I’m always looking for an easy appetizer that tastes greater than the sum of it’s parts. Well I must say that this one qualifies 100 percent.
Bruschetta is Italian for a grilled bread starter. Like an appetizer. Traditionally, it is stale bread that is used for this since the bread will go bad anyway. Coat it with some olive oil and grill it, then rub some raw garlic on it to impart flavor. Saute some tomatoes which have been spiced up, put it on the grilled bread, and you have yourself a really good starter.
MaryJo is the bread King in our house and makes an amazing variety of delicious breads. But I have started to bake my own bread. If you look at the post Penne with Vodka Sauce, I baked that bread. I actually found the recipe for that and made it when MaryJo was gone! No help from the master baker!
I was going to use that bread for this, but I didn’t have any of this left over in the freezer. We always eat the whole thing pretty fast. I’ll have to post the recipe for this easy french bread soon. This is like a four ingredient bread!
It takes about 3 hours, start to finish to make the bread and it would be too soft, fresh out of the oven for the bruschetta and sauteed peppers. Some pre-planning is required. A crusty, dry bread is what you need.
Our local Publix grocery had a nice whole grain Italian baguette that was perfect for this appetizer. It was crusty and dry and it toasted perfectly on our Weber gas grill. Slice it thin and brush it with olive oil then put it on the hot grill until it is nicely toasted. Rub the warm bread with a clove of raw garlic for great flavor enhancement. You could just eat this bread plain, but add the sauteed peppers and the combination is wonderful.
I actually made this just after 12 pm and had a couple of the bruschetta and sauteed peppers while they were hot. It was really good, and just a little spicy from the serrano peppers.
The remaining bruschettas were left on the counter and we ate them at room temperature later. They were really good cold. They had the same amount of heat which is not hot, but pleasantly noticeable.
The thing about this recipe is the mouth feel. This is hard to explain, but this is why the taste is more than the sum of the parts. The only thing that is quite unique in this recipe is the anchovy paste. It coats the vegetables with super flavors that make the dish really special. Without the paste the appetizer would be, bruschetta and sauteed peppers. With the anchovy paste it is, BRUSCHETTA AND SAUTEED PEPPERS!
So try this and pick up what you need at your local store. Easy, peasy!
And I’d like to take credit for this marvelous recipe, but it is the great Italian Chef Mario Batali that has this recipe all over the internet. And it should be. It is super good and so easy. That’s what I like! Certified great by Joe and MaryJo!
Try it and you will…
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , and more for brushing
- 1 medium yellow onion , thinly sliced
- 2 medium red bell peppers , thin sliced
- 2 medium yellow bell peppers , thin sliced
- 2 serrano peppers. seeded and minced , (or jalepeno peppers)
- 1 tbsp anchovy paste ,
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
- 2 tsp finely chopped oregano leaves
- Sliced rustic bread , 8 to 10 slices
- 1 garlic clove , peeled and cut in half
- In a large skillet, put olive oil on medium heat, (non-stick skillet would be best)
- Add peppers, onion, serrano peppers and anchovy paste, stir to combine
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Saute on medium for 5 minutes
- Add vinegar and continue to saute, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes until the pepper is tender
- Add oregano
- Remove from heat and check flavors, add salt and pepper as needed
- Keep warm
- Brush sliced bread with olive oil on both sides *see notes
- Grill until browned, (I used my gas grill on high heat)
- Rub the grilled bread with the cut side of the garlic clove
- Top with the sauteed peppers
- Serve warm, (room temperature is great too)