Bruschetta with Marinated Peppers
This recipe calls for grilling the bread on both sides so the cheese melts on a toasted top. For the variations on the following pages, you may prefer instead to toast just one side, which results in a chewier texture. The bread will also be less likely to shatter when you bite into it.
Prep: 20 Min
Marinate: 1–2 hours or up to 2 days
Grill: 20 min
2 large bell peppers, red, yellow, and/or orange, each about 8 ounces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
6 to 8 large fresh basil leaves
6 center-cut slices from 1-pound loaf rustic Italian or French bread, each 1/2 inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces Fontina cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F). Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the bell peppers over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until blackened and blistered all over, 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
2. Place the peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Cut away the stem and core from 1 pepper, then slit the pepper lengthwise, spread it open, and remove the seeds and white membranes. Peel away and discard the charred skin. Repeat with the remaining pepper.
4. Cut the peppers lengthwise into 1/3-inch-wide strips. In a bowl combine the pepper strips, oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days (let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving).
5. Just before grilling the bread, finely chop the basil and add it to the marinated peppers.
6. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F). Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with the oil.
7. Brush the cooking grates clean. Toast the slices on one side over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until golden brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Transfer the slices, grilled side up, to a baking sheet.
8. Top the bread slices with the Fontina, dividing it evenly. Using a fork, remove the peppers from the marinade, letting the excess marinade drip back into the bowl, and arrange on the bread slices, dividing the peppers evenly.
9. Grill the bruschetta over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the cheese is just melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve right away.
Flavor Bomb Your Bruschetta
We still love the classic topping of diced fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil, but how nice that an Italian idea can wear so many other delicious international styles. The toppings can be sweet or savory, meaty or not, home cooked or straight from a jar.
Substitute walnut bread for the rustic Italian bread. Core and thinly slice 1 Granny Smith apple. Coarsely grate 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup). Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, toasting on one side only. Top the grilled side of each bread slice with 3 or 4 apple slices, then 2 tablespoons cheese. Grill as directed to melt the cheese. Transfer to a platter and top with 1 teaspoon each fruit chutney and crumbled cooked bacon.
Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, but toast on both sides. Rub one side of each slice with a peeled garlic clove. Halve 3 large plum tomatoes lengthwise. Coarsely grate the cut side of each tomato half into a bowl and discard the skin. Top each bread slice with about 2 tablespoons of the grated tomato. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Cut 8 ounces (2 balls) fresh buffalo mozzarella into 12 slices total. Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, toasting on one side only. Spread the grilled side of each bread slice with 1 tablespoon basil pesto and top with 2 mozzarella slices. Grill as directed to melt the cheese. Transfer to a platter and top each with 1 prosciutto slice and some arugula leaves. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with ground black pepper.
Peel and pit 2 large avocados. Add to a bowl with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mash with a fork until slightly chunky. Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, but toast on both sides. Spread the avocado mixture on the toasts. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.
Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, but toast on both sides. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on each piece and season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Arrange a sliced, grilled peach half (see Steps 2 and 3, page 75; brush with olive oil in place of the dressing before grilling) over the ricotta on each toast. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme leaves.
Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, but toast on both sides. Spread 2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese and then 2 teaspoons fig jam on each piece. Finish with finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (or small sprigs) and ground black pepper.
From “Weber’s Ultimate Grilling” by Jamie Purviance
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