Bruschetta is a traditional, rustic Italian dish, made with day-old bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and ripened red tomatoes. It’s a simple, elegant, and tasty treat to pair with a nice, dry red wine.
Home-canned bruschetta, made from fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes is one of the simplest ways to preserve tomatoes. With this dish, you need not bother with the tedious process of blanching tomatoes to remove the skin. Instead, you merely wash, core, scoop out any excessive seeds, and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
Moreover, this canning process is a cold-pack method with a boiling water canner. So it’s an excellent recipe for first-time canners. You can break this process into two separate steps instead of trying to manage many moving parts at one time.
By the end of this post, you will:
- Understand what ingredients you need to make bruschetta
- What the word bruschetta means in Italian.
- The correct pronunciation of bruschetta
- How to make bruschetta to serve immediately.
- Have a method to make home-canned bruschetta from seasonal tomatoes.
- How to cut tomatoes for bruschetta.
- What foods to pair with bruschetta.
- How to serve bruschetta
The Significance of Brushetta in Italian Culture
This bread and tomato dish served two purposes in the traditional Italian household.
First, it was the perfect way to use up day-old bread before it grew too stale for consumption. Italian wives of yesteryear knew how to stretch their food bucks, and this was just more proof of their good common sense philosophy of waste not, want not.
Second, this bread could be a light meal for families who wanted a big, bold flavor but lacked the funds for fancy dinners or costly animal proteins every day. Paired with roasted vegetables from the family’s garden or a homemade vegetable soup, it was a go-to dish that saved households money.
Bruschetta Frequently Asked Questions
We asked Google which questions people want to know about this Italian delicacy. Here are the things many people want to know.
What are bruschetta made of?
Traditional Italian cooks make bruschetta from :
- Sliced day-old bread, brushed with olive oil, then toasted
- Chopped tomatoes
- Balsamic vinegar
- Herbs (traditionally basil. Some add oregano, or rosemary–or all three depending on the cook’s preference)
Traditionally, cooks toasted the bread over warm coals in a traditional brick oven.
In this recipe, you’ll substitute balsamic for white vinegar during the canning process. That’s because you need the 5% acidity to ensure safe canning. You can always add a drizzle of rich balsamic when you serve the bruschetta, if you wish for that extra bite of acid.
How do I pronounce bruschetta?
If you don’t want to sound like a newb, pronounce the word as: brew (like a beer)- sketta. Brew-sketta; not Brew-shetta.
What does bruschetta mean in Italian?
The name of this delicacy derives from the Italian verb bruscare, an infinitive that means, to roast over coals. A closer modern-day translation is to toast.
How do I make original bruschetta?
After you make your homemade bruschetta, here is how you will assemble your dish to serve:
- Brush sliced Italian bread with olive oil and toast or grill it.
- Smash a clove of garlic with the blunt side of a knife to release the oils; rub the garlic on the toasted bread.
- Top each slice of bread with your homemade bruschetta.
- Garnish with fresh sweet basil and sea salt.
This will simulate the original bruschetta recipe, except all the herbs and seasoning is already contained in your home-canned jars.
How do you drain tomatoes for bruschetta?
When you are ready to assemble the bruschetta from your cans, pour the contents into a small colander and set them in the sink for about fifteen minutes.
Should bruschetta be served hot or cold?
Traditionally, Italians enjoy the tomato mixture at room temperature, but they serve it over lovely, warm, toasted bread.
What kind of bread is used for bruschetta?
If you can find it in the United States, grab a loaf of the Italian specialty bread, Pagnotta. This hearty and rustic bread comes from a sourdough starter and bakes off in a wood-fired oven. In America, your best bet to find it is an Italian specialty market.
The next closest thing you’ll find is ciabatta bread. Of course, Italian bread will also be very tasty.
What goes best with bruschetta?
Consider serving bruschetta with these seven classic things:
- Cold pasta salad
- Pesto-topped pasta dishes
- Antipasto platter
- Grilled vegetables
- A cheese plate
- Hearty soups or stews
Indeed, it’s hard to find something that’s not delicious to serve alongside this toasty bread. Don’t forget to pour yourself a nice glass of Chianti.
How long is homemade bruschetta good for?
If you opt not to can this recipe but to serve it immediately, plan to eat it within three to five days. Just like homemade salsa, it will become too watery to enjoy relatively quickly.
How do you cut tomatoes for bruschetta?
You want tomatoes in small, pleasing, easy-to-bite chunks.
To prepare the tomatoes, you should do these steps:
- Wash the tomatoes and pat them dry.
- Cut the tomatoes off the core; remove any bad or soft spots–no need to remove the skin. Of course, you may compost this waste.
- Scoop out excessive seeds. If you forget to do this, your bruschetta might be too watery. Still flavorful, but it will dampen the bread.
- Cut the tomatoes into a large dice–not so tiny that they fall off but not larger than a bite.
How to Make Home Canned Bruschetta
Here is our step-by-step guidance on making these canned tomatoes at home. As mentioned earlier, you will cold-pack these. If you are new to canning, this term means you do not cook the tomatoes. Instead, you cook the canning liquid. For a canning beginner, this allows you to manage your time as you hone your skills.
Kitchen tools you will need:
- Large pot or boiling water canner
- Stockpot for making the canning liquid
- Small pan for boiling the lids
- Kitchen towels and pot holders
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Large non-metallic bowl for mixing the diced tomatoes
- Plastic or nylon ladle
- Wooden spoon
- Cutting board
- Jar lifting tool
- Magnetic wand for the canning lids
- Bubble remover tool
- Canning funnel
- Half-pint jars (recipe makes nine or ten)
- Lids for the canning jars
- Canning jar rings
- A second wooden cutting board for the jars to cool (I line mine with old kitchen towels to prevent water marks from ruining the board)
Indeed, having these things nearby and organized makes for a much smoother process.
Printable Recipe Card
- 6 cups fresh tomatoes: seeded, cored, and in large dice. You can leave on the skins
- 3 Tbl garlic powder
- 2 Tbl fresh oregano
- 2 1/2 Tbl sweet basil, fresh
- 1 Tbl fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbl. canning salt
- 2 1/2 cups of 5% acidity white vinegar
- 1/4 cup of granulated white sugar
- 1 Tbl. ground black pepper
- Sanitize the canning jars and make sure you have the lids and rings ready.
- Fill your boiling water canner about halfway and start it.
- Get a small pot ready for the canning lids to simmer, according to package instructions by the manufacturer
- Prepare the tomatoes: You'll leave the skin on, making this easier than most canned tomato recipes. But you must core, seed, and use a sharp knife to make a large diced size. Put them in a large glass or plastic bowl (not metal, as the tomatoes contain reactive acids)
- Give the herbs a quick rinse, pat dry, remove any yellow or buggy leaves, and a quick rustic chop.
- To the tomato mixture, add 2 Tbl of the garlic powder (reserve the third for the canning liquid), sweet basil, oregano, rosemary, and canning salt. Set this aside.
- Mix the canning liquid in a stockpot: the 2 1/2 cups of vinegar, sugar, the reserved Tbl of garlic powder, and black pepper. Get this boiling for fifteen minutes.
- While the canning liquid boils, you will cold pack the tomatoes into nine to ten half-pint jars, leaving about a half-inch of headspace.
- Now is a good time to start the canning lids simmering.
- After the liquid boils for fifteen minutes, use a ladle and canning funnel to cover the bruschetta in the jars, almost to the top. Use the air bubble tool to release any gasses.
- Wipe down the rims with a clean cloth to ensure a tight fit to the lids. Place the lids and hand tighten the rings.
- Use the jar lifter to place the jars into your boiling water canner, gently and carefully. The water level will rise as you displace it with the weight of the jars. Be sure the water covers the jars by about one inch, at a minimum.
- Let the water come back to a boil, process the tomatoes for thirty minutes. Carefully move them at the end of this time, placing them on a wooden cutting board covered with towels. You will hear the lids start to "ping" after a short while. Any jars that don't seal within a few hours are fair game for a snack--store them in the fridge.
- After the jars settle for 24 hours, write the canning date. As with any home canned tomatoes, you should enjoy your bruschetta within one year.
To serve your home-canned bruschetta:
The Takeaway: Bruschetta Is Easy to Manage and Perfect for Small Batches
When the garden produces a lot of tomatoes, but not quite enough for a long day of heavy canning of tomato sauce, I make bruschetta. It’s easy to make because of skipping the tomato blanching and peeling step, making it ideal for small batches of tomatoes that you can’t bear to allow to go bad.
Give this a try. It’s such a tasty, decadent treat. The blend of acidic vinegar and sweet tomatoes is divine. Please give this a try, especially if you are new to canning. You will be so glad you tried it! Please connect on social media and tell us how it worked for you. And until the next time, have a happy DIY day.