The food that brought people to tears. Tomatoes on toast.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to cook, you know the satisfaction you get from serving someone food and having them smile at the end of eating it. If they actually mumble out a “Soooo goood” as they’re eating it even better. Betty does that all the time when I feed her, (but she doesn’t count because she makes the same sounds eating a TV dinner or a pistachio she swept up from behind the fridge.)

So the MMMMMMmmmmmm sounds are good, but the Holy Grail of feeding someone is bringing them to tears. Reducing a human being to a quaking, sobbing mess whose greatest fear in life is no longer the terrorists … but the loss of their teeth.

On August 22nd, 2014 such a miracle occurred in my kitchen. And then it happened again last week.

I thought it was just a fluke, like when people see Jesus in their Cream of Wheat, but when it happened a second time I knew I’d stumbled upon something pretty spectacular. Definitely more spectacular than a hairy pistachio.

Do you want to know what this miracle food was? Bruschetta. But you knew that already if you read the title of this post.




This isn’t just any bruschetta though, it’s bruschetta inspired by the movie Julie & Julia.  I’m pretty sure it’s the only thing the movie inspired. The clips are great, but when you put the whole movie together is just kind of … blah. If you don’t know, it’s a movie based on Julie Powell’s blog in which she chronicled her (successful) attempt to recreate every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking“. GREAT premise for a blog. Too bad her blog hasn’t been touched since 2010.

I didn’t think I liked bruschetta because the only kind I’d had was the kind served in chain restaurants where the pasta bowls are about the size of a galvanized tub.  And sometimes are a galvanized tub.  (Betty loves those kinds of restaurants too)  The bruschetta at these places tends to be a piece of bread that was sort of waved over a toaster then allowed to get soggy with store bought tomato leakage.  It’s as if a tomato peed on a piece of bread then ran away, leaving only the weakest, saddest little pieces of tomatoes behind.

But when I watched the movie Julie & Julia, Julie made what seemed to kind of be bruschetta, but it looked much, MUCH better.

It looked so goooood. And if you watch the scene from the movie, Julie’s husband does exactly what you want people to do. He says, “This is SOOO GOOD!”.


Also I love whatshisname. Whatshisname is my favourite character on The Mindy Project right after Mindy. And the other guy who is so funny. You know. The nurse.

So you want to learn how to make this bruschetta? Want to learn how to bring someone to tears with your food? Here we go.

First of all a few tips:

1. Use fresh, crusty bread.  Whole slices!  Not a baguette.

2.  FRY in olive oil.  I mean it.  You fry it.

3.  Don’t even attempt this if it isn’t summer and you don’t have fresh tomatoes.

Let’s get started …

You need bread, olive oil, tomatoes, basil and salt.



Dice a few fresh, local tomatoes.



Tear up a handful of basil and add it.  Add lots if you love basil, little if you don’t. I used this sized bunch for around 5 small-medium tomatoes.





Drizzle the tomatoes and basil with a good amount of olive oil and let stand for 30-45 minutes.



After 30 minutes, sprinkle with salt and let sit for another 10 minutes or so.




Cover the bottom of a pan with olive oil until it’s at least 3mm deep.  Just glug it in there.  Heat pan over medium/low.  Not too hot or your bread will burn, not too low or it’ll just soak up a bunch of oil and get gross.

To test if your oil is hot enough to fry place the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. If the tip forms bubbles right away, it’s at the right temperature to fry.



While the pan is heating, slice your crusty bread.  I make my own bread using the master recipe from this cookbook, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.   Seriously.  If you always think “I’d love to make bread”, and then never do, get this book.  You’ll be making bread all the time because it’s so easy and fast.

But you don’t have to make your own bread. Just use a fresh, dense, crusty loaf like Ciabatta.



Fry bread slices in oil until browned.  Or you tongue falls out of your mouth. Whichever comes first.



Remove bread from the pan and generously spoon the tomato mixture over the top.  But first, maybe, just look at the golden brown, toasty, olive oil drenched goodness.  Smell it.  Love it.




O.K., NOW you can top it with your tomatoes and basil.  Just spoon it right on there.  Lots of it.




And now you eat it.





Serve HOT.  With a box of Kleenex.



  1. Mary Jane Morrison says:

    Soo funny. When I finished checking out your blog this evening I was going to scroll through some food sites to find a good brushcetta recipe. Coincidence?

  2. TucsonPatty says:

    It looks sooooo awesome that I want to cry! Now I’m going to go make some!!

