We almost always have pesto in our freezer or a fresh bag of basil leaves in the fridge – so when we don’t know what to make and no one is in the mood to make an effort, it’s pesto + something (usually sandwiches, quinoa or pasta). In the beginning it’s an easy go-to but over time it gets boring and monotonous (like any other meal). I decided to switch things up a bit and put a different spin on bruschetta. This cherry tomato pesto bruschetta one is particularly light, fresh yet tart because of the tomatoes. I kept it vegan because I try not to overdo the cheese in a single meal in general.
Bruschetta and crostini are fun sides to a frittata, zucchini pasta, or anything else where the meal isn’t primarily bread or carb-based. They are easy to put together and serve as well! For this recipe, you can swap out the cherry tomatoes if your audience isn’t into tomatoes; I’ve found braised mushrooms work particularly well. Just cook sliced mushrooms tossed in a little olive oil, italian seasoning and salt on the gas until they release all their water. You can also use arugula pesto if you don’t have basil – find my recipe for that here. I chose to drizzle the bruschetta with balsamic vinegar at the end – if you don’t have any, you can skip it, but if you are using balsamic, splurge and use the best one you have because it really enhances the flavors.
- 3 slices multigrain bread, each slice cut into fours or 12 small slices of french bread
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Salt and fresh pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 1 packet (about 1 cup packed) basil leaves
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, almonds or walnuts
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- Salt, to taste
- For the pesto, puree all the ingredients in a mixer until they form a paste. I prefer to start with one tbsp of olive oil and add a little more if needed.
- To assemble: toast the bread, spread pesto on it, top with the cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper as needed.