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Bruschetta with Heirloom Tomatoes, Olives and Basil

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In this summery bruschetta, briny olives and a splash of balsamic vinegar liven up the classic tomato and basil topping.

Simple and easy to make, bruschetta is an Italian appetizer of toasted bread drizzled with olive oil, rubbed with garlic, and topped with seasonal ingredients. This classic version highlights two summer favorites — fresh tomatoes and basil — livened up with briny olives and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Feel free to play with the recipe. If you don’t care for olives, go ahead and leave them out. Or add some cubed fresh mozzarella to the topping and serve the bruschetta as a light dinner with a glass of wine.

What You’ll Need To Make Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Olives & Basil

ingredients for bruschetta

Because this bruschetta recipe is so simple, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients. Look for the juiciest, ripest summer tomatoes – preferably heirlooms for their varied color and flavor – as well as the best quality bread, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar you can find.

Step-by-Step Instructions

combining tomatoes, olives, basil, and seasonings in bowl

Begin by combining the tomatoes, olives, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup of the oil in a medium bowl. Toss to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. (If the tomatoes aren’t as sweet as you’d like, add 1/8 teaspoon sugar.)

mixed bruschetta topping in bowl

Set the tomato mixture aside and slice the bread into 1/2-in-thick slices.

slicing the baguette for bruschetta

Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush both sides of the bread with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Bake for about 10 minutes, until crisp and golden on the bottom.

brushing the bread slices with olive oil

Using tongs, flip the bread slices so the golden side is facing up.

toasted baguette slices for bruschetta on sheet pan

Rub the top side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic, going back and forth once (or twice, if you like your bruschetta extra garlicky).

rubbing the bread with garlic

Transfer the toasted bread to a serving platter and top each slice with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. Sprinkle the bruschetta with more basil. Serve within 10 minutes so that the bread stays crisp.

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Bruschetta with Heirloom Tomatoes, Olives and Basil

In this summery bruschetta, briny olives and a splash of balsamic vinegar liven up the classic tomato and basil topping.

Servings: 4 to 6 (about 18 pieces)
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs ripe tomatoes (preferably heirloom), cored and diced (3 to 4 tomatoes)
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • A few grinds freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 good quality baguette, cut into scant ½-in-thick slices on the bias
  • 1 clove garlic, halved lengthwise

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set a rack in the middle position.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, pepper, and ⅓ cup of the oil. Toss to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. (If the tomatoes aren't as sweet as you'd like, add ⅛ teaspoon sugar.)
  3. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush both sides of the bread with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Bake for about 10 minutes, until crisp and golden on the bottom.
  4. Using tongs, flip the bread slices so the golden side is facing up. Rub the top side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic, going back and forth once (or twice, if you like your bruschetta extra garlicky). Transfer the toasted bread to a serving platter and top each slice with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. Sprinkle the bruschetta with more basil. Serve within 10 minutes so that the bread stays crisp.
  5. Make-Ahead Instructions: The tomato mixture can be prepared up to 3 hours ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Taste and adjust seasoning before topping the toasted bread.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 piece
  • Calories: 108
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 147 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • We really enjoyed this recipe for Bruschetta! Is there some trick that I’m missing in how to eat these without it the topping falling off?

    • — Carol on September 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Ha, not really — just to eat them very carefully (but you’re likely to have some topping fall off no matter what). Glad you like it though! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have lots of wonderful summer tomatoes and want to make this. I don’t have Kalamata olives. Can black or Manzanilla be substituted or should I just leave them out?

    • — Sharon on August 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Sharon, you can substitute the olives you have on hand. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 18, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you for your quick reply! Looking forward to having this tonight with your delicious grilled shrimp with pesto 🙂

        • — Sharon on August 18, 2022
        • Reply
  • Dear Jenn,

    Hello again from Pam and Trevor in Canberra. Like the rest of the world, Australia goes in and out of this crazy time but your blog remains a source of comfort and entertainment. Today we made two types of bruschetta – this recipe and used your Roasted Pepper Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts & Basil recipe (with less oil and no sugar) as the other topping. We made our bruschetta as a deconstructed dish. Toasted the bread slices in the oven, made up the toppings and set the toasted pinenuts in a separate bowl. Then topped the bread with whatever we wanted. The bread stayed crispy, the toppings were tasty, and, a good time was had by all.

