A delicious and easy appetizer, there's no other recipe that shouts summer than this classic Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Bruschetta. 'Bruschetta' is from the Italian "bruscare," which means "to roast over coals," and refers to the bread rather than the toppings, of which there are many delicious variations. Traditional bruschetta always starts the same way: thick slices of baguette toasted to a golden brown, rubbed with cloves of raw garlic then brushed with good quality olive oil — and you're set.
Serves 8 as a appetizers
1 Loaf crusty French or Italian baguette
3 cloves garlic , peeled and cut in half length-wise
1/4 cup good olive oil
Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Topping:
10 oz Woolwich Dairy fine herb goat cheese
1/2 cup marinated red bell peppers, julienned
1 tbsp fresh thyme
3 cups ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Maldon salt & fresh ground back pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh, chopped basil
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Mix together the tomato topping ingredients, cover and and set aside. Cut the bread into diagonal slices about 3/8-inch thick, place on a baking sheet and set in the oven at 475°F. Bake until just golden, about 5-8 minutes — watch carefully to make sure they don't get too brown. Remove the bruschetta from the oven, and using the fresh cloves of raw garlic, rub one side of each of the toasts. Next brush a little olive oil on each toast.
Top half of the toasts with the tomato mixture and garnish generously with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Top the other half of the toasts with a good slather of goat cheese, a small mound of marinated red peppers and garnish with crumbled fresh thyme. Serve together as a delicious savoury appetizer.