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Grilled bruschetta is a great alternative to those who don’t enjoy the taste and texture of raw tomatoes. Also, don’t be afraid to try the leftover tomato mixture as a sauce over pasta for an easy weeknight dinner.
For a solid two years, after being asked to bring a dish to whatever social gathering we’d been invited to, I took this tomato bruschetta. I’m sure people began to think this was the only thing I was capable of cooking before I suddenly abandoned this recipe for other easy to prepare crowd-pleasing dishes.
Despite not coming from an Italian family, I’ve always enjoyed trying out different antipasto recipes. While caprese definitely has a hold on my heart, this grilled bruschetta recipe comes in a close second, especially when I’m trying to limit my cheese intake. Made from canned tomatoes, this easy to make, quick grilled bruschetta recipe is something everyone can make using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. While I have listed hot and spicy oregano in the ingredients list, traditional oregano tastes just as good in this recipe as the hot and spicy does so don’t hesitate to swap it out in case you can’t find the hot and spicy variety in your local market.
The topping for these grilled bruschettas actually began as an easy to make weekday tomato sauce when I was short on time but not on hunger. In fact, the evolution to bruschetta topping was completely accidental after the power had gone out and I couldn't boil any pasta for dinner. Rather than throw it out, I asked the husband to quickly throw some baguette slices onto the grill so we could have some kind of dinner. After we were both pleasantly surprised by the finished result (the tomato, onion and garlic mixture hadn't quite cooked down to a sauce consistency, so I was positive the topping was going to just taste like undercooked tomatoes and onions), I started preparing the version that you see today semi-regularly.
If you don't have the time to fire up the grill or the weather is preventing outdoor cooking, simply grab a large burner grill and do it all on your stove top, which is usually what I do when I make this for social gatherings. You can also pre-cook the topping, pack your baguette slices, burner grill and parmesan cheese into the car and grill the bread once you've reached your final destination (just remember to ask your host if they'll be able to accomodate you using their stove!)
Depending on if you are able to find the hot and spicy oregano (I grow my own in my backyard and absolutely love cooking with it), you can add some fresh cracked black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and even flakey sea salt to the tomato topping along with grated or shaved parmesan or asiago cheese.
Once you assemble the bruschetta, it's best that they're eaten pretty quickly because the tomato topping will turn the bread soggy rather quickly, and nobody enjoys soggy bruschetta!
Since the tomatoes are cooked, you can pair this delicious antipasto with rosé (Tablas Creek Dianthus, which is drinking excellent right now), Sangiovese (Niner Sangiovese, which is a delicious blend of two Italian varietals of Sangiovese and Barbera that's fantastic with tomato sauces), pinot noir (Wrath Boekenoogen—just do yourself a favor and buy any wine that is grown at Boekenoogen because I have yet to taste a bad one), and sparkling wine (McIntyre I'Homme Qui Ris Sparkling).
- 1 large baguette, sliced into 1/2" slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- garlic powder, as needed
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, evenly diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups drained canned San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons oregano, preferably hot and spice but regular is fine
- parmesan cheese