I absolutely adore small bite-sized foods. Call em’ appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, or canapés, they’re some of my favorite foods ever. The best thing about appetizers is that they can be extraordinarily fancy or something as simple as a tomato salad on toast. So, I present to you an easy bruschetta recipe.
Actually, there’s not really a strict recipe for these bad boys. Just toss some ingredients together and find the perfect balance for your palate. If you have some baguette lying around, all you need to do is toast baguette slices, rub them with garlic, and top them with a flavorful tomato salad dressed in a bright balsamic vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is simply a 1:2 ratio –> 1 part balsamic vinegar, 2 parts olive oil. Use as many chopped tomatoes as you please so they soak up all the tasty dressing.
I ate about seven of these things and called it my lunch. Feel free to do the same 😉
Here’s what you need:
Baguette bread (stale or fresh, it doesn’t matter — it will be toasted), peeled garlic cloves, tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, shallot, and dried thyme (or use fresh basil instead if you have it!)
Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Slice on a diagonal to get slices as large as possible. If you simply slice the baguette perpendicularly to the cutting board, you will end up with tiny slices like on the right. That’s not ideal!
Place the baguette slices on a lined baking pan and drizzle each slice with a little olive oil.
Not too much oil. Just a tad. Toast the baguette slices as you would toast any other kind of bread. We want every square inch to be crispy, crunchy, and toasted and just ever so slightly golden brown. Don’t over do it!
Let’s make the dressing. This balsamic vinaigrette will give your bruschetta appetizers a much added snap. Whisk together 1 part balsamic vinegar and 2 parts olive oil. I used 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar and 4 teaspoons olive oil. Whisk until everything is combined.
Grab a shallot. You can omit this if you want.
I like a little fresh shallot in my bruschetta. It adds so much flavor, and it’s not as harsh as red onion.
Tiny tiny pieces of shallot is what we want, so score that shallot to make slicin’ and dicin’ easy.
That’s probably a little too much shallot for the amount of dressing we’ve made, so I’ll just add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped shallot.
Toss that in.
Grab a blue whisk and whisk away.
I’d serve this vinaigrette with any salad any day.
Let’s move on over to tomatoes. I didn’t have large tomatoes at home, so I’m just gonna chop up some cherry tomatoes. It’s time-consuming, but it’s all I had.
Dice up your tomatoes like so. It’s kinda like makin’ a salsa.
Add the tomatoes to the bowl of vinaigrette. No need to add all the tomato juices. It’ll make the tomato salad much too wet!
Basically, just add enough chopped tomatoes so that they’re all lightly coated in the vinaigrette. If you have too many tomatoes, make a little bit more vinaigrette. If you have too much vinaigrette, add more tomatoes. And if you want to add more shallot, you can, too!
Mix everything together and add some chopped fresh basil leaves, if you have it. Otherwise, replace the basil with a little bit of dried thyme (or dried basil or oregano). That works great, too.
Add just a tiny bit of salt and pepper to taste. Mix it all around.
Okay, back to the toast! The toast should be pretty thoroughly toasted and crusty on the outside. This makes it perfect for you to rub raw garlic all over it.
Just like that. You just want to impart a tiny bit of delicious garlic flavor.
Top off the toast with a few teaspoons of the tomato salad and you’re good to go.
Easy Bruschetta Appetizers Recipe
Total time: 8 minutes
Cook: 0 min
Prep: 8 min
Baguette bread, diagonally sliced into 1/2-inch slices
Peeled garlic cloves
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Optional: 1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, or 2 small tomatoes, chopped
6-8 leaves fresh basil (substitutes: 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or thyme)
Freshly ground black pepper
Lay baguette slices onto a baking pan lined with foil. Lightly drizzle each slice with olive oil and toast in an oven for about 5 minutes until slices are lightly golden and crusty all around. Rub the top face of toasted baguette slices with garlic just to flavor bread.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil. For example, whisk together 2 teaspoons of vinegar with 4 teaspoons olive oil until thoroughly combined. Add chopped shallot into vinaigrette and whisk. Add enough chopped tomatoes so that all tomatoes are just lightly coated and not drowning in vinaigrette. Add chopped fresh basil if available. Otherwise, add dried basil or dried thyme instead. Add a small pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste. Mix well.
Top garlic-rubbed baguette slices with a spoonful of tomato mixture. Serve bruschetta immediately.