How to Make the Best Mozzarella Tomato Basil Bread

This recipe for mozzarella tomato basil bread has stood the test of time—and it's ready to be part of your summer recipe repertoire.

This bruschetta is a simple dish from Italy, pairing summer’s fresh flavors for an appetizer that is as beloved now as it has been for decades. Make our tomato mozzarella basil bread for a party, family dinner or even a tasty midday snack.

How to Choose Fresh Ingredients

The trick to taking bruschetta from good to great is in the freshness of the ingredients.

Tomatoes: While the best tomatoes are synonymous with farmers markets, you can also get great finds at the supermarket. Look for ones that are locally grown, which means they’ll be ripened on the vine and bursting with flavor. Pick ones that have deep, rich color and are plump and unmarked. They should also have a sweet scent; if the fruit lacks smell, it will probably lack flavor.

Mozzarella: You’ll know it’s fresh when it’s floating in a container with liquid that looks like water. Keep the mozzarella in this container and eat within three days.

Basil: Of course, there’s no better trick to getting fresh basil than to grow it yourself. If that isn’t an option, stand your store-bought basil in a glass with fresh water, and cover the “bouquet” loosely with a plastic bag. This will let it stay flavorful for up to a week.

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella Tomato Basil Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 French bread baguette (10-1/2 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Editor’s Tip: You may want to find beautiful heirloom tomatoes for this.

Instructions

Step 1: Make the topping

In a small bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients.

Editor’s Tip: Preparing for a party? You can make the bruschetta topping in advance. However, don’t broil the bread or put the toppings on it ahead of time—wait to do this until right before you serve to keep it crispy.

Step 2: Put it together

Spread baguette slices with butter; top each with a piece of mozzarella. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Brush up on using the broiler, then broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. With a slotted spoon, top each slice with about 1 tablespoon tomato mixture.

Make It a Meal

This bruschetta is a great summer snack, but add grilled chicken or your protein of choice to turn it into an easy dinner. You can also use the tomato topping to add zest to other meals, like hamburgers, pizza or spaghetti.

How to Store Leftovers

The tomato topping should be stored separately from the bread to avoid making things soggy. It can last up to three days in the fridge, while the bread should be fresh each time.

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