Summer’s bounties of cherry tomatoes and basil are showcased in this fresh gluten free bruschetta, perfect for summer gatherings!
If my daughter ever decides to leave her teaching job, she could definitely have a career in gardening and horticulture. She starts most of her plants from seed indoors using a special grow light system and could literally make some money selling her plants. This year she gave me two tomato plants and several herbs, including basil. One of the tomato plants is called Sungold and they’re these cute little cherry tomatoes that are yellowish orange. They’re like nature’s candy because they’re incredibly sweet and flavorful. You can just pop ’em in your mouth, which I do often straight from the plant!
This past weekend I went out to check on the plants and there were TONS of tomatoes perfect for picking. There was no way I would eat all of them out of hand and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. I already had the dough for my gluten free artisan bread sitting in the fridge waiting for a day like this. All I had to do was shape a baguette, pop it in the oven, and make the tomato bruschetta mixture!
What You’ll Need to Make Gluten Free Bruschetta
This recipe is so easy and so flavorful, you can make it throughout summer. We had it as a light meal the other night, but of course you can serve it as an appetizer or side. It’s based on a recipe by the Pioneer Woman and what I love about her recipe is that she griddles the bread in butter. To me, anything with butter tastes better. But if you’re adverse to using butter, or if you’d rather use the traditional olive oil, go for it! Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Gluten free bread–the best bread for this recipe is my gluten free artisan bread, baked in the shape of a baguette or batard.
- Olive oil–this is needed for the tomato marinade, but again you can sub the butter in this recipe with olive oil as well.
- Garlic–I changed this recipe up a little bit by using roasted garlic cloves that I had in my fridge. You can always use raw garlic if you don’t have roasted garlic.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes–I used my homegrown Sungold cherry tomatoes, which are so sweet and perfect for this recipe. Use what you have.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Fresh basil leaves–There’s really no substitute for fresh basil, especially in this recipe.
- Butter–I LOVE how the butter creates a crunchiness to the bread that I don’t feel you get from using olive oil, but if you’re dairy free or would rather use olive oil, go for it!
- Salt and pepper–is it just me or do fresh tomatoes always need a lot of salt? Maybe it’s because they’re so sweet that the salt balances out the sweetness.
Making the Tomato Marinade
I could eat the tomato marinade for this bruschetta all by itself, with no bread at all. That’s saying a lot because everyone knows it’s mainly about the bread, right? Well, if you have really great tomatoes as a starting point, you honestly don’t even need the bread! But we’ll stick with it for this recipe and because we need a vessel to hold all those glorious tomatoes.
Ree starts by heating some olive oil in a saute pan and adding chopped fresh garlic and allowing it to turn golden before removing it from the heat. I happened to have some roasted garlic in my fridge and wanted to use it. It’s so good on bread just as a spread and I thought it would be perfect for this as well. So instead of heating the olive oil and frying the garlic, smash the garlic with the olive oil in a small bowl and add the rest of the marinade. The tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and salt and pepper are all added to the bowl and combined.
I like my tomato mixture cold, so what I suggest is putting the marinated tomatoes into the fridge for at least an hour. If you leave it much longer than that, the olive oil will solidify. That’s a little trick to tell if your olive oil is pure and not a diluted version.
Gluten Free Bruschetta FAQs
Can I Use Another Kind of Tomato?
Absolutely! You can use any kind or size of tomato you want!! If you’re using large tomatoes, just chop them into bite-size pieces, removing the seeds if you want.
How Long Does Bruschetta Last?
It’s best to eat bruschetta as fresh as possible, but if you must make the tomato mixture ahead of time, only a day or two is recommended. Don’t toast the bread slices until 1-2 hours before you’re ready to serve.
What Kind of Bread is Best with Bruschetta?
I personally like to use my gluten free artisan bread as a baguette or batard and then cut on a diagonal. But other options include my gf Italian bread or sourdough, or a store bought bread, such as Schar baguette.
How Do I Chiffonade the Basil?
Chiffonade is simply a way to cut greens and herbs, such as basil, into ribbons or long, thin strips. To do this, stack basil leaves one on top of the other and tightly roll them up together. Slice them perpendicular to the roll.
How Do I Roast Garlic?
Roasted garlic is so easy to make that I often roast several heads of it at once and keep them in the fridge. They keep for a long time (about 2 weeks) and they can go in so many things (roasted garlic mashed potatoes are the BOMB!). Remove any loose papery skin from the outside of a head of garlic and cut off the top 1/4 inch or so, exposing the cloves beneath. Place on a small piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap completely in the foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes, or until the garlic cloves are soft (baking time will vary depending on the size of the bulb).
Even if you don’t have any tomatoes growing, you can still make some fabulous gluten free bruschetta!
Gluten Free Bruschetta
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves smashed roasted garlic or finely minced fresh (raw) garlic
- 2 cups or pints halved cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped Roma tomatoes, or any other kind of tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 16 whole basil leaves (one large bunch), cut into chiffonade
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 loaf Gluten Free Artisan Bread shaped and baked into a baguette, or a store bought gluten free baguette
- 1 stick (113 g) butter
- In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir and refrigerate until cold, 1-2 hours.
- Slice bread slightly on the diagonal into ½-inch thick slices. Preheat a griddle or large skillet and melt half the butter. "Toast" half the bread on both sides in the butter. Repeat with the other half of the stick of butter and the rest of the bread.
- Serve the bread crostini on a large platter with the bowl of the tomato mixture alongside. Spoon tomatoes and the juice over slices of the bread. Serve immediately.
- The bread can be toasted up to 2 hours in advance and the tomato mixture can be made and refrigerated no more than 1-2 days in advance.
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s Bruschetta