Caramelized Onion and Purple Bell Pepper Bruschetta with Roquefort Cheese

August 29, 2013 in Appetizers by Mary Carol

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I don’t know about you, but a meal made out of appetizers is completely alluring to me, all the time. Something about little, flavorful bites gets me all happy. If you’ve ever seen me at a party, loitering around the food table, you probably figured something was up with this girl. Can’t help it. Little savory food is so yummy!

I started to think about what to do with these pretty purple peppers that were arriving in gorgeous truckloads from the fields at our little produce market. I didn’t buy a bazillion of them like I really wanted to, because I get myself into trouble that way. Especially when I don’t have a plan.

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I started tinkering with the idea of a bruschetta made with bell peppers. I started picturing them all caramelized down with some vidalias and a sprinkle of sugar, and splashed with a little balsamic.

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The sweetness of these peppers and onions definitely needed the sharp bite of roquefort cheese to make them fancy and delicious. (I used Ile de France Roquefort, and if you go to their website, you can print out a $1 off coupon!) I crumbled that crazy good bleu cheese right on there and melted it down. Then I challenged my family to enjoy this for dinner…

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I seriously started out with the intent of serving these bruschetta bites as dinner. And I thought I’d have time to utilize some new apples and make a delicious rustic apple pie for dessert, and I thought, hey, that’ll be just fine, right? The 18 month old will love this for dinner…Then, in the midst of photographing I recognized the ridiculousness in my plan and I scrambled around in the fridge to come up with something suitable for a toddler dinner. There was some chaos, but I found some chicken and mushrooms and made a sauce and served it over linguine and they gobbled it. Whew. That left no time for the apple pie, but the point is, that though I really wanted to serve this bruschetta for dinner for my family of four, I didn’t. And you shouldn’t either, if your kids are small. I’m a slow learner. But you can make these for a party, a grown-up party, that is, and you should. You really should.

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Caramelized Onion and Purple Bell Pepper Bruschetta with Roquefort Cheese

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: approximately 16

adapted from Ina Garten's Bell Pepper Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium purple bell peppers (I would imagine another color bell pepper would work out well too), thinly sliced
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 baguette sliced into 1-2" slices
  • 2 ounces roquefort cheese, such as Ile de France

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a skillet, over medium high heat, heat 1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
  3. Add the onions and peppers to the skillet and cook down for 7-8 minutes, then add sugar and cook for 5-8 minutes more, until soft and caramelized.
  4. Add garlic and balsamic and cook 2-4 minutes more
  5. Lay your baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with remaining olive oil
  6. Place into the oven for 7-10 minutes, until just golden on edges, remove from the oven
  7. Top each baguette slice with a spoonful of the onion and pepper mixture and top with a couple of clumps of roquefort.
  8. Turn oven to broil and return baking sheet to oven for 2-4 minutes to melt the cheese. You will not look for it to bubble and turn brown, but JUST to melt a bit. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.
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