Caprese bruschetta is an Italian appetizer that satisfies that craving for something crunchy. Got any tomato lovers in your house? I am a huge fan of tomatoes, so I think bruschetta is perfect any time of year. Oh, and it's so easy to make.
Bruschetta is an antipasto, or starter, from Italy. The word bruschetta describes the preparation of the bread that is used as the base for this appetizer. The bread is cut, brushed with olive oil, toasted or grilled than rubbed with fresh garlic. Bruschetta is then finished with different toppings, like a tomato salad, mushrooms, cheese, or meat.
How is bruschetta pronounced?
Bruschetta is correctly pronouced brew-SKATE-ah in Italian.
Do you have to peel tomatoes for this recipe?
The good news is no. You can use fresh tomatoes with the skins on, just make sure to scoop the seeds out.
What is the topping called?
In Italy, they call it bruschetta con pomodoro and it means garlic toast with tomatoes. This tomato topping also has fresh basil in it.
Is this a healthy snack?
Traditionally, bruschetta is made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. For two slices, our recipe has 184 calories and 17.7g of carbs. It is also high in vitamin C and calcium. For more nutritional facts, scroll down past the recipe card.
If you want to make this recipe healthier, omit the olive oil and the mozzarella cheese and serve on crusty whole wheat bread.
What bread is used?
- Italian loaf
- Crusty rustic bread
How do you toast bread without a broiler?
Bruschetta is traditionally toasted on a grill, but it that is not available or convenient, use a toaster oven, bake in the oven at 400 F, or use two large skillets to toast the bread.
How do you keep this from getting soggy?
The secret is to assemble the bruschetta just before eating it, as it tends to get soggy an hour or two after assembly.
Can I make this ahead of time?
It's best to start prep work the same day you are planning on serving this appetizer. The tomatoes can be seeded and diced, the garlic can be minced, and the mozzarella can be sliced along with the bread. For best results, chiffonade the basil, toss the salad and toast the bread within one hour of eating, and assemble the bruschetta just before serving.
What do you serve with this recipe?
Since bruschetta is typically a first course appetizer in Italy, you can serve this with other Italian main courses, like pizza, minestrone, pasta e fagioli soup, or a fresh green salad. On the other hand, if you want this as a snack, serve it with your favorite beverage.
How long does this keep?
Bruschetta tastes best if eaten the same day, however, if you have leftovers, store the tomato salad in an airtight container and refrigerate. Try to use up the next day. Any leftover toasted bread can be stored in a brown paper bag on the kitchen counter. Leftover cheese can be stored covered in the fridge along with leftovers of the balsamic reduction sauce.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients. You'll need Roma tomatoes, Italian baguette, garlic, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella slices, olive oil, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.
Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until it's reduced in half.
The balsamic reduction sauce should start to thicken. Test using the back of a wooden spoon; if you swipe your finger through the vinegar, it should hold a line on the spoon. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. It will thicken as it cools.
To remove the seeds from the Roma tomatoes, slice each one in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
Place the seeded and diced tomatoes in a bowl and stir in the salt, and pepper.
Next, add a splash of white balsamic vinegar and minced raw garlic to your bowl of diced tomatoes.
Finish it off by cutting the fresh basil into ribbons and adding to the tomatoes. Let the salad stand at room temperature while you toast the baguette slices.
Make sure the oven rack is 6 inches from the top, then turn on the broiler. Slice the baguette on the diagonal ½ inch thick, then place 12 slices on a large baking tray.
Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil, then toast both sides under the broiler. When the bread is golden brown, remove it from the oven. Turn off the broiler and reduce the heat to 400 F.
While the baguette slices are still warm, rub both sides of the bread with fresh garlic.
Add a slice of fresh mozzarella to each baguette slice and place in a 400F oven for 4 minutes to soften the cheese.
Sprinkle salt on top of the melted mozzarella cheese.
Using a slotted spoon, put some of the tomato salad on top of each toasted baguette.
Drizzle the bruschetta with the balsamic reduction sauce.
Enjoy while it's still fresh.
- Can't have dairy? Replace the mozzarella with chopped avocado.
- Don't have white balsamic vinegar? Switch it out with red wine vinegar.
- Need to reduce the fat? Omit the olive oil and the mozzarella
- Use room temperature tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Remove the seeds from the tomatoes by cutting them in half, then using a spoon to scoop out all the liquid and seeds.
- Top the bruschetta with a balsamic reduction. This adds additional flavor and a hint of acidity.
- Emeril Lagasse Saucepan: this pot is the perfect size for making a balsamic reduction.
- Bamboo Cutting Board: this spacious cutting board gives you lots of room.
- Wilton Cookie Sheet: this warp-resistant tray bakes evenly and cleans easily.
- Bamboo Spoon: this sturdy spoon is great for stirring and cooking food.
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This Caprese bruschetta recipe is an easy appetizer to make ahead for your next party. Made with traditional toppings, this elegant Italian finger food is vegetarian, simple, and healthy. Drizzle on the balsamic reduction sauce to make it extra special.
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar (240 ml)
- 3 cups fresh Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (493g)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup fresh basil, julienned (10g)
- 2 French baguettes, cut in ½ inch slices
- ¼ cup olive oil (60 ml)
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 12 slices of fresh mozzarella (233g)
Making the Balsamic Reduction Sauce
- Pour 1 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, then turn the heat to medium. Cover the sauce pan and bring the vinegar to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and remove the lid. Allow the vinegar to simmer uncovered until the it has has reduced in half, roughly 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- When the glaze is done, it should coat the back of the wooden spoon. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool. As it cools, the glaze will thicken. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight jar.
Making the Tomato Salad
- Rinse the roma tomatoes, then split them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon, then finely dice the remaining tomato flesh.
- Mix the diced tomatoes with the minced garlic, salt, and pepper, then stir in one teaspoon of white balsamic vinegar.
- Wash 8 or 9 large basil leaves, pat dry, stack, and cut into ribbons. Gently mix the basil ribbons into the tomato salad.
- Let the salad stand at room temperature while you toast the baguettes.
Assembling the Bruschetta
- Make sure the oven rack is 6 inches from the broiler, then turn the oven broiler on high.
- Diagonally slice a baguette with a serrated knife, then lay the slices on a large cookie sheet. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil.
- Broil the baguettes on both sides until lightly browned. Watch closely, because some slices will be done quicker. Remove the baguette slices. Turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 400F.
- While the bread is still warm, lightly rub both sides of each baguette with a peeled garlic clove.
- Place one slice of fresh mozzarella on each baguette slice. Bake the toast at 400 F for 4-6 minutes, until the mozzarella is soft and melted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt.
- Place a few spoonfuls of the bruschetta on top of each slice of toasted baguette.
- Drizzle each piece with homemade balsamic reduction sauce, then enjoy immediately.
- For the best flavor, use room temperature tomatoes.
- Cut the tomatoes in half, then use a spoon to scoop out all the liquid and seeds.
- To add more flavor and a hint of acidity, drizzle the top the bruschetta with a balsamic reduction.
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Chopped
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: easy bruschetta, caprese bruschetta recipe
This recipe was originally published on January 22, 2018.