Garden Small Bites + Sides

Fresh + Simple Bruschetta

This easy, simple bruschetta is the perfect appetizer, snack, or tapas plate for your summer and fall gatherings – and it’s absolutely fantastic when it’s all made completely fresh.


This is the recipe that made my husband fall in love with home gardening.

No matter how small a house or apartment we’ve had since we’ve been together, we always had something of a home garden. I almost always have a few kitchen herb staples – basil, rosemary, parsley, oregano, thyme, and mint. But when I started wanting to expand that garden and grow tomatoes and peppers, fresh salad greens, and other veggies, he worried that I was going to put in something that was going to need to be taken out before we sold the house, and would take a lot of work {probably by him, since I spend a huge amount of my life in office meetings}.

I don’t blame him much, because I wasn’t just planning to put a couple of potted tomatoes on the back patio. I wanted to build in raised garden beds and grow tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, potatoes, pumpkins, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower…the works. And because we know we’re going to move and we always have to keep resale in mind, and because of the aforementioned honey-do list I create just because I don’t often have time to help, we debated.

When the pandemic locked us down, I finally put in my garden, both because we didn’t know what the supply chain was going to look like for fresh food and because I wanted a chance to indulge, and swore up and down we could turn it into a cut flower garden or something ornamental before resale if we needed to do that, and it wouldn’t need to be removed.

Then this started happening.

gardening with eggshells

My cucumbers were the first to come in, but it wasn’t long after I transplanted my tomato seedlings {I grew everything from seed} into the garden that they sprang up to be about three feet tall and started making blossoms. Not long after, we started seeing tomatoes grow.

Now the damn things are seven feet tall and have made us increase the height several times on the bird netting I have over the garden and the stakes I have helping to support them. And even though we’re getting on into cooler October temperatures and the first frost is right around the corner – Farmer’s Almanac says it could be as early as this Friday – they’re still making tons of tomatoes!

I love me some Farmer’s Almanac. Maybe they weren’t equipped with today’s technology when they first started writing it, but I consider the original writers of Farmer’s kindred data scientists. They knew well how to use what they knew about temperature and weather trends and historical data to provide information critical to people making decisions about how to grow and preserve food. Just the amount of science that goes into growing food blows my mind sometimes.

And so, too, do the delicious results of growing that food.


Fresh ripe tomatoes, right off the vine. Fresh baked baguettes. Fresh chopped basil, plucked right off the plant on our back deck. Add a little bit of garlic and parmesan and drizzle with balsamic, and you have everything you need for the most heavenly fresh taste you can imagine.

After I made this, having a home garden was not only a done deal, but we decided that our next house in Florida needs to be on an acre of land, so that there’s plenty of room for a couple of citrus trees and plenty of raised kitchen garden beds.

[lt_recipe name=”Fresh + Simple Bruschetta” summary=”This easy, simple bruschetta is the perfect appetizer, snack, or tapas plate for your summer and fall gatherings – and it’s absolutely fantastic when it’s all made completely fresh.” servings=”6″ total_time=”10M” print=”yes” image=”×683.jpg” ingredients=”3 cloves garlic, minced;6 fresh tomatoes, diced;1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated;1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade cut;1 loaf hearty French bread, sliced;4 tbsp or more balsamic vinegar” ]Slice and toast the bread (place the slices on a baking sheet and broil for about 45 seconds each side).;In a small bowl, add the diced tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, and fresh basil, and toss to combine.;Serve mixture immediately over the toasted bread and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Prepare for happy tastebuds.;[/lt_recipe]

Obviously, this is best when served as fresh as you can get it, but it will keep just fine for a few days in the fridge. You can bake and toast the bread ahead of time, but I recommend chopping up the tomatoes and basil as close to when you’re serving it as possible.


Wine Pairing: Most wines, especially lighter dryer wines, pair really well with bruschetta, but stay away from the sweeter wines. Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, dry champagne, Pinot Noir, a light Cabernet, and old world reds are all good bets.

My Pick: Because I’m a red wine woman, Gagliole Rubiolo Chianti Classico 2017

Happy gardening, all!

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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