    Thank you for your continuing efforts and stay as safe as you can,
    Pam and Trevor
    Australia

    • — Pam and Trevor on February 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is delicious, and a great use of all the amazing tomatoes we are getting from our CSA. Love the addition of olives! I didn’t use much oil at all (maybe 2 TBL) as my tomatoes were SUPER juicy. Added a little more basil, because we just love it. Thanks for another great recipe!

    • — Jill D. on August 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • What kind of baguette do you use ? Sour dough ?

    • — Asra on June 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Asra, baguettes aren’t typically sourdough. I’d just look for the standard baguette in your store’s bakery. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on June 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hands down the best bruschetta I have ever had. Even my family members who don’t love olives devoured it!

    • — Kelly on April 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious and so easy. I prepared the topping and took it, along with some homemade gluten baguettes, to a friends house (she’s GF I’m not) then put it together in no time for a nice light appetizer and they all loved it. I haven’t had a fail from any recipe I’ve tried on this website.

    • — Mandy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • So I made this but left out the olives – I had some guests over who don’t care for olives. Turned out great!

    • — Judith Richardson on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Very easy yet so delicious. Quick yet simple and full of flavor. I used lots of garlic and my fresh garden tomatoes. The bread I used was sweet and balanced the salty or briney olives perfectly. I hope I always make this recipe. I thought it went really well with hard-boiled eggs that were enhanced with black truffle mustard.

  • Made this exactly as is and it got rave reviews from my birthday club of 11 friends.

  • Is there a reason that the make-ahead instructions refers to only 3 hours in advance.? I would like to do it a day in advance.

    • Hi Linda, the tomatoes will start to degrade a bit after a few hours, so it’s just at its best if eaten within that 3-hour window. Hope that clarifies. 🙂

      • Thanks for your quick response.

  • This bruschetta is delicious! While I like olives, I was worried it would be too olive-forward, but you actually can’t really taste much of the olives in the finished product. The olives provide a nice brininess that perfectly complements the tomatoes and vinegar. Normally with bruschetta I grill the bread on the stove and then rub with a cut piece of garlic, but I loved that this recipe has you bake the bread! So much easier and less messy. Thanks Jenn for another great recipe!

  • I made this over the weekend for my friends and had a hard time not eating every bite myself! YUM!

  • Love this recipe at the height of tomato season. Have made it twice now to rave reviews.

    Any thoughts on how to make a zucchini bruschetta? 😊

    Thanks, Marilyn

    • Glad you enjoyed, Marilyn! Do you mean zucchini in place of the bread or a zucchini topping?

  • Love it, very simple and quick to make. I’m just making it for the second time as I have so many tomatoes in my garden. Goes well the Costco baguette.

    • Yup, we use the Costco baguette for everything as well! So good!

  • I made these last night and we loved them! I love garlic, and its taste was so nicely incorporated. I will just add less vinegar next time, but that’s up to one’s taste. Many thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • We bought a bunch of basil at the farmers market last Saturday and so we were looking for recipes to use it up. This was an amazing bruschetta recipe! Followed the recipe and it was divine, made the perfect late Sunday lunch while the little one was napping. I was worried the garlic flavour wouldn’t come through enough as I love garlic, but it was perfect. We also made a double batch of your kale walnut pesto (amazing as well!) and tonight we used the pesto to make your baked spinach/basil/cheese pasta (subbed gouda for fontina as that was what we had on hand) which was enjoyed. Thanks again Jen!

  • I made the bruschetta-it was delicious and easy!!! I love the addition of the Greek olives!

  • Our family loves bruschetta, having it often as in appetizer. We were all underwhelmed by this recipe because the balsamic vinegar overpowered the tomato/basil. Used a quality vinegar- it was just too much. My homegrown tomatoes were lost in it unfortunately. Did not use olives in it, so that might redeem it some. This is my first miss with Jenn’s recipes; I have her cookbook and often use her website for all of my recipes! This just didn’t appeal to my crowd.

    • Strange. 2 teaspoons doesn’t seem very much in a pound and a half of tomatoes. Are you sure you didn’t use tablespoons?

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