Capers and olives add complexity to this fresh tomato bruschetta recipe. It's simple and delicious - perfect for warm summer nights.
Growing up in the Midwest, the term “bruschetta” meant one thing: toasted bread topped with diced tomatoes, a little basil, and maybe a sprinkle of cheese. But in Italy, “bruschetta” actually refers to the bread. Toasted on a grill – not in an oven – it’s crisp and lightly charred. When it comes off the heat, it’s drizzled generously with olive oil and rubbed with the cut side of a garlic clove. Garlicky, rich, and smoky, the bread is delectable on its own, but fresh toppings only make it better. And those toppings don’t have to be tomatoes – meats, cheeses, herbs, and other vegetables are all fair game.
But right now, when tomatoes are at their best, I always pile them on my bruschetta. I also add capers and olives for briny flavor and red wine vinegar for an extra tangy pop. This topping is juicy, savory, and fresh – the perfect partner for the crisp, lightly browned bread.
This bruschetta recipe is exactly the type of thing I like to make at this time of year. It’s super simple, it puts summer produce front and center, and it tastes fantastic. It’s a wonderful appetizer, but lately, I’ve been happy eating slice after slice for a quick and easy lunch. I hope you love it too!
Bruschetta Recipe Ingredients
Because this tomato bruschetta recipe is so simple, the quality of your ingredients really counts. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Good bread – Look for a small to medium-sized loaf of rustic country bread. If you can’t find good bread at the bakery or grocery store, try making your own!
- Extra-virgin olive oil – Now’s the time to break out the good stuff! You really taste the olive oil here, so I recommend using one that’s fruity and flavorful.
- Tomatoes – Always, always make this recipe in the summertime, when tomatoes are sweet, juicy, and full of flavor. Use the best ones you can find!
- Garlic – You’ll need two garlic cloves to make this recipe. Grate one to add to the tomato topping and rub the other on the freshly grilled bread.
- Fresh basil – Because tomatoes and basil are a match made in heaven! I leave small leaves whole and chiffonade larger ones.
- Olives and capers – They add briny, savory depth of flavor.
- Red wine vinegar – It gives the topping a tangy kick.
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – They make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Best Bruschetta Recipe Tips
- Assemble as you eat. If you want to make this recipe in advance, you can prep the tomato mixture up to 2 hours ahead and store it in the fridge. But wait to grill the bread slices until the last minute – they’re best when they’re still warm from the grill. I also recommend assembling each toast as you eat instead of making a whole platter ahead of time. That way, the bread will be nice and crisp. If you top it with the tomatoes too far in advance, it will get soggy!
- The finishing touches matter. A drizzle of olive oil, flaky sea salt, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper will take your bruschetta to a whole new level. Don’t forget to add them before you eat!
- Change it up. I love this “Puttanesca Bruschetta,” but the topping possibilities here are endless. Skip the capers and olives, or swap the red wine vinegar for a drizzle of balsamic. Slather the bread with labneh before you add the tomatoes, or top it with torn fresh mozzarella or shaved Parmesan cheese. Use a mix of tomatoes and ripe peaches, or add other herbs like mint or thyme. You could even sprinkle your bruschetta with toasted pine nuts or roasted chickpeas for crunch! Have fun making it your own.
More Favorite Summer Appetizers
If you love this bruschetta recipe, try one of these delicious appetizers next:
- Classic Caprese Salad
- Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes
- Charred Cherry Tomatoes
- Strawberry Salad with Balsamic
- Baked Zucchini Chips
- Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- 4 small tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, one grated, one halved
- ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 6 to 8 slices rustic country bread
- Fresh basil
- 6 Kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers
- In a medium bowl, mix together the tomatoes, grated garlic, vinegar, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Stir in the olives and capers, if using.
- Drizzle the bread slices with olive oil and grill until lightly charred, or toast in the oven. Use the cut-side of the garlic halves to rub garlic onto the hot bread. Top with the tomato mixture and fresh basil.