- 1 loaf of bread (Italian, sourdough, other…should be a whole uncut loaf)
- 8 vine ripe tomatoes
- 2 large cloves of fresh garlic
- 1/2 to 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 large fresh basil leaves
- Italian cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, other
- Flaky Sea Salt (example..Maldon salt)
- Fresh ground pepper
- Put the top rack of the oven so that it is about 4” from the broiler burner. Turn on your broiler to high.
- Cut off the ends of the bread and set aside. You won’t use those for this recipe but can use them for breadcrumbs, toast or other recipes. Cut the bread into approximately 1 ½ to 2-inch slices. We want this bread a bit thicker so that it absorbs the tomato topping.
- Put the bread on the baking pan or grill pan. Drizzle olive oil lightly over the surface. Turn over the bread slices and drizzle olive oil over the other side.
- Put the baking pan in the broiler and broil for 2 minutes. Take the pan out, turn over the bread and broil for 2 more minutes. Take out of the broiler and let cool.
- Take one close of garlic and cut it in half so the inside is exposed. Take the clove and rub it across the surface of the bread to create a garlic toast. Repeat until all the bread has been rubbed with garlic on one side.
- Cut the tomatoes down the middle. Using the large side of a box grater, grate the tomatoes. The tomato pulp and seeds will go through the grater, and you will be left with just the skin, which you can discard. Do this until all the tomatoes are grated.
- Finely chop half of the garlic cloves in the ingredient list and add to the tomatoes. (For the basic recipe with 8 tomatoes, this would be 1 clove of garlic.) Do this just before you are going to use it to get the best flavor. If you don’t like fresh garlic, you can skip this step.
- Remove the basil leaves from the stem. Squeeze the basil leaves in your hand. By squeezing, you cause the cells to burst. This releases the essential oils from the basil. Then hand tear into the tomatoes. Sometimes when you chop with a knife, the basil leaves can turn black.
- Add some of the flaky sea salt (a few pinches to taste).
- Add about ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil for the base recipe of 8 tomatoes. If you are making a larger batch, increase the amount of olive oil.
- Add a few turns of fresh black pepper.
- Stir the tomato mixture until the point where the oil starts to shimmer in the juice of the tomato.
- Put your toasted bread a plate or serving platter.
- Spoon some of the tomato mixture on to each of the pieces of bread.
- Once all of the bread is topped, add grated cheese across the top. If you have a microplane, use this to grate cheese across the top. It’s always best to grate the cheese just when you need it.
- Add a light drizzle of olive oil across the top.
- Add any other herbs that you like such as fresh basil or oregano, or some black pepper. Add lightly across the top.
- Your bruschetta is ready to serve.
Hint: You can make the tomato mixture ahead of time, even the day before serving.
- Large bowl
- Box Grater
- Baking sheet pan (using broiler on high) or a grill pan on a grill
- Microplane (zester) – optional