Crunchy, garlicky bread topped with ham, gooey, melted cheese and fresh tomatoes and herbs makes this the most delicious Ham and Cheese Bruschetta, perfect for any party or even a easy family meal.
I have been making these sandwiches for my family ever since I was a teenager. They were really popular with my siblings and with our group of friends too. We would often make them with my girlfriends when we all got together for tea.
I absolutely love Bruschetta – toasted Italian bread with garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and fresh herbs. Adding ham and cheese makes it even more delicious and filling. These sandwiches are the perfect combination on crunchy toasted Italian bread that is rubbed with garlic, so it has it’s flavor, but isn’t too powerful, the ham and cheese make the sandwiches really scrumptious, but the fresh tomato and herb topping keeps them so fresh, sweet and juicy.
Assembling and Baking the Sandwiches
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature will crisp the sandwiches quickly but won’t dry them out since they won’t need to be in the oven too long.
Prep all the ingredients: slice the bread (cut it on the bias or into circles), chop the ham, grate the cheese.
In a separate bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs (parsley and basil are wonderful for this recipe), 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. If the tomatoes are really watery, you may want to remove the seeds our of the tomatoes first, or use a slotted spoon when placing the tomatoes onto the sandwiches, or drain all the excess moisture out of the tomatoes. If there is too much liquid in the tomatoes, they will make the sandwiches really watery and soggy – not good.
Place the sliced bread on a rimmed baking sheet. At this point you can brush the top of the bread with olive oil (that’s where you would use 1/4 cup olive oil), but I usually just keep the bread plain and toast it slightly in the preheated oven.
Toast the bread until it’s lightly golden. Take out of the oven and use the sliced garlic cloves to rub all over the surface of each of the slices of bread. The garlic will rub right into the toasted bread (the crisp bread will sort of be a grating surface for the garlic). This gives the sandwiches a pleasant and mild garlic flavor without being too overpowering.
Top the bread with the ham, followed but the tomato and herb mixture and then the grated cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for another 5 – 10 minutes, until the sandwiches are warm all the way through and the cheese is melted and lightly golden. Serve warm.
Other Sandwiches That Are Great For Coffee/Tea Parties: