Bruschetta with Roasted Red Pepper and Arugula

What a great summertime appetizer.  This bruschetta is fresh, simple, and takes bruschetta a step above your typical tomato, basil, garlic, balsamic, olive oil 'salsa' mix.

 The first step is roasting some red peppers.  Two yielded enough for about 8 slices of bruschetta.  You can do this on your grill, under your broiler, or even on top of a gas stove.  You don't have to worry about burning these bad boys - charred is what you want.

As soon as the peppers are done, place them in a bowl, seal it with plastic wrap, and let 'em sweat it out for about half an hour.  After that time, the skin should slip right off.  Remove all of the skin, then remove all seeds and ribs from inside the peppers.  Cut into strips and then chop into smaller pieces.  Place in a bowl and coat with some high quality olive oil.

Just before you're ready to serve, brush the sides of your bread slices with olive oil and grill until toasted and even slightly charred.  For this bruschetta, it's best to use a large french loaf and slice it thick, not use a skinny baguette sliced thinly as you might typically use.  Once the bread is off the grill, slice a few garlic cloves in half and rub them all over the bread.

When you're ready to assemble, add about 2 cups of arugula to the bowl with olive oil and peppers, toss with the juice of half a lemon and a dash of salt and pepper.  Top each slice of bread with thick slices of fresh mozzarella, then pile on the arugula and red pepper mixture.

Voila, c'est tout!

Our neighbors took care of the house while we were gone and got our mail every day (and had a gorgeous flower arrangement waiting on our dining room table upon our homecoming), so we had them over for dinner last night as a thank you.  This was our appetizer, followed by The Stallion's dinner party menu, yet to come this week.

Bruschetta with Roasted Red Pepper and Arugula
Serves 4, makes 8 slices
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 16 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 cups arugula
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Roast the peppers:  place them directly on a grill, under a broiler, or even on a gas stovetop until charred on all sides.  When done, immediately place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Allow the peppers to sit for 30 minutes, then remove the skins and the insides.  Roughly chop, place in a bowl, and coat with high quality olive oil.
  2. Toast the bread:  brush both sides with olive oil, grill until golden, then rub with halved garlic cloves.
  3. Toss the arugula, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in with the red peppers.
  4. Layer slices of mozzarella on each slice of bread, then top with the arugula and red pepper mixture.  Serve immediately.


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