Summer Bruschetta

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Back in 2006, my mom and I took a trip to Italy.


We did lot of fun stuff, like look at the monuments:


And drink Italian beer.


Alright… so that’s basically all we did.


Actually, we also ate a lot of gelato and bruschetta.  Something about bruschetta always takes me back to that trip with my mom.


Bruschetta is one of my favorite things to order at restaurants, but I’ve never tried to make it at home until today.  The one single ingredient that makes bruschetta really stand out?  Balsamic reduction, which is incredibly easy to make.


Summer Bruschetta with Balsamic Reduction




  • 4 one-inch slices of whole wheat or multi-grain baguette
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar




  • Chop the tomato into small bits, and then rinse and drain to remove the seeds.
  • In a small bowl, mix together tomato, parsley, and onion.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pour balsamic vinegar in small pot and cook on medium low until the liquid becomes thickened.  Remove from heat.
  • Toast bread in oven.
  • Place tomato  mix on top of bread slices and then drizzle with balsamic reduction.
  • Enjoy!


This is one of those recipes that I love for dinner parties because it looks and tastes amazing, but takes 10 minutes to prepare.


I had to force myself to stop wolfing down these tasty treats!  I wanted to savor each bite!


On the side, I had 2 cups of broccoli slaw with Great Northern beans mixed in.  I drizzled Green Goddess dressing on top.


All together now:


My tummy is so happy now!


What is one meal or treat that always reminds you of a certain vacation?  Or… What is your favorite foodie vacation spot?



  • Angela (ohsheglows) May 3, 2010, 12:59 pm

    I will never ever forget the Gelato in Venice on our honeymoon. We ate it almost everyday on our trip in Europe.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) May 3, 2010, 1:02 pm

    HEAVENLY…i love bruschetta! it’s always better with a little balsamic on it too 🙂

    i love San Francisco…i’ve always gone up there to visit family in the area, and there’s always amazing foodie spots. it’s the best!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit May 3, 2010, 1:05 pm

    Mm I love bruschetta too! That meal looks fabulous.
    My husband and I visited an amazing restaurant on our honeymoon- the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. Gourmet, vegetarian. You would love it!

  • Jennie {in Wonderland} May 3, 2010, 1:07 pm

    “Alright… so that’s basically all we did.”


    Thin pizza reminds me of going to Italy as a child. Sauerkraut, bratwurst and hot mustard [not that I can eat BW anymore, boo!] remind me of growing up in Germany. Caesar salad reminds me of being home, because my Mom makes the best recipe ever. Frozen pink lemonade & McDonalds [haha] makes me think of the year I worked in Disney World. I associate food with a lot of lovely memories!!

    I adore Bruschetta. I love my recipe for it too: It’s a bit heavier on the olive oil than yours, plus I use basil and balsamic syrup. But it’s DELICIOUS! I made it after having it at a restaurant and wanting to recreate the flavours they used. I tried asparagus bruschetta once with truffle oil which was also amazing.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat May 3, 2010, 1:07 pm

    What an awesome lunch! I am going to have to try it soon 🙂

    I think my favorite place to eat was New York City but now that I am vegan, I have yet to discover my fave food place yet (haven’t really been anywhere since the change). We shall see!

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) May 3, 2010, 1:07 pm

    Yum! I also went to Italy and had a favorite gelato shop in Florence I would visit at least once a day. Ceviche is also another vacation food that I love – it’s so fresh and reminds me instantly of Mexico!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet May 3, 2010, 1:09 pm

    I love bruschetta. I just posted fruit bruschetta today, but I love traditional bruschetta, too – its a staple at most of our parties!

    Best meal I had was in Vegas at Prime. I haven’t traveled that much, but that was by the the best!

  • Heather ( May 3, 2010, 1:10 pm

    aw how fun you and your mom went on a trip! I can’t really think of a food that reminds me of vaca

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 3, 2010, 1:10 pm

    Ohh I love bruschetta! Balsamic reduction is awesome for all sorts of things. I’ve never really been on a foodie vacation before, but I’ve been to lots of amazing restaurants in NYC.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman May 3, 2010, 1:10 pm

    Looks great. I think balsamic makes just about anything taste better. On our honeymoon, my husband and I ate sesame-crusted soy red snapper that had been caught that morning. It was the best fish I’ve ever had…and I wish I paid it more attention before scarfing it down because I’d like to make it.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 3, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Where’s the garlic on that bruschetta?

  • Matt May 3, 2010, 1:12 pm

    Mmm looks delicious 🙂 I LOVE bruschetta!

