You can make Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze in 25 minutes! You'll love this bruschetta appetizer featuring broiled crostini topped with a delicious tomato salad and basil. Garlic powder provides subtle flavor, so there's no aftertaste!
"Bruschetta" has to be the most mispronounced Italian word. Would you believe it's actually pronounced "brew-SKET-tah?"
However you say it, you're going to love this Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze. It features the perfect balance of savory-sweet flavor, with no aftertaste from raw garlic or onions.
That's right, folks. I'm breaking with tradition and using garlic powder in the bruschetta topping, instead of rubbing the bread slices with raw garlic.
Hear me out.
I love garlic when it's cooked, but find the taste of raw garlic to be overwhelming. And I don't want to be near anyone who's just consumed it!
Garlic breath lingers for hours.
My family prefers my bruschetta recipe, where fragrant tomatoes and basil are the stars, subtle garlic flavor plays a background role and balsamic glaze provides the perfect accent!
This is one of my favorite appetizer recipes, and it happens to be vegan!
Tomatoes: The best tomatoes for bruschetta are ripe, firm and not mealy. I always use bright red cocktail tomatoes, which are about the size of a golf ball.
These jewel-toned tomatoes look gorgeous, taste sweet and contain a relatively small amount of seeds. Keep in mind, you'll need to seed the fresh tomatoes before using them in this recipe.
You also could use cherry tomatoes.
Keep in mind, if you have big, juicy tomatoes from the garden, you can make spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes.
Garlic Powder: I've already explained why this is the way to go. But, if you prefer to skip it and make authentic bruschetta, you can rub raw garlic halves on the bread before broiling it. (Just practice social distancing from me after you eat it!)
Onion Powder: This rounds out the flavor of the tomato bruschetta without using raw onions, which can be overpowering. But, feel free to add chopped red onions if you prefer a stronger taste.
Baguette: I always use a long, French baguette for bruschetta, because the slices are the perfect size for appetizers. But, you could use ciabatta bread if you prefer.
To maintain freshness, you can freeze the loaf of bread if you won't be using it the day you buy it. Then, the morning of the day you'll be making bruschetta, let the bread defrost on the counter.
Balsamic Glaze: If you haven't tried syrupy, sweet balsamic glaze (affiliate link) you don't know what you've been missing. It's made from balsamic vinegar that's been cooked down to a thick liquid.
It's the crowning glory of this tomato bruschetta, and I wouldn't skip it.
You can make your own balsamic reduction if you prefer, but I just buy it. (The vinegar fumes given off during the reduction process are too strong for me.)
How to make tomato bruschetta
See the card at the end of this post for the full recipe, but here's an overview.
Make the topping
Slice the tomatoes in half and remove the core. Cut them in half again and scrape out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces.
Place the tomato pieces into a bowl with the seasonings and olive oil. Toss with a spoon to combine.
How to toast bread for bruschetta
Bruschetta comes from the Italian dialect "bruscare," which means "to roast over coals." It refers to bread that's been broiled, toasted or grilled.
We're using the broiler here, because it's a convenient way to crisp up the slices from an entire baguette all at once. Technically, these broiled, small slices of bread are called "crostini" meaning "little crusts" in Italian.
- Slice the baguette diagonally into pieces that are about ½-inch thick. Place them on a sheet pan.
- Broil the bread until it's golden brown on top. Flip over and broil the second side until golden brown.
- Brush olive oil onto the bruschetta. A silicone basting brush (affiliate link) comes in handy.
Place some of the tomato mixture onto each slice of the broiled bread. Add ribbons of fresh basil and drizzle on balsamic glaze.
- To prevent soggy bruschetta, remove the seeds from the tomatoes.
- The bruschetta topping tastes delicious as written, but you can add mozzarella for a Caprese version or even black olives.
How to serve it
It's best to serve the Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze within two hours after assembling it. It can stay at room temperature during that time.
For a beautiful bruschetta presentation, you can place the appetizer on a platter and drizzle on the balsamic glaze in an artistic pattern. (See photos.)
Frequently asked questions
Refrigerate leftover assembled bruschetta in a sealed container. Enjoy by the next day for best quality, or within three days. You can eat the leftovers cold or let them come to room temperature first.
You can make the tomato topping for bruschetta the day before you need it. Refrigerate it in a sealed container and drain any juices before using it.
You also can broil the bread slices a day ahead, let them cool completely on a wire rack, then store them in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature.
More appetizer recipes
- Parmesan Focaccia with Rosemary
- Italian Zucchini Fritters
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Blue Cheese
- Caponatina (Eggplant Caponata)
- Baked Parmesan Jalapeño Poppers
- 63 Italian Appetizer Recipes
If you try this Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze
- 20 ounces cocktail tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
Broiled Baguette Slices
- 1 long baguette
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 12 basil leaves
- balsamic glaze for drizzling
- Preheat the broiler. Rinse the cocktail tomatoes and pat them dry. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove each core. Cut the tomatoes in half again and scrape out the seeds. Cut the tomato quarters into 1-inch pieces and add them to a medium bowl.
- Add a teaspoon of olive oil and the seasonings to the tomato salad. Toss with a spoon to mix.
- Prep the basil by rinsing the leaves and patting them dry. Stack a few leaves at a time, roll them up the long way, and slice them into ribbons. Set them aside.
- Diagonally slice the baguette into ½-inch thick pieces. You will end up with about 24 slices. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil them until the top is just getting browned. Flip over the bread and brown the other side. (Keep your oven light on and watch the bread as it broils, making sure it doesn't burn. You might just need a minute per side.)
- Remove the bread from the oven and place two tablespoons of olive oil in a tiny bowl. Brush the bread slices with the oil.
- Top the baguette slices with some tomato salad and garnish with basil ribbons. Place the bruschetta in a serving platter and drizzle balsamic glaze all over the top.
- Serve at room temperature within two hours and refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container. Leftovers are best by the next day but can keep for up to three days.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. This post was originally sponsored by Backyard Farms and published on March 28, 2016. It's now updated with more photos and recipe information.)