Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Queso Fresco

Normally tomatoes and I aren't close. I am that annoying person who picks them out of my salad and fishes tomatoes out of my sandwich, it's an embarrassing trait. This tomato avoidance changes each summer with the arrival of beautiful, sweet, summer tomatoes. This week we got two colorful striped heirloom tomatoes from our CSA and my tomato appetite returned with a vengeance. Paul had just pulled a grainy loaf of sourdough bread out of the oven, our basil plants were looking lush and prime for the picking, and so decided on bruschetta for dinner. We gobbled up a platter for an al fresco summer dinner.

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Yield: serves 2 as a main, 4-6 as an appetizer


   Bruschetta Topping:

  • 2 medium heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco cheese, finely cubed (can substitute fresh mozzarella)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 7 large basil leaves, finely chopped


  • 12 small, thin bread slices, we use a whole grain sourdough
  • Olive oil
  • kosher salt


  1. Core and dice the tomatoes to a uniform size (about 1/2 inch cubes).
  2. Place the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle over with the salt. Allow the tomatoes to drain over the sink for 5-10 minutes, while your grill heats.
  3. Preheat your grill on high for 10-15 minutes. Clean the grates thoroughly and wipe with a lightly oiled rag just prior to grilling to reduce sticking.
  4. Brush 12 small pieces of bread with a little olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt on both sides. Grill on high for 1-2 minutes per side until grill marks appear. Remove from grill to a platter.
  5. Immediately prior to serving, transfer the tomatoes to a small bowl and mix in the queso fresco, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, and chopped basil. 
  6. Top the grilled bread with equal portions of the tomato mixture and serve immediately.