Bruschetta recipes are prolific online I know but this is mine version – a little spicy and a bit sassy. People who don’t like tomatoes eat it – that’s how delicious it is – all modesty aside of course. It is excellent. Cheesy Pesto Bruschetta – balsamic tomatoes with a little heat and sweetness are piled onto crunchy, warm pesto cheese bread. Now you’ve got yourself a pretty spectacular and, dare I say, easy appetizer or lunch. It’ll do dinner too with some wine or beer to accompany. Pfft, like I need to tell you something would be good with booze – right?!Jump to Recipe
Although summer is slow getting started here in Indiana this year, it has been teasing us with days here and there, just enough to make my basil plants grow like weeds. I got enthusiastic and planted about six basil this year and some basil seeds which have all come up, so it’s basil central already. Lots of basil = lots of pesto making and I’m good with that. For this recipe, make your own pesto – here’s my recipe, including some dos and don’ts for making perfect pesto, or buy good store-bought. Nothing beats homemade pesto. Just saying.
I used a ciabatta loaf I bought from Panera bread but a baguette would work too or some Turkish bread. You could even use naan in a pinch. These long pieces are perfect for sharing.
To cut each half, I cut on an angle to make triangles or just cut straight across.
I ate some of this for my lunch today. The bread was still warm and crisp. It was so perfect. I refrained from wine because it was the middle of the day and I was working – not that, that has ever stopped me. One thing to note, the most important thing – buy good tomatoes. Campari (those large cocktail looking tomatoes) or vine-ripened cocktail tomatoes will be the nicest at the moment. The tomatoes are the star of this recipe so they need to be ripe, juicy and flavorful. Chat to you soon, toodles, Lovoni xo
CHEESY PESTO BRUSHCETTA
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon sambal olek chili paste – or, in a pinch sweet chili sauce, omitting the pinch of sugar later – could also add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 fat garlic clove, minced
- generous pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
- 24 oz vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves, plus a few extra leaves for garnish
- 10 oz ciabatta bread, halved horizontally or use a baguette
- 2/3 – 1 cup basil pesto here for pesto recipe
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese not the pre-grated stuff
- 1/4 cup finely grated fresh parmesan
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Have a large baking sheet ready.
- Combine the vinegar, oil, sambal, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar together in a medium sized bowl. Add the tomato and stir until well combined; set aside.
- Place both halves of the bread, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Spread with pesto and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is browned and crisp.
- Place the bread on a cutting board. Top with the tomato mixture and sprinkle with the parmesan. Top with extra basil leaves. Cut into serving size pieces. I cut each half into triangles but they can also just be cut straight across.