  3. Robert says:

    I don’t think I have ever read you more excited in a post, and yes is wonderful to know someone really likes the food you just made although I personally don’t like to make my own bread even when I do love to bake

  4. Ardith says:

    Do you ever know your way around a headline. You twirl evocative strings of words with the greatest of ease. You make a killer bruschetta. You should be knighted.

  5. mia pratt says:

    Oh dear Scrod in Leaven, I’m salivating so badly I’m going to have to go raid the fridge! You’ve outdone yourself. I just happen to have fresh basil, and those baby tomatoes in all colors, in the garden right now. If I thought I could pull it off, I’d make it tonight – but alas, I have no bread to fry. So I will have to wait till tomorrow. All I have in the fridge right now is grapes. Not wine, just grapes. They will have to do.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Oh my! This looks like summer heaven. Going to give this a try. And the bread.

  7. Gillian says:

    I didn’t think I liked bruschetta either, but this …..yuuummmmmm. My mouth is watering just from the post and pictures.

    ….I always thought that there was vinegar involved. This seems much better.

  8. Paula says:

    This is similar to what I make, except instead of basil, I use my homemade pesto (using basil of course) and it is delicious, too. Love your photos, your tomatoes are awesome.

  9. MichelleK says:

    Yummy. Just like I make (only I add garlic in mine). I slice my bread, dunk one side down in a bowl of olive oil and grill it. I’m salivating just thinking about it. I know what we’re having for dinner this weekend… 🙂

  10. IRS says:

    What the hell? Where is the garlic? No garlic? I’m out.

    • IRS says:

      I’m still pissed about the no garlic thing. Granted, I love copious amounts of fresh, RAW garlic on just about everything, cuz I’m weird that way, but come on! If ever garlic was supposed to be in something, it’s bruschetta. And you forgot the fresh ground pepper, as well. Frying the bread in olive oil is indeed an inspired idea. It’s almost enough to forgive the omission of the garlic, but not quite. Not at all, actually. I’ll be muttering and grumbling about this until your next post. Maybe longer.

    • Karen says:

      NO! No garlic. ~ karen

  11. Karen Too says:

    You don’t put garlic in it, Karen?

  12. sheila says:

    I love bruschetta, ate some really good examples of it when on holiday in Italy in July. I have to agree with Karen’s comment, you missed out what is to me the key ingredient, GARLIC. All you need to do is take a clove of garlic, cut it down the middle and rub this on to your toast. Such a small thing but it makes a huge difference.

  13. Auntiepatch says:

    Don’t forget the garlic! It takes it over the top!

  14. Art. M. says:

    You forgot the garlic!!!

    We have “T n’ T” several times a week for supper.

  15. Rose says:

    Your posts are always good, interesting, funny and educational. Somehow they comfort me too. I love to think about you and Betty and Pink Tool Belt and Fish Pedicure going about your business in Canada with the chickens and the garden and cat friends. Today I am in need of comforting and I’m grateful you are there carrying on.

  16. jainegayer says:

    I can’t wait to try this.
    You don’t rub a clove of garlic over the toasted bread?

    • Karen says:

      Nope. Honestly … I’ve done that before and … it doesn’t do squat. People go on about rubbing garlic on the toast, or around a wood Caesar salad bowl and to tell you the truth, it’s just theatrics. Either put garlic in a recipe or don’t. Rubbing it on toast or the bowl isn’t going to do a thing. ~ karen!

      • IRS says:

        Yes and no. Rubbing the garlic on the salad bowl is, indeed, useless. Because the bowl is smooth. Not so with the bread IF it is toasted dry, and before any fat such as butter is applied. The dry toast acts like a rasp, and rubbing a raw clove over it quickly uses up the whole clove, and makes it quite garlicky. You then add butter, or brush it with olive oil. If you put the butter or olive oil on the toast first, it softens the roughness of the toast, and then it can’t “grate” the garlic. I was taught this trick many decades ago by my grandpa, who after rubbing the garlic on the toast, then applied pork lard. THAT, I will pass on, and use butter or olive oil instead.

  17. mariah says:

    this is a sign from sweet baby jesus….. you see, just yesterday, as I was wracking my brain for what to do with all our fresh garden tomatoes, I was thinking “yes, bruschetta sounds lovely”…. and I just happened to be thumbing through my newly acquired copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (see, I lost my original copy to my ex-fella)… and then you even mention that book! so it’s done. we’re having family over this weekend and this is what I’m serving. nothing but bruschetta. ok, and maybe some wine 🙂

    • BethH says:

      Wine and bruschetta…sounds heavenly, and we’re having it tonight. Homemade wine, homegrown tomatoes and basil.

