Kate and I have both openly admitted to eating Pico de Gallo straight from the bowl with a spoon. If you’re like us, then chances are you’ll love Bruschetta, which I like to think of as the Italian version of Pico de Gallo (or maybe the Pico is a Mexican version of the Bruschetta? What came first, the chicken or the egg?!) And if you’ve ever watched Giada and heard her throw overly pronounced Italian words into her normal every day conversation then you know very well that it’s pronounced “Brus-ketta.”
Bruschetta is pretty much amazing. Fresh tomatoes, basil, and onions, flavored with balsamic vinegar and piled on little garlicky toasts. Man I wish I had left-overs because I’m really craving some now! I also love that I have almost everything to make it right out back in my garden.
You can really use any type of tomato. You can see in my picture that from my garden I grabbed plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and some romas. If you’re buying them at the store, I’d probably go for romas or some nice plum tomatoes on the vine.
And you’ll need balsamic vinegar. Don’t even ask me if there’s a substitution because there’s not!
Dice up the tomatoes and onions, toss in the basil and flavor with a splash of vinegar, salt and pepper and a little olive oil.
Then you’ll need a baguette sliced up into about 1/2 inch slices. Sourdough is actually really yummy too.
Place the slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Have I ever told you how much I love olive oil sprayers? Love. I use mine practically every day. They’re perfect for things like this. You can find them cheaper than that link too- just do a quick google search. Anyway, pop that pan in the oven to lightly toast the baguette slices.
And here’s the delicious trick about this little appetizer. After the bread comes out of the oven grab the biggest garlic clove you have (makes it much easier to hold onto) and slice it in half.
Use your hands to rub the cut side of the clove all over the tops of the warm bread slices. It infuses garlic flavor into bread and when it combines with the tomato mixture amazing things happen.
Just place a spoonful of the tomato mixture on top and serve.
Or you could do my personal favorite variation and add a slice of fresh mozzarella on there too. H-e-a-v-e-n I tell ya!
Recipe by Our Best Bites
2 C diced tomatoes (squeeze out seeds before dicing)
1/3 C diced red onion
1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
a few cracks black pepper
1/4 C chopped fresh basil leaves
1 french baguette or bread of your choice
additional olive oil
1 large garlic clove
optional- fresh mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine tomatoes, onions, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp olive oil in a bowl and mix to combine. Add basil and gently toss to distribute. Give it a taste and add additional salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and chill.
Slice baguette into half inch slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle or brush some olive oil on top. Place in oven for 8-10 minutes until just lightly toasted. Remove pan from oven. Slice garlic clove in half and rub cut side down on each piece of bread. Top with about a tablespoon of the tomato mixture.
If desired, place one slice of mozzarella cheese on the bread before topping with tomato mixture.
If preparing ahead of time, wait to add basil until right before serving.
Makes about 24 bruschetta.
*If you want a little twist on flavor, try adding in some Oven Roasted Tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, or capers.
And if this looks good, then check out this fun variation: Fresh Fruit Bruschetta