Bruschetta Recipe From the Movie Julie & Julia

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.



Bruschetta from the movie Julie & Julia

If you've watched the movie Julie & Julia you no doubt noticed the bruschetta love scene. I'm not sure anything in a movie has ever looked so delicious.  This is that recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 637kcal
Author: Karen


  • 3 medium tomatoes heirloom and a variety of colours if you can get them.
  • 3 large stems basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil good quality
  • salt
  • 4 slices bread hearty, crusty bread is best.


  • Dice tomatoes.
    Shred basil leaves.
    Mix tomatoes and basil in bowl with 1/4 of olive oil, reserving other 1/4 cup for frying.
    Let this mixture sit for 30 minutes.
    When the 30 minutes is up, add a generous sprinkling of salt to the mixture and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
    Now is when you can heat up 1/4 cup of olive oil (your goal is to have 3mm of oil in the pan) over medium/low heat.
    Once hot, fry your slices of bread until golden.
    Remove bread from pan and top with tomato mixture.


You can cut the calories in this recipe by using less oil to fry the bread. It won't be *quite* as good, but the snack will have far less guilt associated it.
To test your oil to make sure it's hot enough, dip the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If bubbles quickly form around the wood, it's the right temperature.  If they take a while to bubble, it isn't hot enough.  If the oil bubbles and spurts crazily, the pan is too hot.


Serving: 2pieces | Calories: 637kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2.4mg


Serve HOT.  With a box of Kleenex.


  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. Liz says:

    I feel like I can taste it! Yummmmmmmmm.

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. Kim C says:

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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…..

  21. 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

  22. 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!

  23. 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

  24. 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!

  25. 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!

  26. 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?

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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’.

  34. 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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. Art. M. says:

    You forgot the garlic!!!

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

  38. Auntiepatch says:

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

  39. 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.

  40. Karen Too says:

    You don’t put garlic in it, Karen?

  41. 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

  42. 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… :)

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. Kathleen says:

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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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

  49. TucsonPatty says:

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

  50. 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?

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