You’ll love this classic Italian bruschetta recipe. It’s the perfect appetizer for a crowd or a main course for one or two.
Bruschetta is a classic Italian dish. The recipe is simple and uses only a few basic ingredients that are easily found in any grocery store, especially during the warmer time of year.
What Is Classic Bruschetta?
When people think of bruschetta, they think of the tomato topping that is typically served in restaurants. But the word “bruschetta” actually refers to the bread. This bread can be served with any number of toppings.
Where Does Bruschetta Come From?
While this dish is definitely Italian, its history actually goes back specifically to ancient Rome. Olive growers needed a way to taste their products, and they always did that with a small piece of bread.
Do You Eat Bruschetta By Hand?
You do! It’s meant to be eaten by hand. In fact, it would probably be a little difficult to eat any other way due to the small size. Just grab a slice and enjoy in a bite or two, depending on the size of your slice of bread.
Best Bread For Classic Bruschetta?
Traditionally, the bread slices should be small. A thin baguette is perfect. For clean eating purposes, you would want a wholegrain baguette that has no added sugar. But as you can see in my photos, I used a regular, white flour baguette because Mini Chef insists it’s the only way to eat bruschetta. He’s not wrong. It’s delicious. But if your goal is clean eating, shoot for the wholegrain baguettes. They are not necessarily easy to find, but some health-focused stores do carry them.
How To Cut Tomatoes For Classic Bruschetta
In general, you want to cut the tomatoes small. Everything should be small on bruschetta. It’s a small appetizer! But the tomatoes specifically should be cut small so that they are better able to stay on the small pieces of bread.
How To Keep Bruschetta From Getting Soggy
The best way to keep bruschetta from getting soggy is to toast the bread. Then once you have placed the tomato mixture on the bread, make sure you serve it immediately so it doesn’t sit too long in the juices.
Is Bruschetta Served Warm Or Cold?
The tomato mixture should be either cold or room temperature. However, the bread should be warm and just slightly toasted.
How Long Does Classic Bruschetta Last?
This is sort of a trick question. The actual bruschetta, (the bread) will last as long as bread lasts without the toppings on it. But as soon as you add the topping, you’ll want to eat it immediately.
As for the tomato mixture, that will last for about 3 days in the fridge. Possibly less if stored with the vinegar.
What To Serve With Bruschetta
While this is typically served as a snack or appetizer on its own, you can absolutely make a light meal out of it. So in that case, the perfect side would be a fresh, green salad.
About Classic Bruschetta Ingredients
Tomatoes – How many you need will depend on how big your tomatoes are. You can use any type you prefer. I found a huge, locally grown tomato at the store that was more than 2 cups worth. But you can also use smaller tomatoes like Roma or cherry tomatoes.
Fresh basil – I picked mine from my garden. But if you buy it at the store, get a full bunch. You might not use it all in this recipe, but you can never have enough fresh basil hanging around. That smell!!!
Garlic cloves – These should be on the larger side. Usually the outer cloves on a head of garlic. I minced them and also mashed them with the flat side of my knife to help get the flavor out.
Olive oil – I used extra virgin olive oil. If you prefer to use another type of oil, you are welcome to. Just make sure it’s on the lighter side on flavor. You’ll be using this in the tomato mix, and also in an oil sprayer to spritz the bread with. If you don’t have an oil sprayer, use a basting brush to brush the oil over your bread slices.
Balsamic vinegar – Use your favorite. Just don’t use any that have flavoring added. Just a basic balsamic is best here.
Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt. You should use whatever you normally cook with.
Ground black pepper – Don’t use white pepper here. While it will certainly work, black pepper tastes better for this.
Parmesan cheese – This is optional but tasty. You don’t need much. It’s an accent, not the focus.
Bread – You’ll want a good quality baguette. If it’s soft and cakey, look for something else. You want a firm loaf with a crisp crust.
How To Make Classic Bruschetta
Chop and measure the tomatoes, then transfer them to a medium mixing bowl.
Mince the garlic cloves and add them to the tomatoes in the mixing bowl.
Measure the basil, then slice it thin. Finally, add it to the mixing bowl as well.
Measure the dressing ingredients into the mixing bowl, over the tomato mixture.
Slice your baguette at an angle to get the maximum surface space.
Lay the bread out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and use an oil sprayer to sprite the slices with oil. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until it’s nicely toasted without being dry.
Remove from the oven, place on a plate, and top with the tomato mixture.
Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and serve.
Should Bruschetta Be Refrigerated?
Whatever topping you add to bruschetta should definitely be refrigerated, but separately from the bread. The bread should also be refrigerated but will need to be re-warmed before serving.
How to Store Classic Bruschetta
Toppings – Store any toppings separately from the bread in an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. It will last a little longer if you don’t add the dressing to the tomato mixture, by maybe an extra day. Don’t wait long to eat this. It’s more of a “make-it-eat-it” situation.
Bread – This should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then placed in an airtight container. It can then be kept in the fridge for up to 4 – 5 days.
Can You Freeze Bruschetta?
You can certainly freeze the bread. Wrap it well as described above, and then store it in the freezer for up to 3 – 4 months.
Freezing the toppings is not recommended.
How To Reheat Bruschetta
Simply spread out the slices on a cookie sheet like you did to make the recipe, and warm them in a 325-degree oven for about 5-10 minutes. Watch them carefully. You want to warm them, not turn them into toasty bricks.
More Healthy Appetizer Recipes
Remember to subscribe to my free newsletter to receive all my latest recipes in your inbox. Click here to sign up!
Classic Bruschetta Recipe Card + Video
Classic Bruschetta Recipe
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cups loosely packed, fresh basil (sliced)
- 4 large garlic cloves (minced)
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 standard baguette (whole wheat, no sugar)
- oil (in an oil sprayer)
- grated parmesan cheese
- Chop and measure the tomatoes, then transfer them to a medium mixing bowl.
- Mince the garlic cloves and add them to the tomatoes in the mixing bowl.
- Measure the basil, then slice it thin. Finally, add it to the mixing bowl as well.
- Measure the dressing ingredients into the mixing bowl, over the tomato mixture.
- Slice your baguette at an angle to get the maximum surface space.
- Lay the bread out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and use an oil sprayer to sprite the slices with oil. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until it's nicely toasted without being dry.
- Remove from the oven, place on a plate, and top with the tomato mixture.
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and serve.