Growing up in an Italian household, various versions of tomato bruschetta was always on the table (most of the time with cheese). The best part, was there was never one right way to make it. A true recipe you can play with and still usually taste great. However, with Melissa’s change to Veganism, I wanted to make a clean version of this bruschetta. One free of animal products and still have an amazing taste. Well, the verdict is in, I have succeeded.
This mouthwatering bruschetta is packed with flavor, possibly more flavor than those I was used to having growing up. Just the first bite itself makes you close your eyes, as the sensations start to take over. The true freshness of this dish will make you feel guilt free, and maybe even convert non-vegans if you were to bring it to a party or a holiday get together.
The main highlighted ingredients-
To start, we need 1 pint of cherry tomatoes. The ones that are pictured were 2 for $5 at the grocery store down the road (very affordable!). I like to use this type of tomato because of how sweet they are, and due to the fact that when you bake them, they hold their shape.
What I mean by this, is they don’t sweat out juices like the other watery types of tomatoes such as beefsteaks or campari. So when you bite into them after they are cooked, the juices retained will explode in your mouth when you bite down into them.
Next, the Kalamata olives which calls for a half of a pint. I like to use this type of olive, because they tend to be less bitter than the typical salad black olive (I cannot stand black olives). I tend to have half the olives that I do the cherry tomatoes. As mentioned above, because of all the sweetness we get from the cherry tomatoes, the olives bring a nice slight bitterness to cut some of that down.
I know what you’re thinking, why take away the sweetness? Remember when I said earlier the best part about Bruschetta is its flexibility? If you like the sweetness, then keep it! But I will say, it’s amazing how much these two ingredients complement each other. The complexity of flavor, especially by this pairing is addicting to say the least. Could be a reason why olives and tomatoes are a staple in most eastern societies.
Okay, enough making you guys read my ramble, I want you all to experience this now! So I will cut to the chase. This is how you prep, which I must say is actually very fast. What? This dish is not only mouthwatering, routinely affordable and fast to make? Yes. roughly 20 minutes.
We will need to cut in half our pint of cherry tomatoes and Kalamata Olives (I like to coarsely chop my olives honestly), place these in a bowl.
Next smash and mince 3 to 4 cloves of garlic and add to the bowl mixture. We will then marinate the mixture in some red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Toss these all together and let marinate for ~5 minutes. Once these have finished marinating, place into a deep baking dish and place into a 350 degree oven.
Let this bake for ~15 minutes or until the tomato skins look wilted. As this bakes, toast slices of a French baguette. Once the tomatoes finish baking, scoop the mixture from the baking dish on to the toasted bread and top with some basil. Serve, and enjoy!
Juicy Tomato Olive Bruschetta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1/2 pint kalamata olives chopped corsely
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- fresh basil chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Add all of the ingredients into a medium size bowl and toss to combine.
Let sit for at least 5 minutes, but you could make this ahead and let it sit longer.
Strain out the tomatoes and olives on to a sheet pan and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes have popped and skins look wilted.
Scoop some of the mixture out onto slices of a nice crusty baguette, top with basil and serve immediately!
Optional: Balsamic reduction glaze over the top. We typically enjoy this without.
You can make this in advance and assemble once ready. Don't let it sit around as the bread will get soggy from the tomatoes.
Patrick (the hubs)
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