I believe that in every culture there is a go-to fast snack that dates decades ago. Its the same for the classic tomatoes bruschetta recipe. What I love about bruschetta are the simple ingredients, endless combinations, literally a snack that you can make in 5 min which keeps you full and good to go.
What is bruschetta and how can you make it at home?
Bruschetta is a very gratifying dish you can prepare with many variations. The base for bruschetta is the bread.
In the past, people have used the homemade bread cut in nice thick slices, grilled them (the slice needs to get nice crunchy crust but needs to remain soft inside) and depending on season or region in Italy they would add toppings.
Most likely they would rub it with a clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. In some regions, they would add sardines, sausages or simple fresh tomatoes.
How to make “classic tomatoes bruschetta” in 3 easy steps
- Slice the bread on nice thick slices. In Italy, we often use stale bread as its dryer and perfect for bruschetta. And place them on the grill, or oven, or frying pan or toaster to toast it without adding any oil or condiments.
- Chop tomatoes and fresh basil, add salt and extra virgin olive oil and mix all together.
- Once the bread is toasted rub it with fresh garlic clove on the side you are planning to add tomatoes. The garlic will give the bread an incredible flavor and fragrance. Add the chopped tomatoes and decorate with leaves of fresh basil. I like to give it another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top of all just before the serving. The oil will accentuate all flavors.
This is a super easy bruschetta recipe! Once you make it, you will continue exploring different toppings.
For me, the classic tomatoes bruschetta is an evergreen appetizer you can serve with a glass of wine as a real Italian aperitivo.
Best Bruschetta toppings
In Italy, bruschetta is served either with hot or cold toppings. The options are very large as you can play with what you have in your fridge, use seasonal ingredients or go for a Classic Tomatoes Bruschetta.
I love the fact that you can add your favorite toppings and enjoy the different flavors every time.
Just to name some of the combinations of bruschetta toppings:
- Cream cheese with smoked salmon and dill
- Roasted eggplant
- Bruschetta with pesto
- Creamy mushrooms
- Gorgonzola, walnuts, and honey
- Truffle mushrooms (fried mushrooms mixed with some truffle cream and chives)
- Crab, tomato, parsley
MINI GUIDE FOR A BETTER BRUSCHETTA!
How do you keep bruschetta from getting soggy?
To prevent bruschetta to get soggy add your preferred toppings moments before serving it. Unfortunately, if you plan the party and prepare bruschetta with juicy condiments they will penetrate the bread and make it soggy. The only way is to choose dry condiments, such as Prosciutto, rocket salad, hard cheese, etc.
Can you toast bread in advance?
Yes, you can toast the bread in advance, but make sure you consume it in a short time. Depending on the bread type, it can either get extremely dry or chewy. The ones I used became chewy and have lost the crunchy flavor after a while.
Do you need to peel tomatoes for bruschetta?
No, for traditional tomatoes bruschetta you use the whole tomatoes. You can also play with different types of tomatoes until you find your perfect one.
Do you refrigerate bruschetta?
No, you don’t refrigerate or freeze the toasted bread and neither the toppings. The beauty of bruschetta is in its fast preparation. You can literally make it with fresh veggies and some cream cheese or with leftovers in your fridge and it will taste like an amazing dish.
What do you serve with bruschetta bread?
The best bruschettas are usually the most simple ones. Such as its first version seasoned with oil, garlic, and tomato sometimes also oregano. You can also prepare more elaborate versions with anchovies, olives, and various cheeses. The bruschetta can be served in many versions seasoned with creams and pâté of peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, small pieces of eggplant, mozzarella, scamorza cheese, and various cured meats.
What is the best bread for bruschetta?
There are so many types of bread you can use to make your bruschetta. The rule is that the crust of the bread should be thicker like a farmer’s bread with a softer part inside. Also, the slices are thicker than your usual slice, so don’t be afraid to cut it a bit thicker, you will enjoy every bite. Some of our preferred types are regular thick crusty white bread, sunflower seeds bread, rye bread, cornbread.
At home, we also like to use French bread as our bruschetta bread. I would slice it diagonal so that my slices would look longer and more toppings could be added. It’s a perfect size to hold in your hand during events.
The difference between bruschetta and crostini?
Have you heard the people have called crostini what you call bruschetta? Let me explain the difference.
Crostini is Italian for “small toast”. The crostini are small slices of bread, toasted or not, topped with butter, truffles, creams, caviar, chicken liver pate, and other creamy pates.
Bruschetta is, on the other hand, is a bit slice of bread always toasted and served with fresh ingredients.
Let’s say that the bruschetta is more “rustic” and substantial, while the crostini are more “refined” appetizers.
How many calories contain Bruschetta?
Are you wondering about bruschetta calories? Well, it all depends on the type of bread you are using and the toppings selection. If you prepare simple tomatoes and basil bruschetta you will have very light bruschetta. However, if you add cheese, meat or nuts your bruschetta calories will rise.
