This simple tomato bruschetta is the perfect (make ahead) appetiser bursting with fresh Italian flavours of juicy cherry tomatoes, bright fresh basil and sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar. It's all topped onto golden crusty bread and smoky grilled halloumi cheese. The perfect (easy) show stopping appetiser or snack.
Do you remember when bruschetta was on the appetiser menu of every Italian (and some non Italian) restaurants in the early 2000's?
Great! Because we're going back to that time. When bright cherry tomatoes were snuggled into a bowl with tons of fresh basil and a splash of olive oil and a feisty hit of balsamic. Those were great days.
But, then trends did what they've always done. They oversaturated diners and there was definitely too much of a great thing. So, we fell out of love with bruschetta and now, think of it as a tacky throw back to a time when we were all spending way too much money on fancy balsamic vinegar and single estate olive oil.
But let's remember why we fell in love with bruschetta in the first place.
- Bright juicy tomatoes
- Aromatic, fragrant and peppery basil
- smooth olive oil
- sweet balsamic vinegar (nothing too expensive)
- Super Easy to make for a crowd
- Super delicious to make for your self
- Crusty Italian bread/ French baguette grilled to golden perfection
That's a lot of reasons to love one little humble no-cook appetiser. But when I wanted to make it more substantial to have for a lunch instead of just a pre-dinner snack I thought of adding some mozzarella and some toppings. But I wanted it melted. I also wanted it to retain some texture for bite satisfaction. Enter halloumi.
Grilled halloumi is the PERFECT solution in this instance. It grills like a dream, has the mild flavour of a mozzarella but retains it's firm texture. You can get the low down on a step by step guide to grilling halloumi right here!
Once you've done that come right back here and we'll do... you guessed it...
How to make Tomato Bruschetta Step By Step
Step 1. It all starts with the tomatoes!
This starts in your local grocery store. Because bruschetta is so simple and the tomatoes are the star of the show, they need to be AH-Mazing. Right now in the UK we've got a harvest of winter tomatoes from Italy and they are stunning!
Step 2. Season like a pro.
Tomatoes love salt and garlic and pepper and all the flavours that make them sing. This is the time to be very generous with all the flavours that tomatoes love. No skimping... no matter how expensive your oil and vinegar were! Now's the time to show them off!
Step 4. All about that bread.
What is the best bread to use for making bruschetta?
The best bread is a hearty bread that has a strong crisp crust and a light interior that can be grilled easily. Something with a low moisture content that will get crispy and golden quickly without going dry.
Grill your bread on a grill pan, or frying pan. You can also use an oven on the broil setting, but watch it closely! It can burn so quickly.
Bruschetta should be one of your top entertaining appetisers that your friends rave about! It's a such an easy recipe and it can look so impressive with the right toppings.
Pick small basil leaves off your bunch or from a plant. Use these to add top the tomato bruschetta. Drizzle olive oil over and add a light scattering of sea salt and fresh black pepper. Balsamic reduction is also a great addition.
And that's it. Simple fresh delicious food in less time than you can order takeout!
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Rainbow Tomato Bruschetta
- ½ baguette or crusty Italian loaf, thinly sliced
- block of halloumi sliced and grilled, optional
- fresh basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar reduction
- Quarter the cherry tomatoes and place in a small mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the fresh basil. Mix together and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the halloumi, if using. Grill according to these instructions.
- Slice the bread about ¼ - ½ inch thick. Using a pastry brush, coat the bread in a thin layer of the oil. Grill on a grill pan or in a frying pan until lightly toasted and golden.
- Lay the bread flat and place a slice of grilled halloumi on top. Top the halloumi with the chopped tomato bruschetta mix. Garnish with basil leaves and a drizzle of oil and balsamic glaze if desired.