Brunch Basics: How to Build Your Own Bruschetta Bar + Recipe


Entertaining a house full of hungry guests? How about a brunchy spin on an Italian classic? Bruschetta is a savory appetizer which traditionally consists of crunchy garlic bread topped with olive oil, juicy tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar. But what’s so appealing about this crunchy hors d’oeuvre is that it can be easily modified and served as a meal for lunch, a snack or even brunch! What’s better is that you can deconstruct it and create a bruschetta buffet with various toppings so your houseguests can build their own. Prepare a smorgasbord of spreads, cheeses, fruits and other flavors using the following tips and recipes below.

Rustic Platter of Brunch Bruschetta |

The ingredients

Bread: Choose a crusty baguette, peasant style sourdough or something else with a little chew. Slice bread, brush with olive oil, top with crushed garlic and heat in a cast iron pan, on the grill or bake in the oven until slightly crispy.

Spread: The first layer can be a soft spreadable cheese, fruit jam, avocado or hazelnut spread. For savory brunch options, include goat cheese, pesto or tapenade.

Toppings: Offer a colorful selection of roasted peppers, fruity bean salad, fresh figs, apple slices, cherries, artichoke hearts, sliced heirloom tomatoes, hard cheeses, marinated salads and cured meats such as prosciutto and ham.

Create an inspiration plate

Hosting folks with wary palates? Broaden their horizons by preparing a platter of unique bruschetta combinations to get the party started. Here are four fool-proof blends:

  • Creamy goat cheese + fresh raspberries or cherries + honey drizzle
  • Hazelnut spread + thinly sliced pears + sprinkle smoked sea salt
  • Pesto + chopped roasted peppers
  • Cream cheese + prosciutto + melon

You can also try this amazing combo below:

Summer Squash Bruschetta Topping |

Summer Squash Bruschetta Topping

1 medium summer squash, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
1 cup red & yellow cherry tomatoes, (if large, cut into halves or quarters)
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper


1. In sauté pan over medium heat, add yellow squash, olive oil and garlic. Sauté 3-4 minutes until squash softens slightly.

2. Add tomato and olives. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until tomatoes softens slightly.

3. Add red wine vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Stir and remove from heat. Let mixture cool slightly and place in 2-cup jar or storage container with tightly fitting lid.

4. Store bruschetta mixture in refrigerator until ready to use.

Chef’s tip: To serve, top grilled garlicky bread with a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and top with a spoonful of squash mixture. Garnish with fresh basil leaf.