This Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta recipe blends fresh tomatoes for the most simple, delicious, and flavorful "farm to table" appetizer. A classic bruschetta is my favorite thing to whip together in the summer, especially when fresh garden tomatoes are in abundance.
It's perfect for parties, weeknight dinners, or even weekend brunch and is bursting with flavor that tastes just as beautiful as it looks!
I love summery dinners filled with fresh herbs and vegetables straight from the garden. When I have an abundance of fresh produce on hand I can't help but to use it all…and sometimes all at once.
Bruschetta is an antipasto from Italy consisting of thick, crusty toasted bread topped with garlic, olive oil and salt. It's important to note that "Bruschetta" is in fact the bread, not the actual topping, but I'm going to focus on the topping too.
I've also discovered that its pronounced “brew-sketta”, not “brew-shetta," which is something that I'll have to get used to saying haha. I love to make a bulk batch of this recipe whether preparing it for a party or just as a fantastic snack to enjoy solo.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for this Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta recipe:
- Chop the tomatoes into tiny pieces. Typically, the next step is to place them in a colander and drain them, but I actually love the "juice" because it helps infuse the flavors from the different types of tomatoes.
- Shower the tomatoes with salt, chopped fresh basil, and minced garlic. The longer you let the flavors mingle, the better they’ll be. The flavor heightens the longer the ingredients sit together, so make it at least an hour ahead of serving. I often prepare the bruschetta topping the day before and let it sit covered in the refrigerator overnight. I recommend serving it cold or at room temperature.
- Brush the bread to coat each slice with extra virgin olive oil. Then, toast the slices on a cast iron pan for about 6 minutes, or in the oven at 400°F for 8-10 minutes; for both methods, flip halfway through the cooking time.
- Some bruschetta recipes suggest you rub a raw garlic clove on the toasted bread. You can do this if you prefer more garlickly notes, but I'm partial to tossing the minced garlic into the complete mixture for an all-encompassing taste!
Favorite Tomatoes to Grow
We like to grow a variety of tomatoes because each type has its own special characteristics.
- Honeycomb Hybrid: these tomatoes are probably my favorite. They are so sweet to eat just like the name gives away.
- Black Krim: these are of the beefsteak variety. They are humungous and have a salty/sweet vibe I love.
- Roma: being a plum tomato, these are the "meat" of the tomato family and much less watery. I love using these as a base for any sauce or tomato dish I am making.
- Midnight Cherry: these are my second favorite smaller variety we have grown. They are salty and sweet and have a beautiful glossy black-purple hue.
Which heirloom tomatoes are best for this bruschetta topping?
Selecting the right type of tomatoes is key in this dish. I may sound a little picky, but I always prefer to eat raw tomatoes in the summer when they are the freshest and have the best flavor. Prior to growing my own tomatoes, I used to shy away from dishes with raw tomatoes, but now I've learned it's all about eating them while in season! I highly recommend making the bruschetta when garden fresh tomatoes are in season and at their ripest.
You don't need all of the exact tomato types I mentioned above to make this heirloom tomato bruschetta recipe successful, but I highly recommend putting together an assortment of your choosing. Using a variety of tomato types will produce a medley of complex, delicious flavors.
Ingredients Needed (and some side notes):
- Heirloom tomato variety
- Sea salt flakes
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) – I prefer extra virgin olive oil but regular olive oil will work as well. EVOO can be substituted with other oils of your choice, but this recipe is based on EVOO.
- Garlic – Make sure to use fresh cloves of garlic, and mince do not chop. Minced has a more intense flavor you won’t want to miss.
- Roma tomatoes – These are full of flavor with a tangy, garden-fresh tomato taste that’s best for making bruschetta.
- Basil leaves – Fresh basil cut into ribbons really pulls the whole flavor combo together in this mixture.
- Bread– Pagnotta is a perfect, traditional Italian round loaf that is crispy and dense with a light brown crust. I also like to use artisan bread or sourdough; something rustic that when sliced and toasted gets an exceptionally great texture!
- Parmesan Cheese (finely shredded) – Freshly grate to add a quality touch.
Best Practices for the Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
- For the best results use fresh, ripe ingredients. If you are not picking tomatoes straight from your garden, I suggest buying any ingredients just a day or so before you plan to make this easy bruschetta recipe so that they are at peak ripeness. I recommend buying the bread the same day for the best results.
- For this specific bruschetta recipe, I chose a classic crusty artisan loaf, sliced it (with a serrated knife), and toasted it on a cast iron pan for perfect golden results! I love using this type of bread because the gentle crunch perfectly complements the texture of the heirloom tomato mixture and keeps it stable.
If you prefer another type of bread or want to get creative, you can serve this Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta on any kind of bread or crackers.
- Make the toast as your final step. If you are serving this recipe for a party, prepare the bread component right before serving. I try to time it best so that the bread is getting heated right as guests are arriving.
How long does fresh bruschetta keep?
It’s best to wait to prepare the bread component of this recipe until right before serving. Toasted bread will become tough and stale when left over. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store the tomato mixture separately from the bread to avoid sogginess.
If you happen to have any leftover Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta mixture, use the leftovers to top grilled or baked chicken for lunch or dinner the next day!
Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
- 2 pints cherry/grape tomato medley
- 3 large beefsteak tomatoes
- 5 whole roma/plum tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup parmesean cheese grated
- 2 loaves Pagnotta, or artisan bread sliced and toasted
- Chop the tomatoes into tiny pieces. Retain the "juice" because it helps infuse the flavors from the different types of tomatoes.
- Mince the garlic cloves.
- Next, take a few fresh basil leaves and stack one on top of the other and roll them up tightly. Using a sharp knife cut (chiffonade) thin ribbons from the leaves.
- Combine the prepared tomatoes, garlic and basil into a large bowl and lightly mix.
- Shower the mixture with sea salt flakes and drizzle with olive oil. Generously grate Parmesan and mix all of the ingredients together.
- Thinly slice the crusty bread loaf into slices. Heat a cast iron pan or skillet and add olive oil to lightly coat and toast the bread. Toast on each side to desired crispness.
- Load up the bread slices with the Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta topping and grate some fresh Parmesan cheese on top to serve and enjoy!
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