      • mariah says:

        ahhh… you’ve got us beat on the homemade wine but our tomatoes and basil will also be homegrown. I think that’s the secret to making this recipe next level.

        and the rubbing of the garlic on toast. garlic is like bacon – it makes everything better.

        • Karen says:

          Rubbing garlic on toast does nothing but make you feel like a fancy cook I’m afraid, lol. Nothing. It’s not worth the time or the smashing of the toast. Just go without it. Trust me on this. ~ karen

          • Carswell says:

            I beg to differ with you there Karen. I think rubbing garlic on toasted or grilled bread is the best way to get garlic flavour into bread. And if your bread is sufficiently toasted there’s no smooshing involved.

            I generally brush my bread liberally with olive oil and then park it under the broiler, when it’s nice and brown I repeat the process for the other side. Then, the garlic.

            Then tomatoes dressed just like yours.

          • IRS says:

            Nope. Sorry. You are wrong about this one. I explained it above. I have been doing it for many years, and it works. And I am the Queen of Darkness and Garlic.

    • Karen says:

      That’s awfully coincidental! ~ karen

  18. BethH says:

    Enjoy the simplicity of the golden bread, the sun-warmed abundance of tomatoes, the aromatic hint of basil! The simplicity is the beauty of it, and if you want to muddy it all up with garlic, go ahead, but sheesh!!! Just sayin’.

  19. Mary W says:

    Well I could eat several bulbs of roasted garlic on anything, I love it so much. But a good steak gets good salt and pepper – only. I love the taste of food and when something is especially fresh and delicious (the crunch must be divine) I say use ONLY what is necessary to enjoy the heirloom tomatoes and fresh bread. I guess this makes it the True bruschetta. No garlic needed.

  20. Kitten Caboodle says:

    I’ll pile on the garlic bandwagon. Rub the fried bread slices a couple of times with garlic just to ‘perfume’ the bruschetta. Nothing intense.

  21. Elen G says:

    I sure did enjoy watching them eat in this movie. Great scene choice! Okay. I have to get this book on bread. The end.

  22. cbblue says:

    Looks wonderful Karen. Sadly my tomatoes are rather peaked. I love bruschetta with a balsamic vinegar reduction; it adds a zingy sweetness. I am now hungry for bruschetta in any fashion.

  23. Susan says:

    A good toasted tomato sandwich was one of the things missing in my life since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Along with chicken wings and beer. Gluten free bread just doesn’t taste the same with garden tomatoes or green onions and cheese. But I’ve discovered that Udi’s French baguette and olive oil are a marriage made in heaven and I’ve been scarfing down toasted tomato sandwiches all week. Now you’ve given me something new to try with it and I can’t wait until lunch time! The baguette might last a little longer, too, sliced across instead of lengthwise, which is how I’ve been making my sandwiches. Thank you, and if you could find a gluten free beer that tastes like the real thing, I’d die happy.

  24. No garlic and fried bread?
    I just added a crusty loaf to my shopping list:)
    What kind of Olive Oil do you use?
    There is an over whelming amount of info out there about oils in general.
    Lately I’ve been using Avacado Oil instead of Olive Oil?

    • Karen says:

      No. No garlic. Just like you probably wouldn’t put garlic on a tomato sandwich. I use a good bottle of Olive Oil. Lorenzo No5. It’s normally around $40 a bottle, but I just found some on Amazon for 2 bottles for $50 including delivery which is a really good price. If it was in Canada I’d order it myself. ~ karen!

  25. Jill Riley says:

    This sounds absolutely wonderful–gonna raid my garden before dinner tonight! I always avoid frying stuff because I don’t know what to do with the excess oil, and I hate just throwing it away. Any suggestions?

  26. Ev Wilcox says:

    Garlic, yes! Never had this with such a pile of tomatoes, but I will now! BTW, I liked that movie a bunch, prob because Julia is one of the people I would have liked to meet! going to make this for my daughter and her two little girls very soon. Thanks Karen!

  27. janet says:

    I need garlic! otherwise wonderful! I loved the Julie and Julia movie especially the flashbacks to Julia Childs’ life in France. I dream of going to France.

