4 servings
40 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking, 50 minutes total
A mix of yellow and red cherry tomatoes works well on bruschetta, as do juicy beefsteaks. Use white bread: a robust white Italian bread like Pugliese makes the best crostini.


  • 2 pounds tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 20 basil leaves, plus more as a garnish
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 8 finger-thick slices white bread (see above), cut at an angle
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper


1. If you're using cherry tomatoes, chop them in half, scatter with salt, and leave them to bleed for half an hour in a colander. You don't need to skin cherry tomatoes, but if you're using full-sized ones, skin them before chopping.

2. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes with the sugar, oil, basil, and vinegar. If you're using very sweet cherry tomatoes such as Sungold, leave out the sugar and double the red wine vinegar to make them sharper. Try to keep the basil leaves whole. Once cut or torn, basil blackens quickly. If the leaves are too big and you need to halve them, just add at the last minute.

3. To make the crostini, preheat the oven to 350°F. Drizzle the olive oil over the bread. Toast the bread in the oven for 10 minutes, but don't let it become too hard. You can also cook it on a preheated medium-hot barbecue or grill pan until brown and crispy.

4. Lightly scrape one side with fresh garlic, if you are using it, and then add the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and garnish with extra basil.

Reprinted with permission from In Season: Cooking with Vegetables and Fruits by Sarah Raven (Universe, 2008). Copyright © 2007 by Sarah Raven. Photography copyright © 2007 by Jonathan Buckley. First published in the United Kingdom as The Garden Cookbook by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.