Bruschetta with Balsamic Vinegar

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Bruschetta with Balsamic Vinegar

When summertime gives you perfectly ripe and juicy tomatoes, one of the best ways to enjoy them is also one of the easiest. Simply dice the tomatoes, season them with a touch of salt, add a generous amount of good quality olive oil, and spoon the mixture over thick slices of toasted or grilled bread. Congratulations – you’ve just made bruschetta. This 5-star recipe for Balsamic Bruschetta shows you how to bump up that basic tomato mixture with basil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and Parmesan cheese; and how to toast the bread in the oven — a good alternative if you don’t have a grill or the weather isn’t grill-friendly.

Dotdash Meredith Food Studio

What Is Bruschetta?

Bruschetta (pronouced brew-SKET-tah) is an Italian appetizer or antipasti that starts with a base of toasted or grilled bread. The bread is then served warm either with a topping spooned over or with a topping on the side so each person can build their own bruschetta. Bruschetta is meant to be served as a hand-held finger food, large enough for one or two bites.

You can top bruschetta with more than tomatoes, too. For example, try Strawberry Bruschetta and Peach Brulée Burrata Bruschetta for dessert-like versions.

Read more: How to Make Bruschetta

What Bread Is Bruschetta Made From?

The best bread for bruschetta has a sturdy crust and is firm enough to hold the bruschetta topping. Choose a loaf of Italian bread, such as ciabatta, for a more traditional bruschetta. This recipe uses slices of French bread, like a baguette, but a rustic Italian bread is more authentic. Slice the bread on the diagonal at least ¼-inch thick or more to make an oval shape. Toasting the bread creates a sturdier surface that won’t get mushy when you add a juicy, flavorful topping.
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Tips for Success

Quality counts
The beauty of a simple recipe like bruschetta is that it showcases the flavor of the individual ingredients. For this recipe, you can really taste the difference when you use ripe tomatoes and fresh (not dried) basil; the best olive oil and balsamic vinegar you can afford, and hand-grated Parmesan cheese instead of pre-packaged grated cheese.

Garlic options
As an alternative to adding minced raw garlic to the tomato mixture, cut a peeled clove of garlic in half lengthwise and lightly rub the cut side over the slightly roughened surface of the toasted bread to impart a hint of garlic flavor. Rub on a little more garlic for a stronger flavor, if you wish. But watch out: A little garlic goes a long way.

Make the tomato mixture and let it sit for a couple of hours so the flavors can develop more complexity. Yes, the tomatoes may give off a lot of juice as they marinate, but if you think the mixture is too juicy come serving time, simply use a slotted spoon to lift out the bruschetta topping as you spoon it over the bread. Don’t toss the liquid, though — lots of people love to dip into it with extra bread. If you’re going to top the bread first before serving, save that step until the last minute so the bread doesn’t get soggy as it sits.

Read more: How to Dice Tomatoes

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“I made this for a bridal shower, and it was a hit,” says Allrecipes community member libs. “I prepared the tomato mix the night before and toasted the bread about 15 minutes before the party started. I liked the cold mix on the warm bread. I also appreciated that this could be prepared the day before!”
  The French Toast

Allrecipes home cool MELSY says, “Excellent! Served on top of toasted whole wheat baguette slices that were brushed with olive oil and garlic. I also added a little extra basil as I love the flavor. Have also served this on top of slices of fresh mozzarella cheese…equally as good!”

“I used two 14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes instead of 8 Roma tomatoes. Added about 1/4 cup of chopped red onion, too. Everyone loved it. No one could believe that I used canned tomatoes either! I put the bruschetta mix in a bowl and surrounded the bowl with the toasted french bread so that people could put on as much tomatoes as they wanted. Will definitely make again!” —blue eyed CC

Editorial contributions by Vanessa Greaves

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