    • Karen says:

      Nope. No garlic. You can if you want, but garlic overpowers everything. You want to be tasting tomatoes and basil. Not garlic. Don’t think of it as garlic bread. Think of it as a tomato sandwich. You wouldn’t slice up garlic and put it on your toasted tomato sandwich. ~ karen!

  28. Linda says:

    I’ve never had bruschetta.. this is an inspiration to try something new.. the photos were awesome, I could smell the fresh basil and tomatoes… uuummmm soooo delish… Thank you Karen

  29. Karin says:

    Your reference to Julie’s blog got me to thinking…. If Hollywood made a movie of your blog, who would play you? I don’t think Cameron Diaz could pull off your wit but you both have the leggy blond thing going on. Who would YOU pick? It’s a fun party game.

    • Karen says:

      Yes I’ve heard the Cameron Diaz thing before. Mainly from my niece and once from the Federal Express guy at the door, lol. I’d probably pick Christina Applegate. ~ karen!

  30. Jules says:

    Well, you really are adamant about the no garlic thing – seems like crackers with no cheese but I am going to trust you on this one and save myself some time and stink and ….. leave out the garlic! My tomatoes don’t look quite as impressive or delicious as yours but I shall have faith in them also. Thanks for sharing.

    • Karen says:

      LOLOL! Yes. I’m quite adamant about no garlic. First of all the ingredients aren’t cooked so it would be raw garlic which would be so overpowering you wouldn’t taste the tomatoes or basil or oil. I’m normally pretty freewheeling about my recipes saying you can do what you want with them. Add more of this or less of that … but this one requires no garlic. It’s not garlic bread. NO garlic. And your tomatoes will be fine as long as they’re fresh homegrown or locally grown tomatoes! ~ karen

  31. SuzyMcQ says:

    I’m not going to jump on the no garlic bandwagon, but, instead will comment on the lovely flower petals beautifully styled on the linen cloth. Very inspiring…..

  32. Tigersmom says:

    Look at you! Eating tomatoes and loving them! You’ve come a long way, Baby!

    And I personally applaud the omission of garlic. I see no reason to include anything that would alter the wonderful flavor of fresh never-been-refrigerated heirloom tomatoes. Good for you!

  33. Maryanne says:

    I’m going to make some today! Karen, what olive oil do you use? I’ve been searching for a decent olive oil at a good price point in the GTA…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maryanne! For my every day olive oil I use Costco’s Kirkland brand olive oil or President’s Choice. For things like this where I’m looking for a good olive oil I use Lorenzo No 5 Olive oil. ~ karen!

  34. Kim C says:

    Garlic or no garlic, the photos you took for this are beautiful. 🙂

  35. Tigersmom says:

    I just scrolled back through the pictures and I have to add that the $40 (if I remember correctly) you spent on that gold flatware was truly money well spent. The gold is just beautiful in your photos.

  36. Dale Lacina says:

    Garlic, Garlic, Garlic!
    Must be a lot of vampire haters out there!
    Try this recipe once with and once without.
    Isn’t variety the spice of life?

    PS Released two Monarchs to Ma Nature yesterday. They’re in her hands now!

  37. danni says:

    …no garlic.
    Wednesday is late to work day, so out in the garden harvesting, watering, fertilizing at the crack of dawn today. Read this while having cup #3 of coffee and bingo! Something else to do with the overflow of tomatoes! Lunch! Topping made as you suggest, but had to bring a frozen naan bread (made in Ida the Cob Oven,) for underneath. Can’t wait for lunch!

  38. Let me be sure I understand here………….you’re saying NO garlic?

  39. Liz says:

    I feel like I can taste it! Yummmmmmmmm.

  40. Jennie Lee says:

    I was reading down through the comments, and I was glad to see that Ev Wilcox and Janet agree with me. “Julie & Julia” is a great movie. Just this one time, readers, ignore Karen and watch the movie, if you haven’t already. Karen, your bruschetta looks totally delicious.

  41. ET says:


    Just ordered a bottle of the recommended olive oil. I love bruschetta, even bad bruschetta. Here in Central Texas, our fresh tomato season is almost finished, but I’ll scout the farmers market Saturday and maybe find a few. It’s time to plant a few fresh plants for late fall tomatoes and hope they make.

    • Karen says:

      Excellent. Every around here knows what I mean when I say “Get the good olive oil” out of the cupboard. It’s the one I use for Caprese salad too. Which by the way, doesn’t have garlic in it either, lol. ~ karen!

