Of all of the appetizers out there, bruschetta ranks as one of my all-time favorites! Fresh basil is by far my favorite herb, and I love love love crusty bread. Bruschetta is easy to make and even easier to eat. There are so many tasty variations, but I like mine best with simple, high-quality ingredients:
Toasted Baguette Drizzled with Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
That’s it. No bells and whistles on this recipe because the ingredients speak for themselves. The fresh mozzarella is optional but really does elevate the appearance and flavor. To melt the cheese slightly, place under the broiler or in a preheated oven for just a few minutes. The juices from the tomato also have time to soften the bread without making it soggy. It is the most perfect bite—with notes of complex acidic and salty flavors and a variety of textures. They are also visually appealing, and it is darn near impossible to eat just one!
Our cherry tomato plants have been incredible this year, both in flavor and quantity. They are absolutely impeccable and the tomatoes just keep coming. I will be quite sad when the plants expire, and we can no longer pick tomatoes by the bowlful. We are so blessed to have the space and ability to have a garden. It takes effort to maintain, but we have sure reaped a bountiful harvest thus far and still have more coming!
For this recipe, I used cherry tomatoes, but any ripe tomatoes will do. Garden fresh tomatoes are not usually an option, so feel free to use tomatoes that are available to you. You may also add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and fresh garlic to your tomatoes as well. Our tomatoes were so flavorful that additional ingredients just were not necessary.
See below for the recipe and more photos!
1 baguette, sliced in ½ inch slices
Olive oil, for drizzling
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered or smaller
2-3 Tbsp of thinly sliced fresh basil
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut up in small pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. One a large baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices into an even layer and drizzle generously with olive oil. Toast in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.
Meanwhile, combine the cut-up tomatoes, basil, and season with salt and pepper. Place 1-2 Tbsp of the tomato mixture on top of each baguette slice. Top each piece with fresh mozzarella.
Bake for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese just starts to melt. You may also place under a broiler for less than a minute. Watch very closely not to burn.
Let cool slightly and serve. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, if desired.
Start with a baguette:
Slice it up (you could also cut it on a bias):
Drizzle with olive oil:
Bake until crisped up:
Cherry tomatoes are so flavorful and pretty:
Fresh basil, ready to be chopped:
Cherry tomatoes should look like this:
Add your basil and season with salt & pepper:
Top the toasted baguettes with tomato mixture:
Add cheese, bake, and EAT!