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle May 3, 2010, 1:13 pm

    LOVE Italy! Definitely a great foodie vacation destination! Another favorite is New Orleans, especially during Jazz Fest…. I got so jealous after talking to an associate in NOLA on Friday as this past weekend was the 2nd weekend of jazz fest…. such good food (not all that healthy though).

  • Sarah for Real May 3, 2010, 1:14 pm

    Ham and cheese sandwiches on really good bread remind me of my two weeks in Spain and Portugal. I ate H&C sammiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I was not very adventurous back then, lol. I could KILL myself now for doing that!

  • Lisa May 3, 2010, 1:15 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I love Bruschetta!

  • Kelly May 3, 2010, 1:15 pm

    Oh I love bruschetta. Italy is definitely the ultimate foodie spot. Pizza, pasta and gelato always remind me of my trip their a few years ago!

  • Evan Thomas May 3, 2010, 1:15 pm

    There’s a tiny greek island known for their pistachios. No one makes pistachio ice cream like they do!

  • Jenn ( May 3, 2010, 1:16 pm

    I love bruschetta!! I’ve never had it with balsamic reduction, but I’m going to try that next time I make it. 😀


  • Maya May 3, 2010, 1:16 pm

    Definitely Italy! I also ate gelato all day in Italia! I read the comment above about garlic, and I believe you can rub the garlic on the bread so that you don’t get garlic chunks but still lots of garlic flavor.

  • Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward May 3, 2010, 1:17 pm

    French baguettes and cheese remind me of a fantastic trip to the countryside in Spain. Pair with a bottle of wine and some fruit for dessert for an awesome picnic lunch!

  • Paige (Two Runners And A Brown Dog) May 3, 2010, 1:17 pm

    My favorite foodie destination is NYC! I love the pizza, the street food, the specialty shops, and the diversity! I want to go right now!!!

  • Sana May 3, 2010, 1:19 pm

    The boy and I might go to Italy this summer!!!

  • Lisa (Lisa at Home) May 3, 2010, 1:19 pm

    Bruschetta looks amazing!!!

  • Tracey May 3, 2010, 1:20 pm

    Whenever I get an empanada or anything with Dulce de leche I always think about my trip to Argentina.

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) May 3, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Yummm… I love bruschetta! Every Thai curry meal I eat in America immediately draws comparisons with the incredible food I ate in Thailand, and I can’t eat fondue without thinking of the lodge in the Swiss Alps where I ate fondue with hot tea.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing May 3, 2010, 1:23 pm

    YUM!! I’ve never made bruschetta before but it sounds fabulous! I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. Anytime I eat potato leek soup I am reminded of my trip to Ireland. Of course it doesn’t compare to what I had there but you know.. it works.

  • Kelly May 3, 2010, 1:24 pm

    Oh I love bruschetta! Everytime I eat Lobster Bisque I’m reminded of my spring break trip in 2006 because it was the first time I tried it.

  • Amanda (modernation) May 3, 2010, 1:24 pm

    I love bruschetta. It is one thing that people also ask me to bring to parties and I am always happy to do it because it is SO easy! Whenever I make kebabs with couscous, veggies, pita and tzaziki it reminds me of Greece! Now I want to go on vacation.

  • Katie - Life Discombobulated May 3, 2010, 1:30 pm

    One of the absolute BEST foodie vacations I have been on is to the Northwest Coast. Eugene, OR has some amazing restaurants, and I can’t wait to go back!

    But the food I make at home that can take me away in one bite is whole wheat blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup. I had these in Sanibel, Florida at the Lighthouse Cafe and I can’t explain it – they just make me happy!

  • Jenna (Hello, I Love You) May 3, 2010, 1:31 pm

    Ahhh I love foodie vacations. My favorite was Greece, by far. But I love San Francisco too. I am heading there this week and I plan on trying some new fun places! Yum!

  • Jessica May 3, 2010, 1:32 pm

    THAT MEAL LOOKS AMAZING. Can I just have like, 10 bruschetta pieces right now?!
    Love the broc slaw/bean salad action going on too! The whole thing just sounds so refreshing…and summery 🙂

  • Anna May 3, 2010, 1:33 pm

    Cadbury chocolate will always remind me of Kenya… I had some when I was in London on spring break and I was like “wait, am i back in nairobi?!”

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 3, 2010, 1:34 pm

    When my family was in Tokyo, we would go to a bakery every day and eat doughnuts (so healthy I know). Japanese food is so light in comparison to American so I felt like I could run a few miles even after eating about 10 doughnuts.

