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Bruschette with sun-dried tomato pesto recipe

Gino D'Acampo / 12 September 2013

Bruschette are eaten all over Italy, and we all know and love the traditional tomato-based recipe – I, for one, certainly grew up on it. This version just adds a little twist to the classic dish and is perfect for entertaining.

Gino D'Acampo's bruschette with sun-dried tomato pesto. Photograph © Matt Russell

Preparation time

5 minutes

Cooking time

2 minutes




  • 1 ciabatta loaf, cut into slices 2cm thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
  • 5–6 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • fresh basil leaves and Parmesan or vegetarian alternative
  • cheese shavings to garnish

For the pesto

  • 150g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • small bunch of fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese* or vegetarian alternative
  • salt and black pepper to taste


First make the pesto. Place the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil and pine nuts in a small food processor and blitz until you have a rough paste. Add the olive oil and Parmesan and blitz again until smooth. Season and set to one side.

To make the bruschette, heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Brush the ciabatta slices with a little olive oil, then pop them on the griddle for 1–2 minutes until charred on both sides. Remove from the pan and rub one side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic.

Spread a little of the pesto on each bruschette, then scatter with a few of the diced tomatoes.

Serve topped with a few basil leaves and Parmesan shavings.

Recipe from Gino's Italian Escape by Gino D’Acampo. Published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton (£20). Photography © Matt Russell.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.