Hello friends. Ever get the urge to eat something and sometimes nothing comes to mind? we assume it will take to much time, money and patience to prepare. or even a sit-down restaurant type meal sounds heavy and to much. I find myself staring into the fridge with urges of good eats and asking myself what can i create out of what i have in the cooler? Sometimes Small Bites can be very satisfying and the perfect meal. Big flavors may also come from two or three great simple ingredients such as Gorgonzola cheese, a ready to eat Bartlett pear and walnuts. I imagine these three ingredients over young spinach leaves, endive with lemon and olive oil, how simple is this?
I imagined myself at home with a group of close friends, a great bottle of wine, or a few, and the right music always seems to set the tone. A big sit down dinner is not always the best way to go, but the right Small Bites sometimes work best over good times and conversations. A few ingredients i always seem to have on hands are fresh vine ripped tomato or heirloom tomatoes work great as well. A bright red bell pepper is wonderful when roasted, peeled and smashed garlic, for toasting in extra virgin olive oil is classic. I always seem to have plenty of bright green basil growing in my wife’s orchid garden with fresh flat-leaf parsley as well. Pecorino is a must have in the cooler and my pantry always has a perfect bottle bottle of balsamic. Personally i like a sprinkle or crushed chili flakes for heat, zatar (middle Eastern oregano), kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. As the Parisians do, we as well travel with a warm fresh baked crispy baguette. And guess what folks one of my friends brought two baguettes. Perfect. Now we combine all these ingredients together to create the perfect bruschetta and indulge over amazing wine and music to create the perfect Small Bites.
Eating good and fresh does not always have to be complicated or served in big portions, with a little imagination and the love for food, the idea of Small Bites can be fun, creative, fresh and tasty to share with your closest friends.
- 1 baguette sliced 1/2 inch
- olive oil drizzle to your taste
- 2-3 medium fresh vine ripped tomato or heirloom sliced in thin half moon shapes
- 1 bell pepper
- 2 ounce fresh basil
- 1 ounce fresh chopped flat-leaf basil
- 2 ounce Pecorino Romano fresh grated
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 cloves peeled garlic smashed and minced
- balsamic vinegar (drizzle to your taste)
- crushed chili, zatar, salt and fresh ground pepper should be used to your taste
How to prepare
preheat oven at 375 temp
On a half sheet pan layered with a sheet of parchment paper, brush or drizzle olive oil on the pan and place the sliced baguette pieces on the pan faced down and repeat the oil process on the top side. Place in oven and toast for 8 min on each side or until light brown and crispy, remove and set aside to cool.
The bell pepper can be lightly brushed with olive oil and placed in same oven temp and allow to roast until skin is dark brown and peeling off. Remove from oven, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to steep for 10 minutes until skin of pepper is peeling off. than peel off the burned skin and slice in sliver pieces.
In separate bowl combine basil, parsley, pecorino, Dijon, and add minced garlic and olive oil mixture.
Assemble the bruschetta starting with the toasted baguette, slice tomato, slivers of bell pepper, drizzle the fresh herb cheese mixture on top and drizzle the balsamic over the top and sprinkle a pinch of chili flakes, zatar, and ground pepper.
I like extra cheese and even some minced capers added on top.
Equipment needed |half sheet pan, small saute pan, small mixing bowl, grater, plastic wrap and spoon for mixing