  • jen trinque @ recipes for creativity May 3, 2010, 1:34 pm

    Oooh, so yummy looking! And healthy, too. I’m leary to order it in restaurants because I have no idea what they’re doing in the back with their vats of oil and butter.

    Hmmm…whenever I see a Huddle House it reminds me of the end of a trip to Edisto Beach, SC when we were starving and couldn’t find any restaurants. But I guess that’s not the same as a memory of bruschetta in Italy, is it?

  • Mellissa May 3, 2010, 1:34 pm

    Pretty much anywhere we go is all about the food but I will forever think about Paris when I see a Crepe or Escargot, homemade pasta and Italy, lots of Meat in Brazil and Pineapple from Costa Rica.

  • Julia @ British Bride May 3, 2010, 1:47 pm

    Wow I love love love balsamic reduction. I am looking forward to my holiday to NYC (honeymoon) for the same reasons – sights and food. I want to eat in posh reaturants but also in china town etc… Any recs for NYC food heaven?


    • Caitlin May 3, 2010, 1:49 pm

      i know went there in the winter, maybe you can search her archives!

  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) May 3, 2010, 1:58 pm

    Good Spanish olives bring me back to my vacation in Madrid & Barcelona every time!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie May 3, 2010, 2:11 pm

    I love bruschetta and making it. I usually just make a balsamic vinaigrette but that reduction sounds amazing so maybe next time I’ll try that!

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) May 3, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Bruschetta reminds me of when I lived in Italy! Soooo good 🙂


  • Janelle May 3, 2010, 2:15 pm

    Wonderful, huge, fresh strawberries remind me of a trip to Denmark, when I ate a HUGE bowl of them and ended up with a stomach ache…so worth it…I swear Denmark has the best strawberries on earth!

  • Bethany (@ NotUnlessI'mBeingChased) May 3, 2010, 2:24 pm

    An incredibly strong cup of coffee always takes me back to Spain. I studied abroad for three months in Pamplona and it’s where I met my husband. We spent maaaaaaaany hours sitting in a coffee shop, just talking. A coffee buzz always reminds me of Spain. 🙂

  • Noelle May 3, 2010, 2:26 pm

    Cuban food reminds me of home in Miami and going to friends houses for holidays. I’m vegan now though, so no more authentic cuban food. Even the bread has lard. Sadness.

  • Claire May 3, 2010, 2:28 pm

    I spent most of my summer in italy when 16, staying in a villa in montepulciano in tuscany. We ate nutella on italian bread every morning so I am a true nutella addict (I need to recreate without dairy now!). Other foodie travels and memories…Amsterdam…I had the best quiche ever with spinach and a buttery crust. I am pretty sure pine nuts were involved too…maybe baked in…I died.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers May 3, 2010, 2:33 pm

    Nachos make me think of my honeymoon in Mexico- does that even count? Haha. Actually, it makes me think of the chilaquiles we had for breakfast while we were there- I’ve always wanted to recreate them and never do!

  • Camille May 3, 2010, 2:42 pm

    Oh my god, yum!
    That bread looks incredible!

  • Karen May 3, 2010, 3:07 pm

    Key Lime pie will always remind me of my snorkeling trip in the florida keys. We tried a pie from a new location every day (sometimes with both lunch and dinner…oopsie!), then went to the best place again the last night and told them they were officially the best pie in the keys! It was a fun experiment.

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing May 3, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Not sure if you’re a fan but the one thing I think MAKES bruchetta amazing is truffle oil. It is heaven on bread, I swear!!!

  • Jacquie May 3, 2010, 3:12 pm

    Rice and beans always makes me think of Costa Rica and I can’t wait to go there again. However, I ultimately miss Paris every day.

  • Tami May 3, 2010, 3:16 pm

    bruschetta reminds me of my mom too.

    i have many food related travel favorites, but the first one that popped into my head…having my first krispy kreme donut in texas

  • Rachel May 3, 2010, 3:16 pm

    Where ever I go, I always have to explore the Grocery Stores in that country. I love seeing all the different types of food, the ingredients, and loading up my basket to try it all! It really is amazing the lesser amounts of ingredients used in products abroad.

    The world of food is so interesting and delicious!

  • Nicole May 3, 2010, 3:23 pm

    Lunch looks so amazing and fresh! I’m gong to Italy with my grandmother next month, can’t wait 🙂

  • Alyssa May 3, 2010, 3:28 pm

    Cotton candy ice cream (the Kemps brand) makes me think of a cabin in Northern MN my family drives up to almost every year to spend a weekend. There’s a ice cream shop in town that has cotton candy ice cream and its the first place I tried it.

