Bruschetta is an inspired dish—and a simple one. Start with good bread. Brush with a bit of olive oil. Grill it, and finally, top with something delicious. True bruschetta is made on the grill for a smoky flavor and crispy edges. Don’t be afraid of a little char. It’s flavorful and deliciously crunchy.

Toppings can run the gamut, from fresh ricotta with a sprinkling of herbs to a tangy cannellini bean salad. And, of course, marinated tomatoes. The recipe is easy, and (bonus!) you probably have the ingredients on hand, especially if you grow basil in your garden. When the juice of the tomatoes soaks into the crusty bruschetta, it’s a marriage made in heaven!

Bread and tomatoes are the stars of this dish, so be sure to use good quality. Pastini uses crusty, hearty wheat levain bread. Ciabatta or a baguette would also work great. Your tomatoes should be ripe. Feel free to mix and match. Chop up different colors and varieties, heirloom or homegrown, or try sliced cherry tomatoes as shown in our recipe.


  • 2 cups diced fresh (or sliced cherry) tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix well and store in an air-tight container.


Slice rustic bread about 3/4- to 1-inch thick. Brush with a little olive oil and grill until toasty on both sides. Rub with a garlic clove cut in half and top with marinated tomatoes. Enjoy this quintessential summer dish with grilled meats or as an appetizer.

Buon appetito!

Susie Bashel

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