  42. Connie says:

    I don’t want to get too academic about this, but I lived in Italy and learned everything I could about the cuisine which I loved. So to clear up things a bit. Bruschetta in Italy is sliced bread (which in Italy is more like french bread and after two days can be used to kill flies it is that hard), toasted (sometimes over real fires) then rubbed with a clove of garlic. At that point the toast is so hard it can stand up to the garlic. But it is not a lot of garlic. Then the toast is drizzled with olive oil. That is the bruschetta. You can eat and enjoy eating it at that point or top it with what ever is at hand. Including but not limited to the wonderful homegrown heirloom tomatoes and basil, and now I am drooling, you featured. So don’t use the garlic if you don’t want to, but know that the Italian method doesn’t leave a strong taste. I love garlic and would rub my toasted, but not fried bread. Love your blog by the way. And this is not a criticism but just additional information.

  43. Dale Lacina says:

    Ma Nature must trust me because today she put two new caterpillars in plain view so I felt compelled to bring them into my Monarch Maternity Ward.

    The power of Monarchs compels me!
    The power of Monarchs compels me!
    The power of Monarchs compels me!

  44. Cindy says:

    Oh, to all you garlic lovers…..I love garlic, but it HATES me!! Garlic is a major no no for most people that have heartburn issues. It is especially true for raw garlic. Great recipe Karen. Tomatoes are just about file in Minnesota. Can hardly wait!

  45. Wendy says:

    I love your serving spoon.
    I miss real bread. I am gluten-free. Celiac son, intolerant me . . . and your post made me want to cry because I miss that kind of bread.
    Thanks for the completely yummy looking tomatoes.

  46. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    OK..I’m not gonna say the g word cause I would rather try it just as you suggest..or cause I afraid you might be driven over the edge and drive down here just to punch me in the throat….Anyhow…it looks soooo good…My tomatoes have gone south but I can go get some from the Amish..and bread fried in olive oil..oh yeah…My taste-buds thank you for this!

  47. Angie S says:

    This looks amazing, but, I really can’t imagine not adding garlic. Maybe even roasted garlic.

    The tip on knowing if the oil is ready for frying is great – thanks for that!

  48. Me again,
    I just googled Lorenzo No 5 Olive oil – apparently it’s the Champagne of Olive Oils. So now I want to try it.
    I tried amazon but they don’t ship to Canada (“this item can’t be shipped to your selected address”)?
    Where do you get it from Karen?
    Because now I really want it:)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen! You can get it at Picone’s in Dundas. I actually got mine from Fortinos (like Loblaws) and it was on sale half price. There were two bottles but I cheaped out and only bought one like an idiot! ~ karen

  49. Barbie says:

    My goodness that does look good….and I never considered “frying” my bread….a house full of Italians and I never did it this way?….I’M GONNA BE THE HERO TONIGHT!!! Thx Karen

  50. Melissa in NC says:

    Who would have guessed such a small bulb of yumminess would create such a stir. I rub garlic on my bread when preparing bruschetta. Bruschetta is one of my favorite things…and peach Bellini’s. I miss Italy.

  51. BethH says:

    Couldn’t wait for dinner, had this for lunch and it was delicious. I think I’ll have it for dinner, too! NO GARLIC!

  52. Ruth says:

    I’m amused by the sheer number of times you had to say “Nope. No garlic.” in the comments. LOL!

    For the record… I love the fact that there is no garlic. The fresh tomatoes and basil will get to shine unfettered… Glory be! 😀

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Ruth. I think I’m just going to say “Garlic? Great idea!” from now on and be done with it. Even though it’s not a great idea, lol. Did you manage to grow any tomatoes this year? ~ karen!

      • Ruth says:

        Not much gardening beyond scallions, turmeric and other herbs this year. We are currently in transition, so gardening will return to normal when things settle down.

        We have to be satisfied with farmers’ market for now.

    • Liz says:

      Hahaha! agree!! I laughed a lot. No garlic people!!! Eat garlic tomatoes on your own time…in your own recipe, on garlic bread.

  53. Cara says:

    Bruschetta is my all time FAVORITE food. Sometimes I add garlic (rubbing the bread and adding some diced), sometimes I grill the bread. But I’m always sad when a restaurant or a friend will serve what they call Bruschetta and it’s got olives, or cheese, or cucumbers, or some other abomination. There’s no improving perfection!

  54. Leisa says:

    Just made this for lunch and am counting the hours so I can have it for dinner too… definitely doesn’t need garlic! #cryinginniagara

  55. Lynn says:

    you are adorable.
    I *LOVED* Julie and Julia!
    … and now I want bruschetta.
    and kleenex.