Let us say that a simple version of 2 slices of toasted bread and 1 tomato plus a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil will be about 200 – 240 calories. Depending on the bread type. I prefer the rustic types of bread for bruschetta as they hold better the moisture and don’t crumble and get soggy immediately.
Do you know the history of how Bruschetta got its name?
BRUSCHETTA IN TUSCANY
In Tuscany, the meaning of “bruschetta” derives from “Brusca” or “Brusta. Brusca or brustolire in Italian means to burn, to brown or simple to toast. In this case, the browned slice of bread became the Bruschetta.
In the area of southern Tuscany, bruschetta was an ancient dish, prepared with homemade bread, rigorously made without salt and for this reason, it is kept longer and can be toasted more easily creating a crispy external crust and maintaining a soft heart.
BRUSCHETTA IN NAPLES
In Naples cuisine, bruschetta has been present for centuries thanks to the large production of tomatoes from Campania. It was a snack for farmers. Slices of toasted bread with freshly picked tomatoes.
It then became an appetizer, knew its first version seasoned with oil, garlic, and tomato sometimes also oregano. Later versions with anchovies, olives, and various cheeses were added.
Since I have lived all over the world I have witnessed many incorrect pronunciations of this delicious appetizer and I would like to take my chance in teaching you how to say it correctly.
First, forget the shhh sounds. I typically hear it when foreigners try to pronounce it Bru-shhhe-tah.
I will teach you how to remember it in a fun way instead, you need to say it like Bruce (like Bruce Lee) – Ke – (like the kettle) – Ta (like Tarantula)!
Let’s repeat Bruce-Ke-Ta! Easy, right?! Now say it fast 3 times and imagine you are in Italy.
Let me just say that this is a fun way which will help you remember it faster, but correct would be /bru’ sket: a/
In any way, you will lose that shh sound that makes Italians cringe. 😉
Misconceptions about bruschetta
I often read strange recipes that recall for store-bought bottled bruschetta. Usually containing chopped tomatoes, garlic, and some aromatic herbs. Once again I would like to say that Bruschetta is the toasted/grilled slice of bread and the toppings you can add are up to you and usually in Italy, they go by their real name. Such as tomatoes and basil, mozzarella and pesto, prosciutto and ricotta…but then there are also the versions with bakes or grilled vegetables.
So if someone offers you a Bruschetta on toast, feel free to refuse it as you have no idea what you will get. 🙂
I have also heard of bruschetta dip and was wondering what was it. 🙂 So many misconceptions about a simple slice of bread.
Did you make this Classic Tomatoes Bruschetta recipe?
Serves 4 persons
Italian Kitchen Stories
Who says he doesn't like Spaghetti and meatballs didn't taste these ones. 🙂 This classic Italo-American dish is a winner and loved by kids all over the world. You can make the meatballs and sauce and freeze it and only cook spaghetti when you have an unexpected visitors popping at your door! Easy, delicious and so simple that even a beginner could make them.
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 500 grams of ground meat (I buy mix of pork and beef)
- 400 grams of spaghetti (feeds 4 people)
- 3 slices of bread
- 2 cans of tomato (my preferred is Mutti polpa)
- 2 medium size red onions (1 for sauce and 1 for meatballs)
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 of cup of milk or water (to soak the bread)
- 3 table spoons of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- Bunch of fresh parsley
- salt & pepper
- Peperoncino (red hot peppers if you like a spicy flavors)
- Chop the bread and place it in the bowl, let it soak in milk (or water) to soften.
- Once the bread is moist add ground meat, finely chopped onion, and fresh parsley.
- Add salt and pepper and mix all well.
- You can do it in the kitchen robot of using your hands.
- Once the whole mix is formed nicely, start making the small meatballs.
- My trick is to water my palms so that they don't stick.
- Once you have formed all the balls (I usually get about 35 mini meatballs from this quantity) start adding them you your frying pan.
- While the meatballs are getting nice golden color over medium hear, you will need to slice and chop finely an onion and carrots.
- Once done, place them into a big bowl with some EVOO and stir. Let the onion get nice and glossy and then add some salt and 2 cans of tomatoes.
- Stir all and let it simmer on low heat.
- Check your meatballs and rotate them so that they get even color on all sides.
- Once all of the meatballs are nice and golden add them to the tomato sauce.
- Taste the sauce and add as needed salt and pepper (I add some peperoncino for richer flavor).
- I usually cook meatballs in sauce for another 15-20 min and in the meantime I prepare the spaghetti.
- Once all is done, add cooked spaghetti (make sure you don't overcook spaghetti) to the sauce and stir carefully.
- You don't want to cut the meatballs while mixing it.
- Thats it! Super simple and I'm sure you and your family will love it.
- P.S. if you are wondering why do we fry first a bit the meatballs, the answer is to seal them on outside so that they don't fall apart while cooking in the sauce. This way they preserve the juiciness on inside too. 🙂
- Buon appetito!