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Brushetta is a classic Italian appetizer that consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and finished with a drizzle of olive oil. In Italy, bruschetta refers to the grilled bread, but in other parts of the world, bruschetta refers to the topping on the grilled bread.



What Is Bruschetta?

Bruschetta is an Italian antipasto (appetizer) that was originally created to salvage stale bread and showcase the flavors of olive oil.

In Italy, the term “bruschetta” refers to the grilled slice of bread, rubbed with garlic and olive oil, not the topping itself. Tomato and basil are a common bruschetta topping, as well as beans and cured meats.

Outside of Italy, bruschetta with tomato and basil (also known as tomato bruschetta) is a great dish to make when tomatoes are in season: A simple, harmonious blend of juicy, sweet diced tomatoes with torn basil leaves, grassy olive oil, with a subtle kick of garlicky heat. Some bruschetta recipes include fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, or Parmesan cheese.

What Is the Difference Between Bruschetta and Crostini?

Bruschetta are wide, grilled slices of an Italian rustic-style country loaf or sourdough coated in garlic with an olive oil finish. Crostini are the smaller toasted or grilled slices of a narrow, round bread with a finer texture, like French baguette.

Tomato Basil Bruschetta Recipe

Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min


  • 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes (heirloom, roma, or cherry), small to medium-diced
  • ¾ cup of fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, plus 1 whole
  • 3–4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices of a rustic Italian-style loaf
  • Balsamic vinegar, for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved into curls, for garnish
  1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and add. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to incorporate. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside, and allow tomato mixture to marinate at room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the bread. Set slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil on both sides. Either over a heated grill or oven set to 400°F, toast until bread is crisp and golden brown on the outside, but still slightly pliable, flipping halfway through. Remove and let cool slightly, then rub the remaining garlic clove over the surface of the toasted bread. Season with salt.
  3. Top bread slices with tomato and basil mixture. If preferred, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese.

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