Bruschetta Recipe From the Movie Julie & Julia

The Julia Child Bruschetta recipe that’s so good it brought my guests to tears. Olive Oil fried rustic bread topped with marinated tomatoes and basil. 

Bruschetta topped fried bread sits on a wood cutting board.


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 death … but the thought of never eating this delicious food again.

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

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 fridge 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 which 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. 

In the movie the bruschetta looked and sounded so goooood. And if you watch the scene from the movie, Julie’s husband does exactly what you want people to do when they eat your cooking. He says, “This is  GOOOOD!”


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.

The Bruschetta Recipe

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.

A variety of heirloom tomatoes on a butcher block kitchen counter with bread and a sunflower in the background.


Dice a few fresh, local tomatoes. Extra points for heirloom and homegrown. Even if the home wasn’t yours.

Diced multicolored heirloom tomatoes on a butcher block counter.


Tear up a handful of fresh 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.

I  know you’re alarmed that there’s no fresh garlic in this recipe but there isn’t. I’m not going to second guess Julia Child. It’s is 100% delicious without the overpowering flavour of garlic. If you want to add garlic you can but I BEG you to try it without first.

Diced heirloom tomatoes in an ironstone bowl and a bunch of basil sit on a wood countertop.



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

Diced tomatoes and basil marinating in olive oil for making bruschetta.


After 30 minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper (I actually don’t use pepper but go nuts if you’re a pepper person) let sit for another 10 minutes or so.


Overhead view of an oval ironstone bowl filled with diced tomatoes and basil, sitting alongside a loaf of bread.


Cover the bottom of a pan with olive oil until it’s approximately 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.

A wooden spoon is touched into hot oil to see if bubbles form around it, proving the oil is hot enough for frying.


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

Homemade bread sliced into thick pieces for bruschetta.


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

Bread fried to a golden brown in a white non stick pan with olive oil.


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.


Crunchy rustic bread fried to a golden brown in olive oil sits on a wood cutting board.


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


Marinated tomatoes and basil being topped onto olive oil fried bread with a gold spoon.


And now you eat it.


Julia Child's bruschetta with fried bread and marinated tomatoes on a wood cutting board.

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.
4.75 from 4 votes
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


  • 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

I’ve listed this as a snack, but in the summer this could easily be a meal. Especially if you round it out with a big bowl of ice cream.

Serve the bruschetta HOT.  With a box of Kleenex.

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Bruschetta Recipe From the Movie Julie & Julia


  1. mk says:

    This recipe is really good. If you are deeply concerned about the lack of garlic, I would recommend taking a Xanax and then giving it a go anyway. It turned out great for me.

  2. Giggle-ing in Texas says:

    I always love reading your blog posts simply because you have such a cute and funny way of saying things. Doesn’t even matter what the post is about, I’ll read it just because I know its gonna make me giggle right out loud! This one did catch my eye because I love bruschetta and just planted some basil and can’t wait to use it for bruschetta. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe and for all the cheer! Keep on doin’ what you do!

  3. Mary W says:

    I ADORE good bruschetta! I have fresh tomatoes, can make the no knead bread by morning, and have fresh basil. I’ve never fried the bread in olive oil so assume that is my big mistake. I loved the movie, too. I grew a variety of smaller tomatoes this year just for fun. A big surprise was the peach tomato. All the plant markers faded to nothing and I didn’t know this plant was the peach one but once I picked it – oh yes, it was the peach one. I kept wondering why the small group of 4 tomatoes took forever to turn orange then red. They just stayed yellow. So once one of them rotted, I felt the others and they were so ready. I picked them and took them to my grandson who eats all food from my garden. He loved his. I tasted mine (small like a small lemon, soft skin like a peach, and a tiny blush almost impossible to see. But it was delicious, juicy, and so good to eat out of hand. I will be growing more next year.

  4. Debbie says:

    Love that movie. I watch it over and over again.

    This looks amazing! We grew our own tomatoes and basil so I’m almost there!

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Eileen says:

    cripes… my eyes are barely open, coffee still only half drunk, and all I want is some of that fried bread. The topping will gave to wait until there are tomatoes, which, considering 27 of 29 days this July have been over 90F/32C, may be never.

  6. Colleen says:

    I want to make loads and loads of this while tomatoes are in season! Have you ever canned it?


  7. Beth says:

    I found this recipe a few years ago and it’s my favorite taste of summer now. Absolutely delicious!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. Tina says:

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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!!

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. LazySusan says:

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. Kiara says:

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. Jebber Jay says:


  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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!!!

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

        • Jan in Waterdown says:

          We ALL would miss you. Maybe you could just be friends with benefits?

  35. 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.

  36. Kristin ferguson says:

    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 . . .

  37. Lynn says:

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

  38. 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

  39. 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!

  40. 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! :D

    • 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.

  41. 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!

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