This Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta tastes of summer! A simple process of tossing chopped tomatoes with salt will remove excess water and intensify their flavor. These are then tossed with homemade garlic oil, fresh basil and serve on grilled or toasted bread. Yields 10+ servings.
Late summer is bittersweet.
While there is an overabundance of garden herbs, fruits and vegetables, there’s the other side of the coin – fall and winter is approaching. Although I love fall, I do want to savor the last of what summer has to offer.
So after stumbling upon the most gorgeous, locally grown heirloom tomatoes at my favorite family owned market, I knew this blog needed an official bruschetta recipe. And if you don’t have heirloom tomatoes, you can use roma – both are the best to use in bruschetta (in my opinion).
Fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic oil served on grilled bread. It doesn’t get much better than this.
To Make Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta You Will Need:
- heirloom tomatoes – Juicy, meaty and intensely flavorful and not highly acidic. Roma tomatoes may be substituted.
- kosher salt – Used for extracting water and flavor.
- garlic – Adds distinct and punchy flavor.
- extra virgin olive oil – Lends richness and flavor.
- fresh basil – For distinct fresh herbaceous flavor.
- crusty bread – A baguette, Italian or French loaf will work great.
Dice your tomatoes into small-sized pieces and place into a colander set into either a bowl (to collect the juices) or into a sink (to discard).
Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
Gently toss to combine.
Within seconds you will see the liquids drain from the tomatoes and fall into the bowl (or sink). This is a process of osmosis – or where salt is used to draw out excess water while intensifying the flavor. Most of the salt will wash out with the liquids – so I suggest tasting the final tomato bruschetta mixture before serving. I always find I need to season the mixture with salt (to taste).
Let this sit for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight – the longer the better. Toss the tomatoes occasionally as they sit.
Meanwhile, place 4 medium to large cloves of minced garlic into a sauté pan.
Pour in 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Heat over low for 8 to 10 minutes OR until the garlic has softened. I use a wooden spatula to check by pressing on the larger pieces of minced garlic.
As you can see the tomatoes look a little softer…
And you should have collected a good amount of tomato liquids. Save this and make a vinaigrette or discard. This is up to you!
Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl.
Pour in all of the garlic and garlic oil and add in 20 medium-size basil leaves that have been stacked, rolled and very thinly sliced.
Toss to combine. Taste and add more salt to your preference.
How to Prepare Bread for Bruschetta:
There are two ways I like to prepare bread for bruschetta. 1.) Slice a baguette, French or Italian loaf about 1/2-inch thick. Spray both sides of the bread with olive oil and use a grill pan (over medium to medium -low) to grill about 3 to 4 minutes a side or until marks form. However you could also drizzle slices of bread with olive oil and bake at 400° for about 8 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Once out of the oven, I turn them over and let the residual heat toast the topside.
How To Serve Tomato Bruschetta:
You can serve the heirloom tomato topping in a bowl alongside grilled or toasted sliced bread and spoon desired amount onto each piece as you go or prepare each slice with equal amounts of the tomato bruschetta and arrange onto a platter.
A guaranteed crowd pleaser!
Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
- 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 20 medium basil leaves, stacked, rolled and thinly sliced
- olive oil spray, or olive oil
- 1 loaf crusty bread, grilled or toasted in oven
MAKE THE TOMATO TOPPING:
- Place chopped tomatoes in a large colander set into a bowl or sink. Season with salt and gently toss. Let this sit for 2 hours or up to over night, tossing occasionally. (the longer the better)Save the tomato liquids to make a vinaigrette or discard.
- Meanwhile add minced garlic to a small sauté pan with the olive oil. Heat on low, stirring occasionally until the garlic has softened and is fragrant. Remove and let cool completely.
- Once the tomatoes have sat, transfer to a bowl, pour in garlic oil and slice and add the basil. Toss, taste and season with more salt if desired.
Make The Bread:
- Slice bread and drizzle with olive oil or spray with olive oil spray. Grill bread or toast in a 400° oven until golden, about 8 minutes.
- You can serve the heirloom tomato topping in a bowl alongside the grilled or toasted bread and spoon desired amount onto each piece or prepare each slice with equal amounts of the tomato bruschetta and arrange onto a platter.
Recipe adapted from NYT Cooking.
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