The trick to this grilled, garlic-rubbed sourdough bruschetta recipe is to marinate the fresh tomatoes and basil for maximum flavor. So juicy and delicious!
Bruschetta and tomatoes are synonymous. It’s a classic combination featured in restaurants and home kitchens over the world. Fun fact: the word “bruschetta” actually refers to the grilled bread only, which can be topped with a variety of seasonal offerings- not just tomatoes.
To make bruschetta (of any kind) you hardly need a recipe. Just a solid idea and good bread to start. In this post & video, I’ll show you my favorite, classic bruschetta recipe with tangy sourdough bread, fresh tomatoes and basil, plus a few creative topping ideas so you can make your own. I love how the warm, grilled bread soaks up all the delicious flavors!
What is Bruschetta?
Bruschetta (brus-ke-ta 👌🏻) comes from the Italian word “bruscare” which means “to char” or more specifically, “to roast over coals.” To make it, sliced bread is grilled until lightly charred, then rubbed with a cut garlic clove. It’s drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper to finish.
Toppings are optional, but can include anything from creamy, homemade ricotta to pesto (classic basil pesto, Sicilian, or sun dried tomatoes), sautéed garlicky greens, slow-cooked mashed beans and of course, juicy fresh tomatoes. Bruschetta is typically served as a lite bite before a meal. Personally, I could eat the whole tray for dinner.
About This Recipe.
For my bruschetta, I don’t just chop tomatoes and plop it on bread. I marinate them with salt, pepper, olive oil and basil for about 15 minutes or so, to concentrate the flavors (use this time to grill the bread). The marinade step is key. You’ll end up with a luscious puddle of tomato juice at the of bottom of the bowl! Drizzle it over the bruschetta right before serving. So flavorful.
Sourdough Bruschetta Ingredients (You Will Need):
- Sourdough Bread
- Fresh Tomatoes
- Extra-Virgin Olive oil
Sourdough Bread: Homemade or store-bought will work- either one is fine. For homemade sourdough, you want a low-hydration loaf like my Beginner Sourdough Bread; the interior crumb is smooth and not too “holey” which is ideal for bruschetta, unless you want tomatoes in your lap.
Garlic: One clove cut in half is all you need. The aroma is incredible when rubbed against the warm, grilled bread.
Tomatoes: The juiciest, ripest you can find, diced small please. Heirloom tomatoes, Beefsteak tomatoes, even cherry tomatoes will work.
Basil: For me, fresh herbs is a must. I like basil. Lots of it. Chives would be nice too.
Extra-virgin olive oil: A key ingredient not to be overlooked! You can go as strong and peppery as you like here. I recommend the following brands you can easily find at the store: Lucini, California Olive Ranch and La Tourangelle. Or try this stunning Ligurian extra-virgin olive oil made from 100% Taggiasca olives.
Best Bruschetta Tips:
- Drizzle the bread with olive oil after it’s grilled (not before). This preserves the delicate flavor and integrity of the oil, especially top quality extra-virgin olive oil.
- All grill types will work: outdoor gas grill, coals, wood-fire, indoor grill pan etc. Alternatively, toast the bread instead (yes, with a toaster) or bake on a sheet pan @ 350 F for 10-15 minutes, flipping the slices over at the halfway mark.
- Don’t skip the garlic. It adds the most incredible flavor!
- Customize it. Sometimes I like to add creamy ricotta and pickled shallots to my bruschetta, (per the video above!), to change things up. Feel free to get creative.
Fun Fact: Bruschetta vs. Crostini. What’s the Difference? According to the book Jamie’s Italy, Jamie Oliver writes that bruschetta and crostini are similar, but not the same. The difference? Bruschetta is large, grilled bread, usually sourdough or county bread. Crostini is small, toasted bread usually made from baguettes. Both can be served as part of an antipasto platter with or without toppings. So technically, you could make this exact same recipe on a baguette and call it a brusch-tini!Print
The trick to this easy, grilled, garlic-rubbed sourdough bruschetta is to marinate the fresh tomatoes and basil for maximum flavor.
- 6 slices sourdough bread (or rustic country bread)
- 2 large, juicy fresh tomatoes
- Handful fresh basil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
- Ricotta (optional), store-bought or homemade ricotta
- Dice the tomatoes into small pieces; add to a bowl. Tear up some basil leaves and toss with the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes while you prepare the bread.
- Grill the bread slices (dry, no oil) for a few minutes on each side until lightly charred. Alternatively, arrange the slices on a sheet pan and bake @ 350 F for 10-15 minutes, flipping the bread over at the halfway mark. Keep an eye on it. You can also use a toaster.
- When the bread is finished, rub each slice a few times with the cut garlic clove. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cut each slice in half; you should end up with 12 pieces.
- To serve, spoon the chopped tomatoes (and lots of the juice!) over the bread, making sure each piece looks juicy and delicious. Garnish with extra basil. more olive oil if you want, and enjoy warm.
Keywords: grilled, homemade, easy, recipe, Italian, tomatoes, basil, bruschetta, sourdough bread, extra virgin olive oil