  56. In Italy they rub the toasted/fried bread with a cut garlic clove before adding the tomatoes. Your bruschetta looks beautiful. Oh, and public service announcement: it’s pronounced broo-SKEH-tuh, not broo-SHETT-uh. I’ve actually ordered this in restaurants and pronounced it correctly, only to have the server repeat it back to me pronounced wrong, like she was correcting me. Pfft. I lived in Italy for a year, and I actually speak Italian. Trust me. It’s bro-SKEH-tuh. End of public service announcement. Karen, you probably already knew that anyway.

    • IRS says:

      Yes, Kristin, yes it is pronounced that way. Ignorant people love to butcher languages that they do not speak. It is reason number 57 for my perpetual state of crankiness.

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Hells bells IRS! You need reasons? LOL! Actually, I’m guessing I would agree with all of them. I have had people correct me as in “No, dear, it’s brooshetta” and I want to yell “No, dear, it’s effin’ not!” but I restrain myself and just raise my eyebrows knowingly . . .

  57. Jody says:

    You’re killing me. The styling of the photos with the flower peeking in from the side. The oil fried bread. Tomatoes and basil. It sounds so easy. And funny I just bought that bread book this past weekend.

  58. IRS says:

    All right Karen. Out of respect for you, I tried it your way. To the letter. Basil from my garden. Heirloom tomato from my neighbour’s, snagged through the fence when he wasn’t looking. Excellent olive oil. Really good, and &@$?! expensive bread. Verdict? Yawn. Underwhelmed. Yes, the tomato/basil/EVOO combo was tasty, but it didn’t zing. So I added the fresh ground pepper and garlic (being modest with both), and suddenly the whole thing danced on my tongue. Garlic doesn’t overwhelm it, especially when I use restraint, but it complements and brings together the whole thing. You keep saying “it’s not garlic bread” as the reasoning for omitting this key ingredient, but that is being simplistic. No, it is not garlic bread, but garlic can be used in a great many things. Just because a recipe includes both bread and garlic, doesn’t automatically make it garlic bread. To each his own, but this was a “fail” for me.

    • Karen says:

      Somehow that doesn’t surprise me. ~ karen!

      • IRS says:

        Why? Because I am the Garlic Queen? As I said, I forced myself to be very modest with the garlic, so that it would just be a guest at the dance, and not hijack it and take hostages. I have enjoyed your other recipes, but we have a fundamental philosophic difference on this one. But I am grateful for your suggestion to fry the bread, since I have never tried this with bruschetta. You would think this would have occurred to me, since I love grilled cheese sandwiches, but nope. I always toasted or grilled my bruschetta bread, but I will be doing it your way from now on.

        • Karen says:

          Nice try. You used garlic. We’re breaking up. ~ karen!

          • IRS says:

            Nah, we’re not. You would miss my sweet, sunny disposition, and my tolerant, loving acceptance of the whole of mankind. Yeah, all right, you would miss my snide, sniping snark, and the pot shots I take at everything that annoys me. Of which there is plenty.

  59. Kim says:

    First let me apologize. I got caught up in the conversation and forgot to read all the comments before posting. Your bruschetta looks delicious Karen. In your honor I will make it at least once your way but I’m one of the garlic people. I mix EVOO and roasted garlic and use it like butter LOL. Garlic is a great natural fighter of pathogens. Think of it as a yummy antibiotic and antiviral 🙂

    • Karen says:

      That’s O.k And I happen to love garlic. I grow a hundreds of heads of it every year. This recipe just isn’t where to put raw garlic, lol. You can if you want but it won’t taste the same. Raw garlic will always overpower tomatoes and basil so you’ll lose the best part of the whole thing. ~ karen!

  60. Vanessa says:

    Home grown tomatoes AND home made bread? Now you’re just showing off! I have always made bruschetta with garlic and balsamic vinegar, but now I’m wondering if that isn’t to cover the flavor of inferior tomatoes?(Although I did get my recipe from my straight off the boat, Italian Nonna) I just got a ton of tomatoes from my Aunt, whom I am convinced is giving her ONE tomato plant steroids. I will TRY, it your way (alas, with store bought bread), you haven’t led me astray yet. I figure I can always add garlic and balsamic if I have to.

