Russian Tomato Salad Bruschetta


Paired with sweet onions, dressed with a simple, tangy, creamy sauce, and served on charred bread, this is one of the most delicious uses of fresh summer tomatoes you will ever experience.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
8 servings

Since I'm part Italian and Russian (or Belarusian, depending on who you ask), it makes sense that I'd eventually pair these two famously delicious things together. If I could have figured out a way to sneak in a Polish element, I would have completed the genealogical trifecta. Now that I think about it, topping these with a slice of sausage would not be a bad idea at all.

Whether you add anything else to this or not, the combination of this tangy tomato salad and smoky bread is more than amazing all by itself. As long as you grill your bread enough, and use the most perfect tomatoes you can find, not a lot can go wrong. Unless you use the wrong onions.

We need to use "sweet" onion varieties for this (such as Maui, Walla Walla, and Vidalia). If you slice these thinly and use a sharp knife, you'll be amazed how sweet and mild they really are. But, if you can't find those, you can take the raw edge off a regular onion by soaking it and rinsing in cold water. You could also give it a very brief blanching. It's not quite the same thing, but it will be close. Either way, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Chef John's Russian Tomato Salad Bruschetta
Chef John

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  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt

  • ¼ cup sour cream, or to taste

  • ½ cup thinly sliced sweet onion

  • 2 cups thinly sliced tomatoes

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 8 thick slices French bread

  • 1 tablespoon sliced fresh chives


  1. Mix garlic and olive oil in a small bowl and let sit for about 1 hour, or until needed.

  2. Mix the yogurt and sour cream together in a bowl until combined. Add the onions and tomatoes and toss until well coated. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator until needed.

  3. Preheat a charcoal grill until coals are white and ashy.

  4. Grill bread over hot charcoal, rotating as needed, until both sides are nicely toasted and slightly charred.

  5. Brush grilled bread with the garlic olive oil and use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomato salad over top of each. Excess dressing can be spooned over if desired. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes:

You can use a yellow onion instead of a sweet onion; however, this amount could be overpowering. You can soak them, rinse, and dry them off before using to make them a little more mild. Or, you can blanche and boil for about 10 seconds, or saute them, to make them a lot more mild.

Fresh dill or basil works well instead of chives, if preferred. You can use Italian bread instead of French.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

162 Calories
6g Fat
23g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 162
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 236mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 7mg 35%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 186mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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