Recipe: Fire-Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

This is a really simple and delicious recipe to bring out the gastro griller in you — bruschetta with charred tomatoes, fresh garlic, olive oil and basil. Topped with a goat’s milk Pecorino Crotonese cheese, it’s wickedly delicious!

Serves 8


4 ripe, plump plum tomatoes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

8 slices rustic bread, cut approx. 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick

2 to 4 cloves garlic

1 cup (250 mL) fresh basil leaves

Drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar

16 shavings of Pecorino Crotonese cheese


Fire up your grill to 450–550°F (230–290°C).

Cut the plum tomatoes in half. Place the tomato halves, cut side down, onto the hot grill and quickly char the surface of each. Turn and grill the tomatoes until the skin is lightly charred, as this should take just a minute or two. You don’t want cook the tomatoes, as this will make them mushy — just a little char to add some grill flavor.

Remove tomatoes from grill. Peel and discard the charred skin. Coarsely chop the charred tomato pieces and place them into a medium-sized bowl. Season to taste with a little kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, mix and set aside.

Toast the rustic bread on both sides until golden brown and crispy; set aside and keep warm. Take a clove of garlic and rub it all over one side of the bread; repeat with remaining bread pieces.

Add freshly chopped basil to the charred tomato mixture. It is best to do this right before serving so that the basil is fresh and doesn’t turn black. Spoon the bruschetta mixture onto the grilled bread; drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Garnish with shaved Pecorino Crotonese cheese and serve immediately.

From Gastro Grilling: Fired-Up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals by Ted Reader. Copyright © Ted Reader, 2013. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Group (Canada), a Division of Pearson Canada Inc. Photographer credit: Mike McColl.