When you want to indulge in some delicious Italian food, but the idea of pasta and creamy risottos is making you feel guilty, head to your kitchen and make this quick and easy bruschetta. You get your delicious flavours of Italy sans the guilt. All you need is some fresh bright red tomatoes, wonderful smelling basil and this recipe from Cookie and Kate (@cookieandkate)

What you need

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 5 to 6 medium tomatoes, but any variety will work)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion (about ½ medium)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil (about ¾ ounce)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 baguette (French bread)
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Thick balsamic vinegar and optional flaky sea salt

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven (or a gas grill*) to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up, if desired. If your baking sheet is smaller than mine, you may need to make the toast in two batches.
  2. Dice your tomatoes and transfer them to a medium mixing bowl, leaving the tomato seeds and juice behind on the cutting board. Stir the salt into the tomatoes, and add the onion, basil and garlic as they are ready. Stir to combine and set the mixture aside to marinate while you work on the bread.
  3. Slice your baguette on the diagonal into pieces no wider than ½-inch (see photos). I can usually fit 20 to 24 slices on my large baking sheet; you might have some bread leftover. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with olive oil (this will require about 2 to 3 tablespoons oil).
  4. Place the slices in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet and bake them on the middle rack for 6 to 9 minutes, until they’re crisp and nicely golden on top. Transfer the toasts to a serving platter(s), if desired, and set aside.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, carefully drain off the excess tomato juice that has accumulated in the bowl, using your hand as a stopgap. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to combine, and season the mixture with additional salt, to taste (I usually add another ¼ to ½ teaspoon). If you don’t feel like your bruschetta is garlicky enough (I like mine lightly but not overwhelmingly garlicky), add another pressed clove of garlic.
  6. Top each toast with tomato mixture, tipping your spoon against the bowl to release excess juice as necessary. Lightly drizzle a couple of tablespoons of thick balsamic vinegar on top, and sprinkle lightly with flaky salt if you have any. Bruschetta is best served promptly.



Pair with: pasta never killed anybody, so head over to our Easy Spaghetti recipe and create a quick and easy main course to keep your delicious bruschetta company