This simple recipe makes a delicious bruschetta that combines sweet sautéed red peppers, onions, and tomatoes with tangy goat cheese. Also very good as a topping for grilled chicken.
Everyone knows the appetizers are the most important part of any party. Since we have kids and all our friends have kids, the main course tends to be something boring like hot dogs or burgers. So the appetizers, drinks, and desserts are where the real excitement is. These yummy little bruschetta(s?) are perfect for parties because the topping can be made ahead of time and them just spooned on at the last minute. As a bonus, they are good served either warm or cold.
What you need for red pepper bruschetta
The ripeness of your peppers is essential for this recipe. Don’t be tempted to use green peppers, as they are missing the sweetness that combines so well with the goat cheese. If you find yellow or orange bell peppers, those will work well also.
A lot of similar recipes will call for roasting the red peppers, but I find that tedious and unnecessary. Sautéing the peppers with onions and garlic brings out their sweetness and makes sure they are all all softened for a better texture.
The diced tomatoes can be fresh or canned. Since they are going to be sautéed with the peppers, it’s not really important.
Don’t worry about buying an expensive goat cheese, any kind will do fine.
What bread to use with bruschetta
If you want to make your own bread for the bruschetta, I have two recipes that will work very well as a base for this. You can make them ahead of time and freeze them to keep things simple.
If you would rather buy the bread, any grocery store baguette or narrow Italian loaf will work well.
Step by step bruschetta making
There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, and they get added at different stages. So I like to have everything pulled out and ready to go.
Slice the peppers and onions in quarter inch strips, and sauté them together with the salt in half of the olive oil. Make sure they are soft and the edges are starting to brown before you add the other ingredients. They should look like this:
Once they have reached that stage, go ahead and add the rest of the oil, garlic, white wine vinegar, crushed red pepper, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for ten minutes, or until the tomato juice has mostly cooked off.
At this stage, you can refrigerate the red pepper mixture for later, or go ahead and make the bruschetta.
Brush slices of baguette with olive oil and bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes. They should be lightly toasted.
Layer the toasts by spreading on goat cheese and the red pepper topping. You can warm them up beforehand, but it is very good served cold or room temperature. If you want it warm, make sure you warm up all the elements separately.
And that’s it! These red pepper bruschetta are a hit at parties, and just a little fancy if you are looking for something for a special occasion.
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Red Pepper Topping
- 4 large red bell peppers, sliced 1/4 inch thin
- 1 large onion halved then sliced 1/4 inch thin
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic pressed or finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 roma tomatoes diced OR 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 baguette or narrow Italian loaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces soft goat cheese
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat In a large skillet or saute pan. Add the peppers, onions, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and the edges are slightly browned.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, crushed red pepper, white wine vinegar, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until the tomato juice has cooked off.
- To make the bruschetta, slice the bread diagonally about 1 inch thick. Brush with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.
- Top the bread with a thin layer of goat cheese, then a generous amount of the bruschetta topping. Once assembled, serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!