Bruschetta must be one of the best dishes for using the simplest ingredients which naturally come together to create an exciting balance of sweet and earthy tomatoes, punchy garlic, tangy red onions and fragrant basil.
This is such a popular starter and works perfectly as a make-ahead course for a dinner party because you can prepare everything beforehand. Even the glaze is a just a couple of ingredients thrown in a pan and simmered for a couple of minutes. It’s also a fun way to play around with fancy looking plate designs that take almost no effort.
Unlike pesto, this dish only needs a little basil so even if you’re basil plant is perpetually withering like mine, you’ll probably have just enough fresh leaves to use in this recipe.
The simplest ingredients come together to make this classic Italian appetiser - fragrant basil, sweet tomatoes and fresh garlic with a tangy balsamic vinegar glaze
For the topping:
- 2 beef tomatoes see notes
- 1 small red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- Large handful basil
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small baguette or panini rolls
For the glaze:
- 100 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
Dice the tomatoes into small cubes and add them to a mixing bowl. Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic cloves and add to the bowl.
Roughly chop the basil leaves and add to the tomato mixture. Add the olive oil (2 tbsp) and stir to combine the ingredients. Place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. Meanwhile make the glaze.
Add the balsamic vinegar (100ml) and agave syrup (1 tbsp) to a small saucepan and simmer on a medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it and tilt the pan gently until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Don't let it go too far as it will thicken slightly as it cools. You can prepare the glaze just before serving or make it ahead and set aside until you're ready to use.
When you're ready to serve, cut the baguette into thick slices and grill on both sides until slightly toasted. Serve onto 4 plates or a large serving platter, top with the tomatoes and drizzle over the glaze.
I recommend beef tomatoes because they tend to have a much nicer flavour but if you can't find these then you can use about 4 large good quality tomatoes.
You can leave the tomato mixture to marinate in the fridge for up to a few hours before serving and the flavours will develop really nicely.