  • Amy May 3, 2010, 3:35 pm

    Mmmm. MUST try that brushetta! (I’m salivating over the pictures 🙂

    Clam chowder (the good stuff!) reminds me of our honeymoon on Martha’s Vineyard — my goal is to try and recreate it at home (though maybe not too soon… it is getting to be summer even in OH)… it had these buttery croutons on top, and the most wonderful (spicy) heat …. Yummm.

  • Lauren @ Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful May 3, 2010, 3:36 pm

    What a great looking lunch! I LOVE bruschetta!!!!! And I love even more when foods take me back down memory lane.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) May 3, 2010, 3:40 pm

    Ravioli always remind me of Italy. I’ve actually been to that plaza and seen that arc you have pictures of. And I wanted real italian pasta so we went to a restaurant and it was so much lighter and better than anything else I’ve ever eaten.

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story May 3, 2010, 3:43 pm

    I love bruschetta and make it often! Oddly enough, turkey “grinders” (hoagies, subs, what have you) always remind me of going back to visit Vermont. I was born there but moved away while young. Every time we went there we got grinders at a local place and something about the combination of white bread and turkey breast always makes me think of that. I usually eat wheat bread, so it doesn’t happen often, but I think that’s my most food/vacation strong memory.

  • Run Sarah May 3, 2010, 3:46 pm

    That sounds amazing! I have made bruschetta before but didn’t use the balsamic reduction – it really makes the dish.

  • Angharad May 3, 2010, 3:50 pm

    Pad thai always takes me back to Thailand! We used to get it from street vendors late at night as our post-bar food! As well as the next day, sitting sleepily in the sun while someone rustled up a quick plate for us. Heaven!

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething May 3, 2010, 3:54 pm

    how fun that you went on that trip with your mom! love brushetta too 🙂 i would say wine and cheese remind me of the wine country 🙂

  • ubigb May 3, 2010, 4:00 pm

    I live in Peru and I don’t think i’ve ever been to another country with tastier food, and to commenter #6 ceviche is not mexican, its peruvian!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople May 3, 2010, 4:06 pm

    I’ve never really traveled anywhere where I paid attention to the food. When I went to Europe when I was 16 I made sure to hit a McDonald’s in each country. Yeah, you can tell what I was like then!

    I don’t like crunchy bread. I’m partial to soft, warm, and super chewy. But the topping for that brushetta looks fantastic!

  • Christine @ Grub, sweat and cheers May 3, 2010, 4:17 pm

    tapas & cava in Barcelona…mussels in Montreal…schnitzel & noodles in Nuremburg…coffee that would put hairs on your chest in Greece…and Paris, well I remember the wine far more than the food. 🙂

  • Hedda May 3, 2010, 4:32 pm

    Oh Caitlin, that bruschetta looked amazing.

    I have not been that many places, so there is no meal or treat that remind me of one specific place.
    But I do dream of going to Italy and do the whole Eat,Pray,Love-thing haha!

  • Kath May 3, 2010, 4:42 pm

    The bruschetta looks good, but I’m digging the beans + broc slaw combo! So easy!

  • Amanda May 3, 2010, 4:43 pm

    I’m actually in Ireland right now and am flying to Germany in a few days. As a vegan, it’s a little difficult finding food that suits my lifestyle. Suffice it to say there’s not a lot of tempeh or tofu over here…

    I’m trying to track my experiences on my blog, though:

  • Christina May 3, 2010, 5:28 pm

    So jealous you went to Italy!

    Jerked anything always reminds me of Aruba because that’s the first time I tried it!

  • Samantha May 3, 2010, 5:32 pm

    I love bruschetta…yum! My husband and I did Italy as a part of a Euro Vaca a couple years ago, was a great trip.

    There are many different foods that remind me of different vacations. Every time I see a softserve machine it makes me think about all the midnight trips my husband made to the one on our cruise ship a few years ago, gelato and limoncello in Italy (we brew our own at home!), good hearty german beer, amazing coffee and pastries always remind me of a little cafe we frequented in switzerland, the list goes on!

  • Ellen May 3, 2010, 5:41 pm

    i studied food in italy, and ate A LOT. hey, all in the name of research, right?

    i channeled the italians as best i could to get the most out of the experience. i gave up exercise, hoofed it all over every town, and ate my heart out. (and i’m not exaggerating– in naples, an entire pizza at 9 PM is just the first course!)

