Bruschetta is thin toasted bread with olive oil, rubbed with flavorful garlic with sauteed toppings. In this recipe, I’m using peppers and onion. Such a simple but tasty appetizer.
I’m always looking for an easy appetizer that tastes greater than the sum of its parts. Well, I must say that this one qualifies 100 percent.
What Is A Bruschetta?
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 the bread 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 with peppers or red pepper flakes. Put them 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 bread. 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 leftover 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, from 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 slice of 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 warm. 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 mouthfeel. 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. It adds umami to the peppers and imparts lots of flavor.
Additional Toppings To Try
A more traditional bruschetta would have tomato and basil.
Use plum tomatoes and cut them open and remove the seeds. Then, chop them into small pieces and mix them in a bowl with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve the tomatoes at room temperature on the toasted bread and sprinkle with chopped basil.
To this mixture, you could also add small bites of fresh mozzarella. Kind of a Caprese salad on flavorful toast.
Give these a try next time you need a satisfying appetizer.
And be sure to try these tasty recipes too:
- Sauteed Shredded Sweet Potatoes
- Smoked Salmon Appetizer with Dill and Capers
- Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Stew
- The Best White Cheese Pizza Recipe
- Grilled Green Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 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
- 6 slices rustic Italian bread
- 1 garlic clove , peeled and cut in half
- In a large skillet, put 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat, (a non-stick skillet would be best). Add peppers, onion, serrano peppers, and anchovy paste, stir to combine and dissolve the anchovy paste. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add vinegar and continue to saute, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes until the pepper is tender then add the fresh oregano.
- Remove from heat and check flavors, add salt and pepper as needed.
- Keep warm.
- Brush sliced bread lightly with olive oil on both sides. *see notes
- Toast the bread on a hot gas grill until browned. Or, heat your oven to 375° F and put the bread on a baking sheet. Toast the bread in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes flipping the bread over about halfway. Or, use a dry, heavy skillet on the stove on medium-high heat and toast the bread on each side until browned.
- Rub the grilled bread all over with the cut side of the garlic clove.
- Top with the sauteed peppers.
- Serve warm, (room temperature is great too)
- I've seen some recipes that say to oil the bread before grilling and some that don't. Certainly, to save on calories, leaving the bread dry would be the best choice. I prefer to brush the oil on very lightly.
- A sprinkle of shredded cheese like Parmesan or Romano would be nice too.
This recipe post has been updated on December 3, 2021