  61. Hi Karen, I unfortunately deleted a LOT of emails recently and one of them was where you’d mentioned, and shown, the 100% linen bath towel (mentioned aprox $25) so I remember it was gorgeous, you coveted it as did I and that large a chunk of linen, finished for $25, I should have just made a note. With that said would you mind just letting me know where the towel is available, and you are definitely my favourite blogger; you are so real and that’s not easily found these days. Thanks for all the enjoyable emails – your the last thing I read before I go to bed and you take EXCELLENT photographs BTW.
    Thanks Karen – Charlotte

    • IRS says:

      Charlotte, unless I am mistaken, all of Karen’s favourite linen items come from her sponsor, Rough Linen Bedding. You should see the icon for the shop at the top of this page. I have clicked on it many times, and I want to order the pinafore apron. It looks practical, comfortable, and I love the look and style of it. I’m curious if a linen bath towel is as absorbent as a thick cotton towel is, and also if linen sheets are smooth and not too rough. I have always preferred cotton over most other fibres, so I would be curious about what linen sheet and towel owners have to say.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlotte! All of the linen stuff I mention (and own) is from Rough Linen, my sponsor. You can always find her ad on the righthand sidebar of my website. But here’s the bath towels link specifically. She has either bath towels or bath sheets. 🙂 ~ karen!

  62. Mike says:

    Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I got the impression in your blog that you clearly stated “no garlic”. What is with these readers who have to argue this?? I mean, so you think the recipe would be better with garlic? Then write your own dang blog!!! I think the recipe is super just the way it is and I can’t wait to try it and I am sure beyond doubt that it will be so good that I’ll use a whole box of tissues in tears of unspeakable joy and satisfaction. Great stuff again, Karen!!!

  63. Mike says:

    Yep, went back and looked at the recipe. “You need bread, olive oil, tomatoes, basil and salt.” Didn’t see “add garlic” in there anywhere. Seems like to me that would mean don’t use garlic, but I’m not a master chef or anything like that so what would I know?

  64. Mel says:

    Okay so you want to know how to get someone to not just cry but to propose to you? Add a bit of crumbled feta and a drizzle of balsamic reduction on top. The salty sweet just compliments the tomatoes perfectly.
    I’ve never fried the bread or left out the garlic though, so I’ll try it fresh and simple your way next time I make it.
    I giggled at all the times you had to say “no garlic!” heh.

  65. Jebber Jay says:


  66. Mia says:

    I am not a cook at all, so I probably won’t ever taste this. But I can just about feel the sunshine coming from the tomatoes in those gorgeous photos. I teared up from those, a little.

  67. Ayla says:

    Que ricas esas tostadas, las he de probar, las he hecho a veces parecidas, pero no con albahaca, asi que tomo nota pra probar, jejeje

  68. Kiara says:

    You posted this yesterday morning. I drooled all day at work. I went home and got tomatoes and basil out of my garden. I fried bread. I wish I never tried fried bread. Life will never be the same.

    My life now has two distinct chapters. Pre-Best-Bruschetta and Post-Best-Bruschetta.

  69. Kiara says:

    And to the Garlic Army … I’m one of you, Komrades. But you can leave it out here.

  70. Karen and others, I appreciate the info re the linen towel and to the question is linen as absorbant, etc., as say cotton, the answer is yes. It’s THE most amazing fabric on the planet, it’s utterly beautiful in it’s most wrinkled and frequent condition and it’s still cool to look at.
    I have linen bedding and I can’t say enough. One night (and only one) in a very posh European hotel made me a linen lover, in that I was now going to sleep in it as well as wear it as often as is humanly possible. There is no linen after September long rule in my home – linen rules.
    I have made the website a favourite Karen, so thanks for that, and for everything else. You take all those photos yourself – self trained (of course you are)/it’s my latest reinvention but the new digital cameras are a bit more complicated than I’m accustomed but you are always SO encouraging.
    TV is a great and evil thing – you can learn so much, but lose so much time; there must be a balance but I’ve not found it yet. We have Netflix , for 6 months now but have never actually USED it but winter is coming.
    Thanks again – Charlotte

  71. Edith says:

    Hi Karen,

    I made this bruschetta tonight and it was delicious! Hubby ate 6 slices. I’m sure he would have cried, but he can’t chew and cry at the same time.

  72. Shel says:

    With tomatoes and basil in my garden, I picked up a loaf of artisan bread to make this for a late dinner tonight It was out of this world good.

    I’m deeply ashamed to admit this but I couldn’t help adding a sprinkling of granulated garlic (YES, I know, but I thought raw garlic would be far too strong) on one piece of toast before adding the tomatoes. Authentic Italian cooks will curse me for this but I honestly did think that, the garlic made it even better.

