Do you have a recipe that you’ve been making for so long that you don’t even know where it came from, or when you started making it? Have you ever pulled a recipe out of the archives to find that it was so utterly delicious that you couldn’t believe you ever stopped making it?
That’s how I feel about my bruschetta recipe. I have a garden (making food in the truest sense!) and I was looking for recipes that would use the fresh basil, mint, and tomatoes that are flourishing right now. And that’s when I revived the bruschetta recipe because my version uses all those ingredients!
Bruschetta, which is literally derived from the word for “toast” in Italian, is probably not an unfamiliar food to you – it’s a common menu item in Italian restaurants. But why not make it at home? It’s easy to make, uses few but fresh ingredients, and tastes amazing.
I’ve put a small twist on it by adding fresh mozzarella. I also strongly recommend using heirloom tomatoes, and I was able to make this one with a mix of yellow and red. My version isn’t necessarily the most “traditional”, but I swear you won’t mind when you take a bite that is crispy, crunchy, sweet, soft, and savory all at once. Having a dinner party or just want light bites in the heat of summer? Bruschetta.
Bonus – I also made this incredible, out-of-this world Raspberry Mochi-Butter Cake with Matcha Glaze as posted by Alexa Weibel in NY Times Cooking! See my version on my Instagram, and the full recipe is here. I happened to make this and the bruschetta in the same night, needless to say dinner was a smashing success!
This is a recipe best eaten fresh out of the oven. I prepare all the ingredients, but only do the final steps when I’m ready to eat. I highly recommend this approach, so if you don’t intend to eat an entire baguette in one sitting, only toast what you will eat and save the rest for later. It’s a super fast recipe to heat up!
The first step is to prepare the vegetable topping by sautéing the onions and adding a small amount of sugar. The sweetness of the red onion really pops when it’s cooked for a decent period of time, at least 15 minutes.
While the onions are cooking, that’s a great time to chop everything else!
Once the onions have started to caramelize, remove them from the heat and mix in the balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, tomatoes, basil, and mint.
Slice a baguette into slices and toast lightly. It’s important to slice the baguette as thin as you can manage. I tend to pile my bruschetta high, and a thick slice of bread makes it difficult to eat. Once you’ve sliced, you can toast the bread in the oven.
Remove from the oven and let it cool. I prefer to continue the assembly directly on the baking sheet – less mess and fewer dishes! Rub a peeled garlic clove on each slice of bread. I like to do both sides for some extra garlicky flavor. Now the fun part – the toppings! Start with olive oil – I find a pastry brush an easy and neater way to get even oil on each slice, but if you don’t have one, carefully drizzling it works too. Then follow with the mozzarella, which you should slice thinly to about the size of your bread slices. Then, top it off with a heaping spoonful of the tomato mixture!
Toast for another 2 minutes, until the mozzarella is ever-so-slightly melted, and your bruschetta is ready. Enjoy slowly and savor those flavors!
Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta
30 minutes. Makes ~32 pieces.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 3 heirloom tomatoes (approx. 2-3 cups), chopped and seeded
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 baguette
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced into rounds
- Baking sheet
- Pastry brush (optional)
- Small pan/skillet
- Serrated knife
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan or skillet. Add the chopped red onion and cook on medium-high heat until onions are almost soft.
- Add sugar and cook until onions start to caramelize, about 15 minutes. (This is a good time to chop everything else.)
- Remove onions from heat. Add tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, mint, salt, and pepper. Mix directly in the pan and set aside.
- Cut the baguette into slices approximately 1/4″ thick using a serrated knife. Arrange on baking sheet and toast in the oven for 3 minutes. Let cool enough so that you can comfortably handle the slices. Leave the oven on. I prefer to assemble the bruschetta directly on the baking sheet.
- Rub a peeled garlic clove on both sides of each piece of bread.
- Layer the bruschetta. Brush olive oil onto each slice, followed by a thin slice of fresh mozzarella and a heaping teaspoon of the tomato mixture.
- Toast the bruschetta a second time for 2 minutes. The cheese should be slightly gooey but not completely melted. Serve immediately.