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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quick & Easy Bruschetta

Bruschetta has become one of my staple appetizers to make for taking to a party, for entertaining, or just an awesome snack.

This is the very basic bruschetta recipe I use.  I've seen it done many other ways, but this is my go-to "can't eff it up" recipe that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

I was once introduced the the wonderfulness of Morton Nature's Seasons and it's now one of my go to basic seasonings.  I use it in this recipe in place of the standard salt and pepper because it also contains onion and garlic salt which gives just a little more flavor but isn't overpowering.  You can absolutely forgo this however and use just basic salt and pepper (I recommend using sea salt and fresh ground pepper whenever possible).

Bruschetta is pretty forgiving, so have some fun with it!  Even the simplest change can make a big difference.  I picked up an olive and rosemary baguette at the local farmer's market a few weekends ago and it blended beautifully with the tomato flavor.  My idea of perfect bruschetta is to have a crunchy exterior and a soft, warm middle.  So be sure to pick bread that has a decent crust but isn't too hard all the way through.

Here are a few other variation ideas to get your experimenting started: 

  • Try a different type of cheese.  I usually pick up a classic block of parmesan cheese and grate it myself (and by grate it myself, I mean I have my food processor grate it for me), however I've ventured into distant cheese territories.  Get creative!
  • Put the cheese on first!  In lieu of putting the butter on the bread and toasting it first, I put the cheese on the bread and placed it in the oven on broil until the cheese was nice and bubbly and slightly browned around the edges.  This would be a great time to experiment using goat cheese in place of Parmesan!
  • Grow your own basil.  I am by no means I gardener but I have found basil to be one of the easiest plants to grow.  I bought a small basil plant in February and started it out growing on my kitchen window sill and have now separated and re-potted it twice.  As long as you give it adequate sun and water, it will thrive.  And you'll be surprised how much more flavor you'll get from a dish with freshly grown ingredients.
Now, on to the recipe!

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 4 oz. (approx) Parmesan, freshly grated 
  • 4 medium (or 2 large) Basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp Nature's Seasoning (or sea salt and fresh ground pepper - 1 tsp each)
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • French Baguette, sliced
  • Butter (you can substitute olive oil for the butter and brush that on the bread instead if you prefer)
(1)  Preheat oven to 425F
(2)  Lightly butter bread slices and place on baking sheet.  Bake for approximately 5 minutes or until butter is melted and edges of bread are slightly golden.
(3)  Toss tomatoes with olive oil.
(4)  Add basil, Nature's Seasons, and garlic.  Toss well.  Taste and adjust flavoring accordingly if necessary.
(5)  Spoon tomato mixture onto the pre-toasted bread.
(6)  Put a generous amount of Parmesan on each slice.  Optional: If you have dried basil available, lightly sprinkle a little on top of each piece.  This is mostly for aesthetic purposes.
(7)  Bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread edges are a deep golden brown.


  1. Have you tried tossing the tomato mixture with a bit of balsamic vinegar added? I bet that'd be good too. But what a wonderful looking recipe! That is like professional photography or something. Can't wait to try this!!!

  2. Oh, yum. One of the nice things about bruschetta is that you can make the tomato mixture ahead, and the flavors intensify. Now tell me, how did you add music to your site?