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When it comes to making new recipes, sometimes I get inspiration from delicious things I’ve tasted at restaurants (see my buffalo mac and cheese recipe for proof). There are times that I do try to make the recipe similar to how the restaurant served it—with proper credit to them, of course. Other times I like to completely mix it up. But last week when I tasted the bruschetta at Lucarelli’s in Venice, Florida, I immediately pulled out my phone and started taking notes. It was so darn good and I just had to make my own bruschetta recipe just like it.
Most bruschetta is made the same. It’s a mix of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Some put onion in it, some don’t (I’m in this camp). You let the mixture sit for a bit to marinate, then you scoop it onto toasted pieces of Italian bread and drizzle it with balsamic vinegar.
What made this particular bruschetta really stand out was the goat cheese. Each toasted piece of bread had goat cheese spread on the top before scooping the bruschetta mixture on it. It may sound a bit strange, but between the combination of the creamy, tangy cheese and the refreshing tomatoes, their bruschetta was absolutely addicting.
So I took the same clever tactic and used it on my bruschetta, and wow, was it delicious. If you’re looking for a bruschetta recipe that will surprise your guests, I promise you, this one is it.
How to properly toast the bread
While most recipes on the Internet tell you to broil the slices, I felt kind of skeptical of it. The reason I loved Lucarelli’s bruschetta was because of the bread being perfectly toasted, yet still perfectly chewy on the inside. Baking it seemed like the best option to get the result I want.
I baked the bread in the oven for 5 minutes on each side. Then I brushed olive oil on both sides of the bread to make it moist. The last thing you want to bite into is a hard piece of bread, and toasting the bread in the oven for this bruschetta recipe was the right move.
Assembling the bruschetta recipe
Before even prepping the bread, the important thing is to let the tomatoes marinate. This helps the tomatoes, garlic, and basil develop some flavor together before devouring. I found 15 minutes to be perfectly reasonable, but I bet if you let it sit for a bit longer the flavors would be even better.
Once the bread is toasted, you assemble the bruschetta by spreading some goat cheese on the toast first. Scoop the tomato mixture on top of each slice, then drizzle with that balsamic vinegar.
- 4 tomatoes on the vine seeded and diced
- 2 cups mini medley tomatoes quartered
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Italian loaf preferrably with seeds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- When chopping the tomatoes, take out the core and the seeds and compost them.
- Dice (and quarter) the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl with the minced garlic and chopped fresh basil.
- Sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and the salt, then mix the bowl. Let the tomato mixture marinate while you prep the bread.
- Slice the loaf into thick pieces, no smaller than 1/2 inch each.
- Lay the slices out on a sheet pan. Brush the olive oil on one side, then flip the pieces and brush it on the other.
- Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Flip the slices, then bake for another 5 minutes (10 minutes total).
- Move the slices of bread to a cutting board. When the bread is cool enough to touch (but still warm and toasted), spread the goat cheese on each slice.
- Scoop the tomato mixture onto the tops of the bread.
- Using a teaspoon, drizzle the balsamic vinegar on top of each slice. Four teaspoons is a rough estimate—it's what I ended up using.
- Serve immediately.
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What restaurant dishes have you tried that you would love creating at home? Share in the comments below, or over on my Instagram!