The Easy Way To Elevate Canned Tomatoes For Flavorful Bruschetta

If you frequently cook at home, chances are canned tomatoes are a pantry staple for you. A kitchen must-have whose praises are sung by amateur and professional cooks alike, canned tomatoes have a shelf life of at least two years, according to StillTasty, making them a convenient choice to easily add to sauces, soups, or stews. Tomatoes preserve remarkably well, maintaining their sweetness and texture — so much so that many a cooking aficionado has declared their allegiance to canned tomatoes over their fresh counterparts.

Bon Appétit states that canned tomatoes are always going to taste better than fresh ones in cooked dishes because they're picked at the height of their ripeness, while the quality of supermarket and even farmers market tomatoes can be uneven. We happen to agree, frequently tipping the canned fruit into long-cooked dishes such as eggplant ragout and Italian meatballs.

But would you ever consider using canned tomatoes in a dish that's basically epitomized by fresh-off-the-vine fruit? That's exactly what Serious Eats recommends you do when you're craving the juicy, garlicky bruschetta — but you can't get your hands on fresh tomatoes.

Canned tomatoes make better out-of-season bruschetta than fresh

Have you ever been struck by a craving for the toasty bread heaped with garlicky, olive oil-slicked diced tomatoes known as bruschetta — outside of tomato season? This beloved appetizer that often makes appearances at summer cookouts is, of course, at the height of its appeal during that warm season, making use of delectably sweet and bright red tomatoes. But bruschetta can certainly be prepared during the winter months when local tomatoes are not available, according to Serious Eats, and it all starts with walking past the produce aisle and straight to the canned goods section.

The outlet notes that canned, whole-peeled tomatoes are a great choice for topping bruschetta — as long as you take one extra step first, and that's roasting the tomatoes. Serious Eats counsels seeding the tomatoes, laying them out on a baking sheet, drizzling them with olive oil, and roasting them in a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven for about an hour. The resulting tomatoes will be sweet, deeply flavored, and not too watery, at which point you can chop them, mix in other bruschetta ingredients including minced garlic and fresh basil, and heap the delicious mix on top of your favorite type of toasted bread. 

Meal Plan Addict agrees with the idea of using canned tomatoes for bruschetta, saying that because the canned version has a pinch of salt, they offer a benefit to the overall flavor.