Bruschetta (which is pronounced brew-SKET-uh in Italy, not brew-SHET-uh as you will often hear in the U.S.) is one of the most iconic of Italian antipasti. You can find it in many forms throughout the country. The most popular bruschetta in Italy, however, is the classic bruchetta al pomodoro e basilico, or bruschetta with tomato and basil. This popular combination pairs toasted bread with fresh toppings for a tasty treat.
You can make authentic bruschette al pomodoro e basilico (Tomato and Basil Toasts), with this easy recipe from Chef Giancarlo.
Bruschette al Pomodoro & Basilico
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time : 5 minutes
Cook method: Grill
- sliced Italian bread or long loaf of firm-textured white bread (such as ciabatta) (bread should be soft in the middle but crusty on the outside)
- 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups loosely packed, fresh basil leaves
- 2 garlic cloves (1 minced, 1 whole)
- 2 tbsp extra-virign olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
1. Wash the tomatoes and chop into small cubes.
2. Place the chopped tomato in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, olive oil, minced garlic, and basil (torn into small pieces).
3. Cut the bread into slices about 3 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick.
4. Toast the sliced Tuscan bread (or country loaf), under the grill or charcoal oven until brown on both sides.
5. For extra garlic flavor, rub the remaining clove of garlic on the toast before topping it with the tomato mixture.
Chef’s tip: Be sure to tear the basil instead of chopping, as chopping blackens the leaves.
Try pairing the bruschetta with an excellent Italian red wine.
Of course, many other countries have long culinary traditions including bread and tomatoes. Case in point? Spain’s delicious tomato bread!
By Peg Kern
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