Balsamic & Basil Bruschetta
Bruschetta has always been one of my favourite appetizers. There's nothing quite like the combination of dry, warm, toasted bread with a refreshing, moist, herb-and-garlic-flavoured tomato topping to tantalize the tastebuds and get the stomach juices flowing in preparation for some more good eating.
The fragrance of the fresh ingredients that go into this dish is pleasantly overwhelming. It makes the act of chopping and slicing the ingredients so enjoyable. First the aromatic tomatoes, followed by the pungent onion and garlic, and finally the refreshing basil leaves.
Pro tip: when adding the tomatoes, allow any juice that seeped out when cutting to remain on the cutting board; do not add this to the bowl. The tomatoes will naturally release moisture and you don't need more moisture than this.
This would make a wonderful potluck addition or appetizer for any holiday. Serve it cold on toasted bread, or heat the bread and tomato mixture together and serve warm. Don't forget to garnish with some basil!
Pro tip: the bruschetta is delicious as is, but I found it was taken to another level when served with hummus on the toast. Make your own hummus, or any store-bought version will work great!
Have some leftover bruschetta and no bread? Try it on rice cakes too for a quick and easy snack!
But by now you've come to know me: before I make it for anyone else, I need to make a big batch to enjoy on my own first. Otherwise it becomes a little too hard to share.
C'est la vie!
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Balsamic & Basil Bruschetta
▸ ▹ Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free
Yield: 8-10 servings Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 10 min (+ 2 hrs optional 'melding' time)
7 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped*
1/3 cup (about 20-25 leaves) fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
1/2 tsp (2.5g) garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and gently toss until combined. When adding the tomatoes, allow any juice that seeped out when cutting to remain on the cutting board; do not add this to the bowl.
Although you can enjoy immediately, it’s best to cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the flavours to meld.
Serve fresh on toasted bread, or even toast together in the oven for a warm bruschetta. Personally, I enjoyed it best when spreading some hummus on the toasted bread before adding the mixture on top. Garnish with fresh basil if desired. Enjoy!
*Variations: substitute with 3 Tbsp freshly chopped chives for a more mild onion flavour. Add some toasted nuts, like pine nuts, if you’d like.
Storage: store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to one day (can last for two days but tomatoes will get soft and soggy).
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