All there is to it is a bit of veggie chopping, and then grilling bread slices. Instructions are cleverly presented in the stop-motion animated video below, which runs a brisk 2 minutes, 25 seconds. For your next gathering, you can prepare this treat ahead of time and refrigerate. Just keep the chopped tomato, garlic and basil separate from the toast until party time. (If you want warm toast, pop the bread in the oven as guests arrive.)
The Chintzy Chef is no expert gardener, but my tomatoes, along with my basil bush, are thriving this summer. Nothing tastes better than a fresh garden-grown and sun-warmed tomato. You don't want to cook these beauties; they're best enjoyed in the raw state, sliced, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
If you don't have a summer garden, tomatoes are cheapest this time of year. As for basil, it's so easy to grow in small window box or a corner of your garden. Your local farmers market is often the cheapest place to buy a basketful. Fresh oregano and parsley can also be used in a Bruschetta.
Italian-style Bruschettas comes many ways: with fresh or jarred vegetables, on bread or with sliced, cured meat and cheese.
So, for a delicious bite of summer try out The 99 Cent Chef's vegetarian Tomato & Basil Bruschetta.
Tomato & Basil Bruschetta - VIDEO
Play it here. Video runs 2 minutes, 25 seconds.
To view or embed from YouTube, click here.
- About 2 - 5 tomatoes - or 1 1/2 cups when chopped. (Tomato sizes are all over the map, especially when home-grown, so tomato count will vary.)
- 3 - 5 basil leaves - one tablespoon chopped. Okay to use 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil (or any favorite Italian herb like parsley or oregano.)
- 1 clove garlic - about one teaspoon fine chopped. Okay to use from a jar.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil - or your favorite tasty oil.
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar - okay to use any vinegar you have.
- 5 slices of Italian or French bread. Depending of loaf sizes, you could use more or less. Okay to use another favorite bread as well, including sliced dinner rolls.
- 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to drizzle on the bread - optional.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chop tomatoes. It's up to you how chunky you like it. Some recipes call for squeezing out and discarding the seeds -- since I used fresh tomatoes from my garden I didn't want to waste one single seed! Anyway, I like to leave the seeds in, personally.
Mince or fine chop one clove of garlic. It's okay to use chopped garlic from the jar.
Chop the basil leaves. If you don't have access to fresh, then about 1/2 teaspoon dried should do.
Add all the chopped tomato, garlic and basil to a bowl. Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (or favorite vinegar.) Mix well.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve on toasted bread (directions below.)
Toasted Bread (Seems ridiculous to describe how to toast bread, but there are a few ways to go.)
Slice bread and drizzle on some olive oil (or brush it on.) Toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 - 15 minutes until lightly browned. The bread comes out like thick Melba Toast - really crunchy.
You could also use a tabletop toaster oven, or broil the bread in the oven - you will want to watch closely as bread will brown quicker. This will give you a crunchy top and a soft side (depending how thick you slice the bread.) I like it that way, too.
If you don't want oil on the bread then just toast bread in a regular popup toaster. Then slice toasted bread into single servings (for a party appetizer.)
I've read that rubbing a clove of peeled garlic on toasted bread is tasty. You could also melt some cheese on the bread to go all-out decadent.
You can bulk up your Bruschetta with chopped black olives, artichoke hearts or drained and rinsed white beans. Beef it up with thin-sliced salami, pepperoni or any cured deli meat. Finish it off with some shaved parmesan, or melt a favorite cheese on the toasting bread slices.