This delicious Italian Bruschetta, made with sweet cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, fresh basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar is easy to make and is ALWAYS a crowd-pleaser!
Although I'm not a fan of off-season tomatoes, the sweet cherry (or grape) variety is an exception. In fact, you'll find a big wooden bowl brimming with these sweet little globes on my counter all year long! We enjoy them for breakfast, halved and paired with eggs and toast, garnished with a sprinkle of sea salt, a tiny drizzle of olive oil and a few drops of good balsamic vinegar. We also love them in salads and even as a soup topper. But near the top of our favorite ways to savor these sweet little flavor bombs is with this Italian Bruschetta!
Any time of year!
Because we make this Italian Bruschetta with cherry tomatoes, it's a wonderful appetizer or antipasti any time of year. Although regular-sized tomatoes almost always look anemic to me during the fall, winter and spring months, it seems I can regularly find pretty, deeply red cherry tomatoes. And when I pop one in my mouth, the flavor is sweet and the juices explode. A perfect combination for a delicious bruschetta!
A universal favorite
I've discovered that if I pull out a bowl of bruschetta with a plate of crispy crostini when guests arrive, there is nary a crumb left when the dinner bell rings. It's fresh, decently healthy and crazy delicious. I love that it's a light appetizer that doesn't spoil appetites before the main course is served.
How to serve this Italian Bruschetta
The classic way to serve this bright, fresh Italian appetizer is with crispy crostini (as pictured in this post). Crostini are simple to prepare with minimal ingredients; bread (usually a baguette) and olive oil. Crostini is generally made with a good quality baguette but you can also use focaccia. Sometimes the bread is rubbed with garlic but that's optional. If you can slice bread and brush it with oil, you can make crostini. Here's a short video demonstrating how simple it is:
Some other ideas for this Italian Bruschetta?
- Toss the tomato mixture with linguini or fettuccine for a delicious fresh "tomato sauce". Serve with grilled or pan-seared entrees.
- Serve for breakfast with eggs and toast for a light, fresh, healthy breakfast.
- Make this Easy Pan-Seared Chicken Bruschetta (recipe coming up!). This recipe combines super tender pan-seared boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a batch of this Italian Bruschetta with warm fresh Mozarella for a healthy, low carb, dinner that's bursting with fresh, delicious flavor.
When you need a taste of summer and warm days are a distant dream, this Any Time of Year Italian Bruschetta will transport you with one bite.
And, if you're in the midst of those lazy hazy days of summer with tomatoes and fresh basil flourishing right outside your door this is the perfect way to savor the abundance! Put this recipe on your must-make-often list!
Cafe Tips for making this Any Time of Year Italian Bruschetta
- Either cherry or grape tomatoes will work for this bruschetta. And, if you happen to find yourself in the heart of summer and have and abundance of homegrown tomatoes, dice them small and enjoy the seasonal bounty.
- I like to cut my cherry tomatoes into quarters or halves, depending on the size.
- This recipe calls for ¼ cup of finely sliced fresh basil. That's quite a bit of basil but it's what gives this bruschetta such bright, fresh flavor. I like to roll up my basil leaves, slice them super thin and then run my knife through a few times in the opposite direction so the "ribbons" of basil aren't too long.
- Look for a good quality balsamic vinegar. Here's a good article from Bon Appetit on good-quality balsamic. I also really like the balsamic vinegar from Costco.
- I like to serve this Italian Bruschetta with toasted pinenuts and a small bowl of balsamic reduction for drizzling. You can purchase balsamic reduction at most larger grocery stores or you can make your own by simmering balsamic vinegar until it's thick and syrupy.
- Although we can't enjoy basil year-round from the outside herb garden, I love to grow basil indoors during the off-season. I purchase plants in small pots of soil (not hydroponic) at my local grocery store and put them in front of a sunny window. As long a I keep them watered (daily) and give them an occasional boost of fertilizer, they seem to flourish. The leaves are much smaller than outdoor basil but smaller leaves are nice for garnishing and I love having this fabulous fresh herb at my fingertip.
Thought for the day:
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 16 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes quartered (or halved)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 medium cloves fresh garlic finely minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves
- finely crumbled or shredded parmesan cheese
- toasted pinenuts
- balsamic reduction
- 1 batch crostini
Place the tomatoes in a serving bowl.
Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the salt.
Add the olive oil mixture to the tomatoes and stir gently. Add most of the basil and stir again.
Top with remaining basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Serve with crostini and extra parmesan, toasted pine nuts and a small bowl of balsamic reduction, if desired.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.