tomato & capsicum sourdough bruschetta with goat’s cheese & olives

7th February 2011

Whenever I visit Israel, I am continually amazed at the quality of the fresh produce here.  I think that at home I am able to hunt out and purchase fresh, good-quality vegetables until I arrive here.  Large square punnets of cherry tomatoes, mountains of Lebanese cucumbers, capsicums (red peppers), strawberries. Whatever is in season.  All fresh and how a fruit or vegetable should look and taste.  The cheeses and olives are the same.  So many to sample.  It’s a shame I can’t read all the labels.

When such fresh and tasty food is available, it is easy to create a delicious dish from just a few ingredients.  I can now fully understand the simplicity of the Mediterranean diet.  This dish just does that.  Mediterranean in origin and ingredients.  I must point out, that the tomatoes and capsicums are the highlights of this dish, so hunt out the best you can find.  And, a good bread that when toasted, its unsauced crust stays crunchy.  I used a sourdough French Farm Loaf from Arcaffe (a cafe franchise in Israel).

tomato & capsicum bruschetta with goat’s cheese & olives

Serves 2

ingredients 

1 punnet or 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used mini Roma ones)

1 small red capsicum/pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped

1 tab olive oil

½ tsp sea salt flakes

freshly cracked black pepper

drizzle balsamic vinegar

½ tsp raw sugar (optional, if tomatoes are not naturally sweet)

2 large slices of a good sourdough bread

olive oil for toasting bread

crumbled goat’s cheese/fetta (desired quantity for topping)

a handful of olives of choice (I used  fat kalamatas)

fresh sweet basil leaves/rocket (optional)

preparation 

1.  Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until very hot, then add tomatoes and capsicum (should sizzle when hit the oil) and stir, season with salt and pepper.  Leave uncovered and prepare toasts.  Stir occasionally while cooking toasts.

2.  Heat olive oil in a flat skillet or frying pan; when hot, add bread slices.

3.  While bread is toasting, stir tomato/capsicum mixture, then add sugar.

4.  Keep an eye on the bread so does not burn. Turn over when one side is golden.

5.  After final turn, add balsamic vinegar to tomato mixture and stir – reduce heat to low and let simmer until bread is done.

6.  Before serving, add more salt and pepper to taste.

To plate up, place toast on the dish, top with tomato/capsicum mixture, not forgetting a drizzle of the sauce, crumble feta and add desired quantity of olives.  Add basil leaves/rocket if wish.

Goodness shared from Donna

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