Baked Bruschetta with Mozzarella

Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer that has been enjoyed for centuries. Traditionally, it consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and basil. However, modern variations have emerged over time, including the addition of cheese, meats, and vegetables. One such variation is baked bruschetta with mozzarella.

This dish is particularly special because it combines the beloved flavors of classic bruschetta with warm, gooey mozzarella cheese. Baked bruschetta with mozzarella is ideal for serving as an appetizer at parties or gatherings. It can also be enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner, paired with a crisp salad or bowl of soup. The combination of fresh ingredients and warm, melty cheese makes this dish a crowd-pleaser that is sure to impress even the pickiest eaters.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 French baguette: Choose a fresh and crusty baguette.
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes: Go for juicy and flavorful tomatoes.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic: Finely minced or crushed.
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves: Chopped or torn into small pieces.
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil: Used for brushing the bread and as a part of the tomato topping.
  • 8-10 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese: Sliced or diced.
  • Salt and pepper to taste: Adjust according to your preference.

Equipment Needed:

  • Baking sheet: Used for baking the bruschetta.
  • Knife and cutting board: Used for slicing the baguette and tomatoes.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining the tomato topping ingredients.
  • Pastry brush or spoon: Used for brushing olive oil onto the bread slices.

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Tomato Topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 375Β°F (190Β°C).
  2. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and place them in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the minced garlic, chopped basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl.
  4. Mix everything together gently until well combined. Set aside to allow the flavors to meld.

Step 2: Prepare the Bread

  1. Slice the baguette into 1-inch thick slices.
  2. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Brush or drizzle olive oil on both sides of each bread slice.

Step 3: Assemble and Bake the Bruschetta

  1. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each bread slice.
  2. Spoon a generous amount of the tomato topping mixture on top of the cheese.
  3. Repeat the process for all the bread slices.

Step 4: Bake the Bruschetta

  1. Place the baking sheet with the assembled bruschetta in the preheated oven.
  2. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and the cheese has melted and slightly browned.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Remove the baked bruschetta from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
  2. Transfer the bruschetta to a serving platter or individual plates.
  3. Garnish with extra chopped basil leaves, if desired.
  4. Serve the baked bruschetta with mozzarella as an appetizer or alongside a fresh salad.

Tips and Tricks to Know:

  • For added flavor, you can brush the bread slices with a bit of balsamic glaze before adding the cheese and tomato topping.
  • If you prefer a softer texture, you can lightly toast the bread slices in a toaster or under the broiler before assembling the bruschetta.
  • Experiment with different types of cheese, such as provolone or goat cheese, for variation.
  • For a touch of sweetness, add a drizzle of honey over the tomato topping before baking.

Serving Suggestions:

  1. Enjoy the baked bruschetta with mozzarella as an appetizer at parties or gatherings.
  2. Serve it as a light lunch or dinner accompanied by a salad or soup.
  3. It also makes a delicious side dish for pasta dishes or grilled meats.

Storage Options:

  • Baked bruschetta is best enjoyed immediately after baking while the bread is still crispy.
  • If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.
  • Reheat the bruschetta in a preheated oven at 375Β°F (190Β°C) for a few minutes until warmed through.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I use different types of bread?

Yes, you can use other types of bread such as ciabatta or sourdough for a different flavor and texture.

2. Can I make the tomato topping in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the tomato topping a few hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before assembling and baking the bruschetta.

3. Can I add other ingredients to the tomato topping?

Absolutely! You can customize the tomato topping by adding ingredients like diced onions, balsamic vinegar, diced bell peppers, or olives for extra flavor and variety.

4. Can I use dried basil instead of fresh basil?

While fresh basil provides a vibrant flavor, you can use dried basil as a substitute if fresh is not available. Use about 1 teaspoon of dried basil for this recipe.

5. Can I broil the bruschetta instead of baking?

Yes, you can broil the assembled bruschetta for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.

Baked Bruschetta with Mozzarella

Baked Bruschetta with Mozzarella is a delicious Italian appetizer that combines warm, gooey mozzarella cheese with the classic flavors of bruschetta. It’s perfect for parties or as a light lunch, paired with a salad or soup.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Italian

Equipment

  • Baking sheet
  • Knife and cutting board.
  • Mixing bowl
  • Pastry brush or spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 1 French baguette
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 8-10 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375Β°F (190Β°C).
  • Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and place them in a mixing bowl.
  • Add minced garlic, chopped basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix well.
  • Slice the French baguette into 1-inch thick slices and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Brush olive oil on both sides of each bread slice.
  • Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each bread slice.
  • Spoon a generous amount of the tomato topping mixture on top of the cheese.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and the cheese has melted and slightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the baked bruschetta to a serving platter or individual plates.
  • Garnish with extra chopped basil leaves, if desired.
  • Serve the baked bruschetta with mozzarella as an appetizer or alongside a fresh salad.

Notes

  • Brush the bread slices with balsamic glaze for added flavor.
  • Lightly toast the bread slices for a softer texture.
  • Experiment with different types of cheese for variation. Add a drizzle of honey for a touch of sweetness.
Keyword Bruschetta, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese

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