Sunday, 2 November 2014

Caramelized Mixed Bell Pepper Bruschetta

These crunchy, sweet and tart open bruschetta are delicious anytime as a snack or casual hors d'oeuvre along with some cocktails.

If you cannot find Italian ham, feel free to use a Spanish Serrano ham or similar.  The key is it needs to have a smokey flavour and above all ... be cut extremely thin, almost see-through.  I just love the way the sweetness of the peppers work with the sharpness in the Parmesan, along with the smokey flavour that lingers on the palette.

Garlic or less garlic is the question?  Smearing hot toasted bread with fresh garlic carries a HUGE punch of flavour.  If you are not too keen on garlic, then go easy on the smear.  Believe me, the lightest of garlic rub allows you to taste its distinctive flavour.

This is one of my all-time go-to favourites!

~ Michelle ~

Caramelized Mixed Bell Pepper Bruschetta

Serves 2 - 4

2 Tbsp good olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp fresh basil, finely slithered
Salt & pepper to taste
1 baguette
2 cloves garlic peeled and halved
8 slices smoked Italian ham
Parmesan, shaved
Dill for garnish

Heat olive oil in a saute pan on a medium heat.  Add peppers and onion, and cook until soft.  This should take about 8 - 10 minutes.  Sprinkle peppers with sugar and cook for a further 2 minutes to caramelize.  Stir in basil and season generously with salt & pepper.

Slice baguette into 1 inch thick slices on the diagonal and brush lightly with some olive oil.  Place evenly on a baking tray and bake in a 180'c oven for 5 minutes until  lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and whilst still hot, rub one side of the toasted bread with garlic.

Now to dress ... top each slice of bread with a piece of ham, warm pepper mix and a generous amount of shaved Parmesan.  Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little fresh dill.  Serve immediately.