  73. LazySusan says:

    We’ll be trying this, sans garlic, just as your recipe calls for. Sounds delicious!

  74. Marti says:

    Excellent! I love making that hot crusty bread, although this seems like the stuff to make the day after when that bread is hanging about and needs a little something extra. Perfect!

  75. m'liss says:

    I use garlic all the time, love it. I have Italian relatives from Sicily who “never” use garlic in their cooking. The best Italian food you’ll ever taste.

  76. Ei Con says:

    Made this tonight. No garlic as instructed. Cherry, Juliet and grape tomatoes from my garden. Basil from same. Was heavenly. I cut my bread a wee bit too thin. But did not burn it. The ‘bubbles from the spoon handle’ tip did not work for me. No bubbles. None the less ( does anyone under 50 still use this phrase?) it was heavenly. Thank you dear Karen.

    • Karen says:

      I love Juliet tomatoes! Grew them for the first time this year. If the bubble trick didn’t work it’s because your oil wasn’t hot enough. A wood spoon always, always forms bubbles when put in hot oil. Your bread still would have fried but it would have absorbed way more oil than it would have if you’d heated the oil up a bit more. I had it for dinner tonight as a matter of fact. And as another matter of fact, I ate TOO much. ~ karen!

  77. helen says:

    So. Okay. I got the smoking pan outside where it could cool off. I wiped the walls clean of black smoky oil residue that the range hood could not keep up with. How do I get the smell of seriously (!) burnt toast out of the house?

    Yeah, the bruschetta was good, but it still needed the balsamic glaze drizzled on. And it would have benefitted from garlic. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      If you did it right with the right ingredients it really doesn’t need balsamic and garlic, lol. That’s a completely different recipe with a completely different flavour profile. I’m sure it would be good but it isn’t the flavours this particular recipe is supposed to have. Kind of like adding raisins to chocolate chip cookies. Same same, but different. ~ karen

  78. So, ever since reading this I have been hankering for bruschetta, in part because I had forgotten just how delicious it can be and in part because I am overrun with tomatoes. I finally got around to it tonight, but I used my recipe, sans garlic, like yours although I do have a few extras. Similar but not, it is a fam fav my daughter concocted. Thanks for the reminder of this simple yet elegant treat and now I will go and enjoy!

  79. Gillian says:

    Just used this as the veggies with our “popcorn chicken and taters” (a picky 2 year old and that’s all he ever wants, it was breaded and baked turkey and mini potatoes, mmmmmm) it was excellent! I added a few different spices but this was the inspiration.

    Thanks for the yummy supper!!

  80. Heather (mtl) says:

    Oh, my word was this ever good! Right some good!
    I was Mom-sitting this w/e and after a big lunch of delicious fish and chips (oddly, not easy to find!) I knew I wanted something light for supper. Your recipe was just the ticket. I, too, wish I had never fried my bread cos there will be no going back now. I followed your directions (sans garlic) and used an array of my own garden Toms, good olive oil and fresh bread. Honestly, Mom and I both swooned. So sweet and amazingly hearty. I’m sure I could have polished off several more slices.
    Thanks for the inspiration! Now to try that bread recipe…. but not in 41 deg heat, thank you.

    • Karen says:

      So glad you liked it Heather! And even more glad you made it as instructed without garlic, lol. Garlic takes OVER when you add it to something and with this it’s only the tomatoes, oil, basil and salt you want to shine through. Glad your mom liked it too. The heat will be gone in a few days but for now I’m glad it’s here because this huge burst of heat and humidity will increase the size of my sweet potato crop by a LOT! ~ karen!

  81. Tina says:

    The food looks so yummy and delicious!!! Thanks for sharing these pictures!

  82. Mindy says:

    Throw a couple smashed garlic gloves in with that frying oil. Mmm hmm. Sometimes, I pile everything onto the bread, top it with feta chunks, then broil it. Mmm hmm. This is hands down one of my favorite foods.

  83. Traciwithaneye says:

    This looks amazing!!! I don’t have a garden this year, but will hightail it over to the farmer’s market to pick up some local tomatoes and basil to give this a try! Thanks, Karen!

  84. Mary says:

    Since you wrote this a month ago I hope you see my question. Do you fry both sides of the bread?
    You may think it’s silly to ask but I’m not much of a cook. A lot of things that are assumed, escape me.

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