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