Bruschetta-A Meal In Itself

ne of my favorite movies to watch over and over again is Julie and Julia, the biographical adaptation depicting the life of master chef, Julia Child. 

In one scene, Julie, the present day character seeking inspiration in life, is making dinner while sharing an idea with her husband about starting a blog centered around cooking. (Yes, I find several parallels about my life in this movie and I laugh or cry EACH time at the same spots!)

I admit it is a bit of a “chick flick”, but more notably it’s the ultimate foodie movie that’ll most certainly make you hungry for something scrumptious, without fail.

I don’t know the exact recipe she was using for her bruschetta, but nevertheless, it looked INCREDIBLE and I simply had to at least attempt it at once!

And so I did. Armed with a fearless imagination and a good bread knife, I set out to recreate the colorful array of juicy tomatoes and herbs atop a buttery, crispy, crunchy chewy crostini of toasted bread, I saw in the movie. 


As far as I can tell, she appears to use only an assortment of heirloom tomatoes and herbs in her dish, but I’ve taken a slightly different approach by adding peppers, onions and garlic.

And with tomatoes now available year round, you don’t have to wait till summer to enjoy this delicious meal, (or appetizer, if you must)  perfect for a quick weeknight supper.

Bruschetta in some form or another is wildly popular in most Italian restaurants these days, but I have found quite a few of them rather disappointing, especially when compared to my version.

I assure you, this dish is meant to be much more than cold, diced tomatoes and basil atop a piece of dry Italian bread. It is a celebration of the bounty of a summer garden (in our case, hot house) bursting with color, flavor and texture.

You simply must try this unbelievably fresh and wildly tasty recipe today as a healthy snack, hearty appetizer or a light, yet satisfying meal! 

Check out the Helpful Hints below for suggestions on the best breads and most popular variety of tomatoes to use.  Be sure to post a comment to let me know how you enjoyed the recipe or tell me about any twists of your own you may have added.

Bon Appetit!

Tomato Bruschetta

  • 1 French loaf baguette, sliced and toasted
  • 3 T Non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 T Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8  Plum tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Red, yellow and orange sweet peppers
  • 1/4 cup Fresh basil leaves, chopped/ *chiffonade (see below)
  • 4 cloves Fresh garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Place tomatoes, onion, peppers, basil and garlic in a large bowl. Give it a quick toss. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle on olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Cover w/ plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Set aside while you prepare the bread.
  2. Bias slice (on an angle) the baguette in pieces about 1 inch thick. Butter each side with the non-hydrogenated, dairy-free margarine and place in a pan heated with one tablespoon of olive oil to toast until golden and crunchy. Flip bread over to toast other side and repeat until the loaf is done.
  3. Scoop the tomato mixture on to the slices of warm bread and enjoy this masterpiece with your bare hands! Don’t forget the napkins!

Helpful Hints

  • Use a good quality crusty bread for toasting in this recipe-even if you have to go to a local bakery.  I’ve used a garlic and herb focaccia that was heavenly but I prefer a chewier crunchy texture to a soft doughiness.
  • Just about any variety of tomato will do; I’ve tried them all. I prefer the plump pieces of tomato the plum variety yields and the juiciness of the heirloom.
  • The tomato mixture can double as a raw sauce to be served over pasta. During the summer, I toss it over whole wheat angel hair and serve it with toasted garlic bread. Yum!
  • Chiffonade: to slice leafy greens by stacking them atop each other, rolling them up and cutting into thin strips.

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