My Rustic Summer Bruschetta is the ultimate summer appetizer! It’s simple, rustic, and always a crowd pleaser.
I’m always experimenting with new recipes and flavor combinations but there are a few classic food pairings that shouldn’t be messed with. Peanut butter and jelly. Bacon and eggs. Milk and cookies. And in my opinion, tomatoes and basil.
Bruschetta is the ultimate summer appetizer- it’s simple, rustic and always a crowd pleaser.
There are endless varieties of bruschetta, but I like to take advantage of seasonal produce as much as possible. And when it's summertime, what better dish is there to showcase beautiful, lush tomatoes and fresh basil?
Why You'll Love This Dish
- It's easy to make with just a handful of ingredients
- It uses fresh, seasonal ingredients
- It can feed a crowd so it's perfect for entertaining
- It's endlessly customizable
What is Bruschetta?
Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer. It's made with pieces of grilled bread that are rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt. The bread can be topped with a wide variety of ingredients. Tomatoes are classic but sliced meat, cheese, beans, and vegetables are some other options.
How to Make Rustic Summer Bruschetta
1. Make the tomato topping
Make the tomato topping and let it marinate while you get the rest of the dish ready. I like to use the freshest tomatoes I can find at the market. After all, when you're making a simple dish with only a handful of ingredients, you want to use the best ingredients you can and let them shine! I found a lovely heirloom cherry tomato mix that I used in these photos.
Dice the tomatoes and mix them in a bowl with a little balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil. Let it marinate while you get the rest of the dish ready.
2. Make the roasted garlic cheese spread
In traditional bruschetta, the toasted bread is rubbed with raw garlic. However, for this dish, I top the bread with a creamy roasted garlic cheese spread instead.
It adds a ton of flavor to the dish and also acts like a glue to hold the tomatoes in place. If you've ever bitten into a piece of bruschetta only to have all the tomatoes fall off, you know what I mean!
To make the spread, I simply mix farmer's cheese with roasted garlic. I love roasted garlic. It adds a delicious, mellow garlicky flavor to dishes without the pungent bite that raw garlic has.
I like to roast my own garlic when I have the time. To learn how to do it, check out my blog post about how to roast garlic. You can also buy roasted garlic or roasted garlic spread at the grocery store or online.
I mix the roasted garlic with farmer’s cheese (also called farmer cheese). Farmer's cheese is a mild flavored, low fat cheese that’s cultured from reduced-fat milk. It is traditionally used as a filling in blintzes and pierogies.
When making farmer’s cheese, the liquid whey is drained off and the curds are pressed, yielding a product that’s drier than cottage cheese and crumbly. If you can’t find it, you can substitute ricotta or cottage cheese.
3. Toast the bread
I typically use a large baguette that I cut into ¼-inch slices. I find that the easiest way to toast the bread is to arrange the pieces on a sheet pan. Then, place it in the oven under the broiler for a minute or two until the bread is lightly toasted.
4. Assemble the bruschetta
Finally, spread some of the roasted garlic cheese spread on each slice of bread and top with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. Arrange this rustic summer bruschetta on a platter and you're ready to go!
Toasted bread topped with roasted garlic, farmer’s cheese, fresh summer tomatoes and basil- so simple and delicious. It's the perfect summer entertaining dish!
More Tasty Appetizers
Rustic Summer Bruschetta
- 1 container (12 oz) heirloom cherry tomato mix, diced
- 2 teaspoons good quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head roasted garlic (can substitute roasted garlic spread)
- 6 ounces farmer’s cheese (can substitute ricotta)
- 1 French baguette, sliced on the diagonal into ⅓-inch slices
- Stir the tomatoes, vinegar, oil and basil together in a bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic into a bowl. Add the cheese and mash them together until combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Turn the broiler on. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and place under the broiler for a 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted.
- Spread a small amount of the roasted garlic farmer’s cheese onto each slice of bread and top with some of the tomato mixture. Arrange the bruschetta on a platter and serve.