When you've had a long and busy week, and when the weather is extra-hot, you want dinner to be something simple on the grill. This Grilled Garden Bruschetta is exactly what you need!
You are probably used to seeing bruschetta (Italian pronunciation: [bruˈsketta]) made with raw tomatoes. Bruschetta is a traditional Italian snack or appetizer made with grilled bread and herbed tomatoes. The dish probably originates in ancient Rome, when olive growers bringing their olives to the local olive press would toast slices of bread to sample their fresh-pressed oil.
Over time, bruschetta has evolved many different versions. This version is based on bruschetta from Calabria, a region in southern Italy, forming the "toe" of Italy.
Grilling the tomatoes brings out their sweetness, and the the tangy goat cheese adds creamy richness to this dish. It makes a great starter or even a light dinner. I think you'll find you like this grilled bruschetta just as much as the bruschetta served at your local Italian restaurant!
Grilled Garden Bruschetta
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, fully ripe but firm to the touch
- 1 pound red bell peppers
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Ground or crumbled dried red chili
- 4 ounces soft Chevre cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 French baguette
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Start your grill - a charcoal grill is wonderful, but a gas grill works well too.
- Slice the baguette in half lengthwise. Combine the melted butter and garlic. Brush the cut sides of the baguette with the garlic butter.
- Rinse and dry the tomatoes and peppers. Set the peppers on the grill about 3 inches above the coals. Grill the peppers until soft, and the skins are beginning to char.
- Remove the peppers, place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap (this will make it easier to remove the skins).
- Set the tomatoes on the gill. Grill or roast until they have softened and the skins are starting to split open.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, remove the skins from the peppers and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Transfer them to a serving bowl.
- Remove the tomatoes, using tongs, before they turn totally soft and slip through the grill.
- Transfer the tomatoes to a serving dish and squash them lightly with a fork so that the juices run out a little. Immediately dress them generously with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and chili and mix the dressing into the tomato juices and peppers. Add the Chevre cheese and basil and stir to combine.
- Toast the baguette, cut side down, over the grill. Serve the hot toasted bread with the tomatoes and peppers.
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