I love Bruschetta! I had them almost every day while we were in Rome last spring, and I would gladly have them every day again for as long as tomatoes are in season! Bruschetta’s are a perfect starter, with fresh tomatoes, basil and a hint of garlic with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and of course all on top of a slice of fresh bread! My husband on the other hand will not eat them, even though he loves everything on a bruschetta, but he has a problem with texture. What can I say, he’s a picky eater! He will blend store bought spaghetti sauces just to get rid of tiny pieces of tomato chunks. He does the same with store bought salsa. If we are at a restaurant and he orders a meal that he enjoys and it happens to have a few tomato pieces, I am the lucky recipient of them. The same goes with bell peppers. So today I had a genius idea of using the same trick of pureéing with bruschetta toppings. Since organic peppers were on sale for a ridiculously cheap price, I couldn’t pass them up and thought I’d cover two stones with one and do both a red pepper and tomato bruschetta – the blended version.
Since I wasn’t going to smother the top with cheese, I thought I’d cover the bottom with cashew cheese. I had gone a bit overboard with buying raw cashews for my recent Cashew Cheesecake, as they were also on sale and I had a lot of raw cashews to go through and if I didn’t use them up they would go rancid and I’d be very sad
I had made this particular cheese recipe a while ago for my home made tortellini. It was a pretty big hit, so I knew it was going to be good…and I highly recommend it! The only changes I made this time was add a teaspoon of truffle oil and use Himalayan sea salt. A word of caution, don’t over do the garlic as it will overtake the taste. You want a very subtle taste of garlic.
Let’s be honest, if I didn’t have a picky eater in the house I would’nt be pureéing this. If you like the texture of tomatoes and red peppers like normal people do, by all means just chop them up into small pieces, and enjoy the textures. I thought puréeing raw vegetables would just result in a vegetable slushy, so I had to think up another way to boost up this recipe and it came to me as soon as I saw the peppers in the grocery store, why not do a roasted pepper and tomato bruschetta! Oooo now I was excited!!
Roasting your own pepper or tomato is pretty easy and is best done over a live fire, such as a gas burner or a barbecue. However, it is pretty dangerous especially when you are doing it in an enclosed environment such as your kitchen.
I would never recommend it unless you are very comfortable with your gas burner and have a fire extinguisher right beside your stove! Alternatively you can roast them under broil setting in your oven or toaster oven until you see them slightly charred. Coat both vegetables with a bit of olive oil and roast them until you see char marks and that’s when you rotate them. For roasting peppers in the oven cut it in half, rib and discard the seeds in advance. Once the pepper is nicely charred and blackened, put it in a closed paper or plastic bag and steam for about 15 minutes. Peel off the blackened skin and remove the stem, inner ribs and seeds. And viola fresh roasted peppers!
1 loaf of crusty Italian bread, such as Filone
1 Roasted pepper
1 Roasted tomato
1 small clove of garlic or a few shakes of garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh basil
2-3 tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
For the pureéd version of the bruschetta, just add everything to your food processor and blend. Though my tomato did give off a lot of liquid, so you might want to salt the tomato and let it sit on a paper towel to absorb some of it’s liquid before starting. If you want it the normal way, chop up the pepper, tomato, garlic, basil, transfer it to a bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ground almonds, salt and pepper. Toss, taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. The same actually goes for the pureéd version.
Slice the bread in the thickness of your preference, if you want you can toast it but our loaf was freshly baked. Add a layer of the cashew cheese, and put the pepper, tomato mixture on top. Tear up some basil to put on top of them to make it look pretty and then eat it all up!! The picky eater didn’t even notice it was a bruschetta, or he would have dismissed it right away! He loved it, and had THREE big slices. I hope you like it too. ❤