Roasted eggplant bruschetta is a perfect and delicious appetizer for your summer garden party, picnic or weeknight meal. It comes together quickly (in under 20 minutes) and covers all the bases. Fresh vegetables, tangy cheese, herbaceous basil, sweet mint and balsamic.
A Note on Seasonality
This recipe will taste great any time of year, but make sure to try it during the summer months when both eggplants and tomatoes are at their peak. Trust me it’ll taste heavenly.
Eggplants can be polarizing. You either hate them or love them. For me, they are an important part of my cultural cuisine. I grow them every year in my urban garden and let me tell you, storebought just doesn’t compete.
My book, Seed to Table, features a few eggplant recipes including my wildly popular Mutabal (Roasted Eggplant Dip). It’s different from Baba ghanoush so definitely give it a try.
This recipe comes together in no time and uses ingredients that are very accessible. I encourage you to seek out heirloom tomatoes, organic eggplants and the highest quality olive oil and vinegar.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Bread: A classic bruschetta is made with toasted or grilled sliced ciabatta or baguette but do feel free to experiment. You can even use my Rosemary Parmesan Bread as a base here. Gluten free bread or crackers can also be used.
- Eggplants: Choose smooth, blemish-free Italian eggplants. Smaller eggplants tend to have fewer seeds so bigger isn’t always better when it comes to eggplants. Choose small to medium-sized globes. You can even make this recipe with long Asian eggplants.
- Tomatoes: Organic and heirloom tomatoes are ideal here, cut into the same size cubes as the eggplant. If you prefer, you can use Roma tomatoes or grape or cherry tomatoes here.
- Red onion: I like the taste of red onion here, but you can use what you have on hand. Shallots work well too.
- Feta cheese: You can totally omit the cheese and keep the recipe vegan or use another cheese of your choice (parmesan cheese is a great option).
- Fresh herbs: There’s really no substitution for basil and mint in my opinion. However, use what you have on hand. If you only have fresh basil leaves, just use basil. You can play around with the herb combinations to suit your tastes. Fresh parsley is also a good option.
- Olive Oil: Choose good quality extra-virgin olive oil. If you can find unfiltered olive oil, even better. This is the time to use that beautiful bottle of EVOO you got for Christmas!
- Balsamic Vinegar: This is an important sweet and tangy touch, but feel free to use lemon juice, lime juice or another vinegar of your choice. Make sure to taste and adjust as needed.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to Make this Eggplant Bruschetta Recipe
This dish comes together in less than 20 minutes and with a few simple steps.
1. Roast the eggplant. Toss eggplant cubes with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet until caramelized and soft (Image 1).
2.Toast bread. Toast or grill the bread and then rub a garlic clove on one side of each bread piece (Image 2).
3. Toss. In a bowl, combine the roasted eggplant, tomatoes, sliced red onion, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning (Image 3).
4. Assemble. On a serving platter, lay out the toasted bread and top each piece with a spoonful or two of the eggplant and tomato mixture. Drizzle with more olive oil, balsamic glaze, shaved parmesan (if using) and enjoy. Or simply serve the topping on the side and allow your guests to make their own bruschetta (Image 4).
- Grilling the bread. I love grilling the bread instead of toasting it in a toaster or oven. The grilling just adds an extra layer of flavor. You can use a BBQ or a grill pan on a stove, just like I outline in my other popular Burrata Bruschetta recipe.
- Peel the eggplant. Some eggplants have really tough skin. One way to deal with that is to peel the eggplant before roasting. You can peel it completely, or do what generations of Mediterranean moms have been doing, which is peeling the eggplant while leaving a small strip of skin.
- BBQ the eggplant. If you are firing up the grill this summer, you might as well roast (or grill) the eggplant directly on the bbq. Rather than cubing it, simply grill eggplant slices. Once grilled and softened you can cut them up into cubes.
If you are worried about bitterness from eggplant, you can salt it first and let it drain some of its juiced before proceeding with a recipe.
This recipe can totally be made ahead and assembled right before serving. The topping mixture can be made 1-2 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge. I recommend you toast or grill the bread right before you serve it.
Bruschetta doesn’t keep well after the bread has been topped. If you’re worried you made too much, you can serve the mixture and toasted bread separately and have your guests assemble their own bruschetta. This way any leftover bruschetta topping can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
If you make this Eggplant Bruschetta or any other side dishes on Urban Farm and Kitchen, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe.
Simple Eggplant Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Herbs
- 1 Large Italian eggplant - or two small/medium
- ¼ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 Baguette - or use an Italian loaf, sliced into ¾" (2cm) thick slices
- 1-2 Garlic cloves - Peeled
- 2 Tomatoes - See notes for tomato options
- ½ Red onion - Very thinly sliced into semi-circles
- ¼ cup Feta - Crumbled
- ¼ cup Basil leaves - Cut into strips or torn
- 2 tablespoon Mint leaves - Cut into strips or torn
- 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil, sweet balsamic glaze, herbs and more cheese for garnish
- Roast the eggplant. Preheat your oven to 375F. Toss the eggplant cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in a single layer until caramelized and soft, about 15-20 minutes.
- Toast bread. Rub the sliced bread with extra virgin olive oil lightly. Toast or grill the bread and then rub a garlic clove on one side of each bread piece.
- Toss. In a bowl, combine the roasted eggplant, tomatoes, sliced red onion, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning.
- Assemble. On a serving platter, lay out the toasted bread (garlic side up) and top each piece with a spoonful or two of the eggplant mixture. Drizzle with more olive oil, and sweet balsamic glaze and garnish with more feta and herbs.