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Make the best ever bruschetta with this simple secret

Don't like raw tomatoes? No problem.

Bruschetta
Lindsay Parrill/The Manual

Tomatoes are one of those foods that can be very polarizing. People have strong opinions about these juicy little fruits (yes, fruits) and where they do and do not belong (don’t get me started on guacamole). I myself took several years to come around to tomatoes in their full spectrum of delicious possibilities. I always loved tomato soups and sauces, but what I realized as I got older was that while I usually loved cooked tomatoes, I was very skeptical when it came to raw preparations. Still, well into my culinary career and love affair with food, a tomato has to be in beautiful, perfectly ripe shape for me to enjoy it in a raw state. And while summertime is when I love to indulge in bright caprese salads, gorgeously zesty salsas, and silky, spicy gazpachos, most of the year, it’s hard to find a tomato I’ll enjoy raw. That’s why I created this recipe for cooked bruschetta.

Traditionally, bruschetta is comprised of raw tomatoes, garlic, onion, and perhaps a drizzling of balsamic vinegar. Admittedly, when the tomatoes are plump and gorgeous in their summertime bods, I absolutely love this preparation. Unfortunately, though, most of the year, those dazzling tomatoes aren’t always readily available. That’s why I created this recipe.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make bruschetta, this recipe isn’t exactly the most authentic. But while it isn’t necessarily the most traditional, that doesn’t stop it from being absolutely delicious. Buttery, perfectly toasted baguette slices are topped with a beautifully caramelized, jammy, and rich tomato, onion, and garlic filling with just the slightest hint of sweetness provided by sauteed red bell pepper. The combination is truly extraordinary and will soon become your go-to appetizer for every party you host.

Bruschetta recipe

Bruschetta
Lindsay Parrill/The Manual

You can use any tomatoes you like for this recipe, but we think a mixture of different varieties looks and tastes absolutely beautiful. We like to use the Constellation pack from Naturesweet.

Ingredients

  • 1 large baguette
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 ounces cherry tomatoes, or a blend of tomatoes, quartered.
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil or parsley, to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Using a serrated knife, slice the baguette into 1/2-inch slices and place into a large bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt over the bread, and toss to combine.
  3. Place baguette slices on a large baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.
  4. While the bread is toasting, heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat.
  5. Saute onion and bell pepper until soft and caramelized.
  6. Add garlic and tomatoes and continue to cook until tomatoes are soft and jammy.
  7. Using a tablespoon, place tomato filling on top of baguette slices.
  8. Garnish with basil or parsley, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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