  • Amanda (Amanda "runs") May 3, 2010, 5:41 pm

    That looks SO GOOD! So jealous you went OOC (out of country!) I’m reading Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Glibert) and all the gelato sounds so yummy! I’m now getting hungry just thinking about it!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) May 3, 2010, 5:55 pm

    oh that bruschetta looks wonderful!
    Buffalo mozzarella will always remind me of Italy! I think I ate it every day 🙂

  • liane May 3, 2010, 6:59 pm

    I love bruschetta. LOVE IT! It’s also really good to toss over top angel hair pasta, a little bit of cheese, and there you have a quick, easy dinner 🙂

    As for food reminding me of vacations… I’ve had my fair share of amazing meals while traveling but I tend to remember the amazing drinks; cocktails, wine etc. Not sure what that says about me… 😉

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly May 3, 2010, 7:22 pm

    Crepes will forever remind me of my trip to Paris!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale May 3, 2010, 8:01 pm

    Yes – satay and peanut sauce always reminds me of my trip to Thailand! I think I ate gallons of peanut sauce on that vacation – it was fantastic.

  • Katherine May 3, 2010, 8:04 pm

    is it bad to love eating in my own kitchen?

    I think I have separation issues…

  • Jolene ( May 3, 2010, 8:06 pm

    New York is my favourite foodie vacation spot!!!

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health May 3, 2010, 8:20 pm

    That’s really nice- a trip with just your mom! What a great idea!

    Hmmm I am trying to think if a food that reminds me of a trip but I cannot.

    Your meal looks so very good!

  • Kim May 3, 2010, 8:32 pm

    Caitlin – thanks for posting your awesome recipes – I made the pancake truffles this weekend with strawberries & walnuts, it blew my boyfriend’s mind! He thought I was a gourmet chef!! I want to make a mixed batch with strawberry/walnut and banana/pecan – do you know how long they keep? It’s going to be a perfect addition to the Mother’s Day brunch we’re planning! 🙂

    • Caitlin May 3, 2010, 8:33 pm

      Mmm that sounds like a great brunch! I haven’t tried it but I know someone else heated them up overnight and they worked out well!!

      You ARE a gourmet chef!

  • Allie May 3, 2010, 8:35 pm

    that bruschetta looks so delicious!! and i love the idea of the beans mixed in with broccoli slaw. i love broccoli slaw, but am usually at a loss of what to do with it.

    greece has def been the best foodie place i’ve been to date.

  • Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover May 3, 2010, 9:25 pm

    WOW – lovely pics, Cailtin!
    That recipe looks amazing – thanks for sharing!
    I personally LOVE bruschetta 😀
    Have a great week, love!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  • ashleigh May 3, 2010, 9:27 pm

    I love italy!!! I would love to go back. I also really want to go to Greece! That buschetta looks delicious!

  • Katy May 3, 2010, 9:34 pm

    I was inspired and made some of my own bruschetta- I didn’t have any fresh parsley, so I used basil instead. probably wasn’t as good, but it got the job done!

  • Alycia @ FitnFresh May 3, 2010, 10:06 pm

    ice cream mochi! it is seriously probably my favorite thing to eat. when i visited new york for the first time, a good friend of mine from japan bought a pack and gave me a few – i’ve been OBSESSED ever since. every single time i go to nyc, i hunt them down almost daily. my addiction most likely scares those who happen to be in my path on the way to m2m, but hey, i just can’t help myself! they’re that good!

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) May 4, 2010, 12:00 am

    Nutella and banana crepes (Paris) will always have a soft spot in my heart. And Turkish food (my family is Turkish and I have been to Istanbul once). But now that I am abroad I honestly just miss all of the organic salad and sandwich places, coffee shops, sushi bars, froyo, and gourmet cupcake places in LA!!! I can’t believe I didn’t take more advantage when I was there!

  • Molly @fuelherup May 4, 2010, 12:57 am

    Favorite foodie spot is a little hole-in-the-wall Paris restaurant called Allard’s. My cousin/BFF and I went there after high school graduation. I was vegetarian but not vegan, and I had potatoes and vegetables in a huge amount of French sauces (beurre blanc sauce…ohhhh baby) and eclairs for dessert. We got there at 9:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. Ahhh, French restaurants.
    Oh, and every Paris cafe for people watching 🙂

  • Foxy May 4, 2010, 6:35 am

    Koshary in Egypt- noodle dish and very tasty!

  • Jes (Self Motivation) May 4, 2010, 7:45 am

    Oh that looks AMAZING! I am definitely going to have to try that recipe! Thanks!

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