Simple and fresh tomato bruschetta, made with cherry tomatoes, served on warm crostinis. Serve as an appetizer, or make a meal out of it with a light salad. Perfect for summer, and a great use for your home grown tomatoes.
This recipe holds a special place in my heart because it is the first recipe I ever “created” on my own, back in college. I picked out my favorite elements from other bruschetta recipes I have had (there are a ton of variations!) and this turned out delicious.
The secret is using cherry tomatoes, which thin flesh and natural sweetness make this so light and delicate. I’ve also found this is much better if you use a soft, fluffy baguette like an Italian loaf. If the bread is too thick and dense, it makes it tricky to eat. You and your family will love this. Let’s get cooking!
Here’s what you’ll need: about 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, 1 small red onion, basil, olive oil, good balsamic vinegar and shredded mozzarella (option).
Start by quartering your grape tomatoes.
Then finely chop about 1/4 cup of red onion. I usually use a little less than half of a small red onion. Be careful not to add too much onion, it will overpower the dish. Remember, you can always add more.
Now grab about 10 basil leaves. Hello lovelies.
Roll them up,
chiffonade in to thin strips,
and add to the tomatoes and onions.
Drizzle in about 1 tbs of olive oil and 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar.
Salt and pepper, then toss to combine. Resist eating it all at this point. It is going to smell heavenly. Cover and refrigerate about 20 minutes to allow flavors to marry.
While the bruschetta is in the fridge, start making the crostinis. Slice the baguette about 1/2″ thick on the diagonal so the slices are larger and can hold more. More is better.
Arrange the sliced bread on a baking sheet (covered in parchment paper for easy clean up) and drizzle with olive oil. You only need to drizzle 1 side with olive oil, it will seep through to the other side.
Toast in preheated oven set at 450 degrees. Cook about 5 minutes until they get nice brown. Flip over and toast the other side.
If you want to make these crostinis even better, top them with a light sprinkling of shredded mozzarella. Optional, but gives them a salty and creamy bite. Put back in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Top the crostinis with the brushetta, and enjoy!
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes (2 cups), quartered
- ¼ cup red onion (about ¼ of a small red onion), finely chopped
- 10 basil leaves, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 baguette, sliced ½" thick on the diagonal
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, optional
- Bruschetta: In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, red onion, basil leaves, olive oil, balsamic, pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 2 days to allow the flavors to marry.
- Crostini: Preheat oven to 450 degrees with the rack in the top third. Arrange the crostinis on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes until the edges start to turn golden brown. If you are adding mozzarella, flip, top with mozzarella and bake for another 4 minutes until the cheese is melted. If you are skipping the mozzarella, flip and bake for another 3 minutes until the edges are golden brown. You don't need to drizzle olive oil on the second side.
- Assembly: Top the crostinis with the brushcetta and serve.