The perfect summer appetizer! Add high-quality balsamic vinegar to ripe tomatoes, garlic, shallot, fresh basil, and top onto crostini for bruschetta like you’ve never had before.
Are you ready for your go-to summer appetizer that’s bursting with fresh flavors, that’s easy to make, and that’s going to rock every summer patio dinner from here on out?
Good, because it’s here. It’s here and when I say it’s going to be on from here on out I mean it. Now until… forever? Yes and yes.
I’m a huge fan of summertime dinners that are really just snacks on snacks.
Gimme the little toasted crostinis topped with tomatoes, a cheese plate (with the proper accouterments), a glass of vino, and I am one happy girl.
Bruschetta is perfect for such occasions because takes all the summer flavors, blends them together, and leaves you with a simple and delightful snack or meal.
WINNING, I tell you, WINNING at the summertime eats.
What is Bruschetta?
Ok, so yes it’s perfect as a snack, or a meal, or a meal-snack…but what is it exactly?
Bruschetta is traditionally an appetizer from Italy consisting of grilled bread, fresh summer tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic.
Basically it’s heaven on Earth.
It’s quick and easy to make. It’s healthy (ish, anyway), and it can cater to a variety of dietary needs. Vegetarian? Inherently so. Vegan? Yep, that too. Dairy free? Check. Gluten-free? Use a gluten-free baguette and be on your way!
Mix it Up – All the Varieties
There are many varieties that can be made, too! Catering to your tastebuds even more so is happening here and now.
You can add salami or thinly sliced meat. You can add mozzarella, or burrata, or parmesan. You can even supplement it with other veggies (or change it up even more like this savory winter mushroom version).
One of the best parts about making this easy bruschetta recipe is that it takes nearly no time to throw together, yet the amount of flavor and freshness leaves you feeling as though you’ve worked all afternoon to create these little bites of perfection.
How to Make Bruschetta
First things first: make the crostini. Similar to grilled bread, crostini is a toasted baguette slice and it’s just the crunchy base that this easy appetizer needs!
You’ll drizzle olive oil on the baguette slices, sprinkle a little salt and pepper, and you’re ready to bake!
They’ll toast for a few minutes on each side for the perfect crostini. Bada-bing, bada-boom. It’s that easy and in no time you’ll have golden brown baguette slices.
Next up is making the topping.
Toss ripe tomatoes (hello, summer favorite) that have been diced with some fresh garlic, a little bit of shallot, and from-your-garden basil together.
Then, then comes the best balsamic you can find.
The balsamic is key. The better the quality and/or the more aged the balsamic is, the more mind-blowingly delicious the bruschetta will be.
I’m partial to the 25-year-old balsamic from the St. Paul Oilerie in Minnesota. There are so many quality balsamic vinegar options out there, though. While you may pay a little more, the flavor it adds when fresh to recipes is unbeatable.
The rest is as follows:
- Scoop out the flavorful tomato mixture and pile it on the crostini
- Pour yourself Refill your glass of wine
- Bring out your cheese and additional yummies
- Nosh al fresco and enjoy the summer sun with your loved ones (or all by yourself – we all need those nights)
What’s your favorite summer snack that doubles as dinner during the summer?Print
A quick and easy appetizer bursting with fresh tomatoes, bright flavors, and high quality balsamic vinegar.
- 1 baguette, sliced on the bias (~ 10 slices)
- 1 pint cherry or roma tomatoes, ¼ in. dice
- ½ cup basil, chiffonade or roughly chopped + garnish
- 3–4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil + more for drizzling on crostini
- 2 Tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Lay out baguette slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (don’t drench them, dry areas are ok). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip slices over and repeat. Toast in oven for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through to toast evenly.
- Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, shallot, olive oil, and balsamic in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Top each crostini slice with desired amount of bruschetta mixture (I use about 2 tablespoons per toast). Garnish with additional basil as desired.
Store any leftover tomato mixture in an airtight container in the fridge.
If your tomatoes are extra juicy, I recommend scooping out some of the seeds to prevent the mixture from becoming overly wet.
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Toasting
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: easy, summer, party, dairy free
This post was originally published in August 2015. The photos and video were updated in April 2018; all original content remains.