Heirloom Tomato, Basil, and Manchego Toast…summer on toast and so delicious. Toasted garlic bread with a mix of fresh tomato sauce, sliced tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, then drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned simply with flaky salt, pepper, and plenty of fresh basil. When the weather is hot and the tomatoes are at their peak, make this recipe!
As promised, I’m back with yet another summer recipe! Say hello to your new favorite lunch, appetizer, or easy dinner for one, a cheesy, garlicky tomato toast. It’s super simple Thursday taken to a whole new level, and well, I am very into it.
Every August I am always on the hunt for new ways to use my favorite summer produce – heirloom tomatoes. However, this summer has been weird. Our tomatoes here in Colorado have been late to the game. I’m not sure if it’s due to the dryness and all the fires in the surrounding areas or what, but it’s taken us a bit longer than normal to get a decent batch of heirloom tomatoes in.
When it comes to the heirlooms, I’m kind of like a kid in the candy store just waiting for the prettiest, sweetest pieces to be set out. No exaggerating, that is me. As someone who appreciates not only good food, but pretty food, heirloom tomatoes are something I look forward to using all year round. I know this sounds soo dramatic, but it’s me, would you expect anything less?
If I am being honest, nine times out of ten I will always, always go for cherry tomatoes, but sometimes there are recipes that require something a little bigger, heartier, and juicer.
In comes today’s summer tomato toast. This recipe was inspired by two things, a Spanish tomato toast recipe called, Pan Con Tomate, and my mom’s childhood creation of melted cheese on toast. It’s a simple toasted bread that’s rubbed with garlic and topped with fresh pureed tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. I loved the simplicity of the recipe, but wanted to give it my own fresh take…to be expected.
And in comes the inspiration from my mom, who as kid, used to make bread with cheese, toasted and melted in the broiler. Pretty sure we’ve all done this, but she calls it her thing, so I’m going with it.
I combined the two inspirations and got this delicious cheesy toast situation that takes fifteen minutes tops to make, and is addictingly good.
Some details for you.
With such a simple recipe like this, it’s important to use really good ingredients, so the bread and tomatoes you use are very important!
For the bread, I really wanted to use a nice crusty, seeded loaf. Like I really, really, really wanted something super crusty, whole grain, and with lots of seeds. BUT, living where I live, the options are sometimes limited. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but did find a nice crusty rye loaf from Whole Foods that ended up working out perfectly. Just choose a bread you really love. A crusty whole grain, country loaf, or sourdough will all be equally great.
The bread gets rubbed down with grated garlic and butter, then toasted, and topped with manchego cheese. If you’re new to manchego cheese, it’s a Spanish cheese that’s creamy, sharp and salty. I think of it as a mix of parmesan and cheddar. It. Is. So. Good!
If you have trouble finding manchego, just use a really good cheddar. That will be great too!
While the toast is bubbling up in the oven, work on the tomatoes. You’re going to grate half of the tomatoes, just like you would cheese. This is your no cook “tomato sauce”. Since you’re not cooking the tomatoes, it’s important to use fresh tomatoes that are perfectly ripe. These will give you the best tasting sauce.
When the cheese has melted, top each piece of toast with the tomato sauce, fresh tomato slices, and a handful of cherry tomatoes. Finish with basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and a good sprinkle of flaky salt and pepper.
See? It’s super simple Thursday taken to a whole new level and a great use of summer tomatoes and garden basil.
Since my mom was a major inspiration for this recipe, I had her over for lunch to test it out. She loved the updated version of her childhood favorite. Simple, but as we all know, sometimes simple is the best. It’s true.
If you make this tomato toast please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every one of you. Oh, and of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Heirloom Tomato, Basil, and Manchego Garlic Bread
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- 6 slices rustic bread
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1 cup grated manchego or cheddar cheese
- 3-4 heirloom tomatoes
- 2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- flaky sea salt and black pepper
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
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- 1. Preheat your broiler to high. 2. Mix the butter and garlic together in a small bowl and spread evenly over the slices of bread. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until toasted. Add the cheese and return for another 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Watch closely. 3. Using a box cheese grater, grate 2 tomatoes into a shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the remaining tomatoes. 4. Spread the tomato puree evenly among the cheesy toast. Add the tomato slices and then the halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with fresh basil. Enjoy!