The best bruschetta recipe always involves the best-grilled bread! This is one of my favorite go-to party appetizers because of its versatility.
Traditional bruschetta is an Italian appetizer of grilled bread rubbed with olive oil and garlic. FYI: Bruschetta is the bread, not the topping, and is pronounced “brew-sketta”, not “brew-shetta”.
Bread is cut into slices about 1/4″ thick and grilled. As a result, the topping does not make the bread soggy. Oftentimes the bread is topped with freshly chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of salt and herbs. Italy has the most delicious tomatoes because they are grown fresh, not in a hothouse. Hard to resist!Jump to Recipe
The building blocks of the best bruschetta:
One of my favorite party tricks is to assemble a “Build your own Bruschetta Bar” because it’s super easy and even those with certain food allergies or eating preferences can find an appetizer that works for them by choosing their own toppings.
Whether you build a platter ahead of time or create a bruschetta bar, here are the 4 essentials that you will start with and build upon:
- Large baguette, Italian or French
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
Make sure to cut the bread about 1/4″ thick on the bias. Brush with olive oil and grill for about 5 minutes, or toast in a 400 F degree oven for about 10 minutes. Then rub with a cut clove of garlic – this step is important! Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Reserve until ready to add your toppings.
Any topping combination will work and the more choices the better! Try setting up toppings that work together in groups.
A big basket of the grilled bread pieces should always be at the beginning of the bruschetta bar.
Flavor combination ideas:
- Tomatoes, basil, garlic mixture
- Tomatoes and Buratta or Mozzarella
- Proscuitto and Buratta
- Black Olive Spread and Capers
- Roast beef and Gorgonzola
- Pesto and parmesan chunks
- Sundried tomatoes or lightly roasted tomatoes in olive oil
If you are making a platter to serve, be sure to add a sprinkling of greens to give your party platter a finished look, for example, arugula or watercress.
Best Bruschetta Recipe
- 1 Large baguette, Italian or French
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 cloves Garlic, cut in half
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt
Traditional Tomato Topping:
- 4 large tomatoes, cut into medium dice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 cup basil, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
Preparing the bread
- Heat grill to medium, or heat oven to 400F.
- Cut the bread about 1/4″ thick on the bias. Brush with olive oil and grill cut side down for about 5 minutes. Alternately, toast on a baking sheet cut side up in a 400F degree oven for about 10 minutes.
- Rub each piece of bread with a cut clove of garlic – this step is important! Sprinkle lightly with sea salt
- Set aside until ready to assemble
Preparing Traditional Tomato Topping
- Toss all ingredients in a large bowl and marinate for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. If not using immediately, cover tightly and refrigerate. If need be drain slightly before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings or basil, as needed.
- Spoon onto toasted bread just before serving.