This vegan bruschetta is made the authentic Italian way, with simple but quality ingredients. Effortless yet bursting with flavour. My Vegan Authentic Bruschetta is the only bruschetta recipe you’ll ever make again.
Bruschetta’s beauty is in its simplicity, relying on the quality of its ingredients to create big flavour. A rustic loaf of artisanal bread, the balance of acid and sugar from ripe tomatoes, the peppery grassy taste of quality olive oil and the slightly spicy aroma of fresh basil: these are the tastes of a bruschetta classica.
Bruschetta is something everyone knows how to make, but still requires a good recipe to get the balance of flavours right. There’s no hope of hiding mediocre ingredients in a bruschetta. If your ingredients aren’t great, your bruschetta won’t be either.
In Italy, bruschetta comes from the Roman dialect verb bruscare, the equivalent of the Italian word abbrustolire which means ‘to toast’. Born in the 16th century in central and southern Italy, this antipasto spread to the entire country and eventually to the world by Italian emigrants.
The Secrets to Perfect Bruschetta
For the best bruschetta, the bread has to remain crunchy. So, your topping should be not too soggy, and it should be put on the bread only a few minutes before serving.
Traditionally a hint of garlic is added by rubbing a peeled garlic clove onto the toasted bread. It can also be added in small amounts directly to the tomato mixture, as it is in this recipe. When rubbing the toasted bread with garlic the rough surface of the bread will shred the garlic like a grater, and impart tons of flavour to your bruschetta.
Quality tomatoes are essential. They should be ripe, which means they should be heavy for their size, and when you gently press on their skins, they should feel exceedingly fragile, and feel as though they are on the precipice of bursting. You can use any variety of ripe tomato you like. A mix of heirloom varieties offers a confetti-like rainbow of colours and blend of flavours; some sweeter, some more tart.
A rustic Italian loaf is a classic as the base for bruschetta, with its soft interior and crusty outer layer. Avoid thin and unsubstantial store bought sliced brought at all costs! Your bread should taste phenomenal, and it should be a loaf with enough heft to carry your tomato mixture without turning soggy. Any quality fresh artisanal bread or homeade loaf will work beautifully.
Bruschette Recipe Variations
Add balsamic vinegar: For a mellow tartness, drizzle on some balsamic vinegar. Be sure to use the highest quality aged balsamic that you can get your hands on. Acropolis Organic Balsamic Vinegar is a lovely choice. Barrel aged for six years, it’s Naturally sweetened with Petimezi and is vegan. A quality balsamic will be on the pricy side, but worth it. Aged balsamic should be thick and syrupy, not runny, and with a rich, complex sweetness.
Add vegan cheese: A grated plant-based mozzarella slightly melted on top is divine on bruschetta. Or, you could sprinkle some freshly-grated vegan Parmesan on top of each piece of bruschetta too. Little morsels of a nice soft cashew cheese like those by Nuts for Cheese would also work beautifully on top.
Add vegan Pepperoni: If you’d like to add some plant meat, a nice vegan pepperoni thinly sliced would also be delicious sandwiched between the crostini and tomato topping.
Add different herbs: Experiment with different fresh or dried Italian herbs like oregano, thyme, or marjoram in your tomato topping.
Classic Bruschetta Bread
- 1 loaf crusty bread (Rustic bread, baguette or Italian loaf)
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for brushing/drizzling)
- fine sea salt (to taste)
- freshly-cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 2 large cloves garlic (1 minced and 1 for rubbing)
- Stir together the diced tomatoes, 1 minced garlic clove, basil, olive oil and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
- Cover and let sit 15 minutes (optional-the longer you let it combine the more flavourful)
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Arrange the bread slices on a large baking sheet in an even layer.
- Brush the bread lightly with olive oil. Bake for 7 to 10 mins.
- Slice off the ends of one garlic clove (without removing the papery skins).
- Rub the cut end of the garlic on the bread slices.
- Add a spoonful of the tomato topping mixture to each slice of bread, then drizzle a hint of olive oil over the tomato topping.
- Salt and pepper to taste.