Monday, June 1, 2009

Bruschetta with Capsicum and Blue Cheese

The GFC, (as I like to call the global financial crisis - makes me think more of Kentucky Fried than some nasty economic malaise) has forced some critical rethinking in most people's kitchens. Out with the pricey ingredients and imports, in with cheaper cuts of meat and more seasonal and local produce. The Barefoot Blogging crew has picked up on this and set a Barefoot on a Budget challenge in May to re-work an Ina Garten recipe to be a little more wallet friendly.

I took a few major cuts to this recipe: I substituted local blue cheese for the gorgonzola (about $8 for 250g vs $16). Because it has been one of those weeks, I forgot to buy the basil (saving $3). And then because it was still one of those weeks, I also forgot to include the capers even though they were sitting in my pantry (another inadvertent saving of a dollar or two). I did splurge on the yellow capsicum however (about $6 for two. Green would have been cheaper). And the end result was good, and looked great. I would definitely make this again but I must admit I would like to try the non-budget version next time. Maybe this is what I should be spending my stimulus money on?

Good olive oil
2 yellow capsicums, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
100g creamy Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 185C.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the capsicums and cook until soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Stir in the capers and basil, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Slice the baguette crosswise into 18 thin round slices. Brush the bread rounds lightly with olive oil on 1 side. Arrange them in rows, oil side up, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Top each toast round with a teaspoonful of the capsicum mixture. Place 2 small pieces of Gorgonzola on top. Return the toast to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes and warm through. Serve immediately.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

LOL GFC is freakishly close sounding to KFC and about as welcome!

I love yellow capsicums, I always buy these if I see them as they're so much sweeter!

girlichef said...

These look so yummy...and I love all of the flavors! Is a capsicum just a bell pepper (to me)??

Debinhawaii said...

You are too funny! They look great and I am sure they were very tasty. I ended up going a very different way on mine (posted on Saturday) but want to try Ina's version sometime too.