CATEGORIES: Italian, Sara, Small Bites

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!


*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



  1. thanks for sharing this! I usually follow your recipe to a "t" but alter by adding tomato paste! It reallly enhances the tomato flavor…thanks again!

  2. Yay! I'm so excited to be the winner! I e-mailed you with my info, but I wanted to leave a comment again saying THANKS!! Love this blog!

  3. My husband makes a similar version, but he broils the bread with the mozzarella (or provolone slices work nicely too) first and then puts the tomato/basil topping on. Oh. My. Yum! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

  4. Hi, the biggest problem I have with pico de gallo and bruschetta is it always seems to have such a harsh onion flavor, I can't stand onion raw and I only accept that it's necessary for certain dishes. Though a well done blooming onion is delicious(rhyming unintended. Will it horribly ruin it if I just fore-go the onion? Also I hate to say this because I've had fresh basil plants and it's just not the same if you go with dried but, is there any way to bring that fresh basil flavor back without actually having fresh basil.

  5. Rachael- If you have a hard time with onions, you could try green onions. That way you'd still get some flavor but in a much milder form. You could also use grated onion, and just a little bit, or even a dash of onion powder. Fresh basil in my opinion is a must! But if you're reeeally in a pinch, try dried. The rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon dry = 1 tablespoon fresh.

  6. You'd think it was the sharp flavor but I actually just don't like the way onions taste but for some reason dried onion is very tasty to me. Maybe I'll try a combination of dried onion and onion powder.

    I made some this morning with out onion in it and with dried basil on olive oil drizzled toast and man do I miss that fresh basil.

    Thanks for the advice I find myself reading your guys blog every day and have used your recipes from honey grilled chicken to chocolate cookies

  7. I refuse to watch Giada simply due to her over-pronunciation of Italian igredients.

    P.S. I have a Misto oil sprayer too!

  8. If you like feta you will LOVE it on bruschetta bread. I sprinkle it on before it goes in the oven and it gets nice and warm and soft. I wish I had some now. Thanks for the post now I know what I am making for an app tomorrow.

  9. This looks so good! I love your blog and have been following for quite a while now. I have loved every one of your recipes that I have tried. Keep up the good work!

  10. ohhhhh I'm salivating just reading this. YUM!!! I'm liking the mozarella on there too, gonna have to try that.

    Is eating ridiculous amounts of pico straight from the bowl with a spoon weird? Because I'm known to do that quite often. 🙂

  11. p.s. In the past few days, I've made spicey honey chicken salad, cheesey garlic rolls, fudgy mint brownies, slow cooker french-dip subs, and probably some other ones I can't remember of the top of my head they have all been TO DIE FOR! We've fought over the few leftovers we've had. Thanks for all the good stuff!!!

  12. The old tomato vines are starting to produce now that the heat is letting up a bit, have to make some of these with my homemade sour dowgh.

    I lover my Misto as well. I got it and will get more at Bed, Bath & Beyond using one of their coupons, which never expire. Only $ 8 that way.

  13. Should have rad through the comments first!
    I make Pico de Gallo all the time and have a hard time with the onions. won't even tell you what they do to my poor hubby. I use little green onions now. I chop up the white parts and sautee them in a cute little skillet (has to be a cute one), cool and add to the mix. Has really helped. I leave as much crunch as I dare.

    Of course the greens are chopped and used fresh in my salsa or whatever when the hubby is gone . . . OK I'll admit it, I sneak some into the Pico if I think I can get by with it . . .

  14. I am a brand-spanking new reader and I have been HOOKED to your blog for the past hour looking through all of these recipes. Just wanted to say "thanks" because, to me, someone who struggles every day to come up with something both tasty and somewhat healthy to eat for dinner, it seems like a lot of work to keep up a blog like this one of this caliber. But man, your hard work is going to make *my* life so much easier from now on! THANKS!! 🙂

  15. I just have to say that I love love love this recipe!!!!! I tried making bruschetta before and it was a total flop, but I decided to try this recipe and it was amazing! I made it for some family and they loved it too! Thank you so much! I love your recipes and feel like I'm doing my own Julia Julia movie except with your website! 🙂

  16. My sister made this yesterday and she added blue cheese crumbles to it. I love blue cheese, so I found it very tasty. However, if I wasn’t fond of blue cheese I would have found it overpowering. I’ll have to give the slice of mozz a try. Now I’m hungry…

  17. I’ve been to Italy and the term bruschetta describes thin slices of bread that are toasted and then rubber with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. Bruschetta can be topped with many thing including a chopped tomato mixture, a tapenade, cheese or many other ways. In the US, many people seem to think that a chopped tomato, garlic, onion mixture is bruschetta.

  18. This was soooo yummy! I watched Julia and Julia and was inspired by the “bruschetta” scene haha. So I looked up the recipes and love love this one. I omitted the red onion and put a layer of mozzarella cheese on the bread before topping it off with mix tomatoes. It was delish!

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