the cool, fresh tomato bruschetta.

Looking for some other tasty pre-dinner nibbles? Check out these recipes:
A Taste of Home Cooking made some Chicken Nachos to nibble on last week, and they look absolutely delicious!
The Roasted Garlic and Herb Dip from Good Things Catered is sure to be a favorite at your next get-together.
Sophistimom tinkered around until she figured out the most delicious Sausage Stuffed Mushroom recipe.


Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil Recipe
Source: Simply Recipes - for a printer friendly version, please visit their site:


  • 6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are too hot, you can protect your finger tips by rubbing them with an ice cube between tomatoes.) Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. Why use plum tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes? The skins are much thicker and there are fewer seeds and less juice.
  2. Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.
  3. While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown
  5. Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.
  6. Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.

Makes 24 small slices. Serves 6-10 as an appetizer. Or 3-4 for lunch (delicious served with cottage cheese on the side.)

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EAT! said...

I usually eat too much of the nibble (along with a glass of wine). I do love a good nibble.

Jenny said...

Bruschetta is by far one of my favorite appetizers. I could sit and eat more than my fair share! Your picture looks great.

Katie said...

I loooove a good bruschetta!

Tanya said...

I love bruschetta. I don't make it often enough either. Yours looks soo good :)

Prudy said...

That is gorgeous-bruschetta is definitely one of the best!

RecipeGirl said...

I love this sort of recipe... fresh, healthy and delicious. Hubby is always asking for appetizers and I never think to make bruschetta!

Snooky doodle said...

yummy i love bruschetta and its healthy and easy to do :-)

Steph said...

Yum, this looks delicious! Definitely will be giving this a try!

1215656559s20768 said...

I still have a few basil leaves that I haven;t killed yet. Think I'll pick up some tomatoes at the store and make this. Looks freash and delicious!

Beth said...

I love bruschetta - reminds me of all my holidays in Italy. Your recipe looks great

Maddy said...

mmmm I love bruschetta! I'll have to try this for sure!

That Girl said...

I always make a meal out of this dish. It's so good! Although lately I've been making it with heirloom tomatoes and adding burrata.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Perfect for the end of summer tomatoes!

Bonnie said...

This looks delicious !!

Thought you might like to know about our foods of the world series that we are starting this month ... each month we will focus on a different country ... come check it out ... you might like to participate !!

Foods Of The World

Lacey said...

delicious! I love bruchetta, and I make it often. yours looks tasty!

Patsyk said...

Thank you for all the wonderful comments! I do love bruschetta and can't wait to make it again!

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