Appetizer Recipe: Cheesy Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Olives, & Peppers

This recipe is inspired by Italian bruschetta. Bruschetta is traditionally made up of a tomato, garlic and basil compote that is spread over toasted French or Italian bread, but we thought we’d take a slightly different approach. Our bruschetta gives people some more choices as they nibble: slices covered with ricotta or tomato sauce and mozzarella, with a variety of tomatoes, olives and yellow bell pepper. This is essentially a dressier version of the bread that generally accompanies and balances out a meal, and it’s a nice added effort to go to when you really want to pull things together for a nice dinner.

Appetizer Recipe: Cheesy Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Olives, & Peppers

Cheesy Bruschetta with Olives, Peppers & Tomatoes

Yields 16-18

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 3/4 cup green olives, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450º F.
  2. Arrange bread slices on 1 or 2 baking sheet(s), season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake for 5-6 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.
  4. Remove from oven and carefully (the bread will be hot!) rub garlic, cut edge down, onto each slice. Should be fragrant.
  5. Divide the slices in half and spread 1/2-1 tablespoon tomato sauce on half of slices, and 1/2-1 tablespoon ricotta cheese on the other half.
  6. On half of the tomato sauce slices, sprinkle mozzarella over the top and return to oven for 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  7. Mix tomatoes, peppers and olives together and spread evenly over all bread slices.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil and chives, and, optionally, another drizzle of olive oil

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