Herb Marinated Peppers on Bruschetta with Home Made Pesto

This terrific trio of recipes from Mike Robinson makes a great canapé combination for all manner of occasions
By Mike Robinson
Herb Marinated Peppers on Bruschetta with Home Made Pesto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes about 20 or so bruschetta
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 2 medium baguettes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5-6 tbsp olive oil

For the peppers:

  • 6 good sized red peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4-5 shallots, finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 5-6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • black pepper

For the Pesto:

  • 250 g leaves basil
  • 75 g pine kernels
  • 100 g parmesan, broken into small pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5-6 tbsp light olive oil
  • black pepper

Method

1. Set the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Make the bruschetta by cutting the baguettes into slices about 1 cm thick. Rub the slices with garlic, drizzle them with olive oil, and then bake in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on them - after you've burned 2 or 3 batches, you'll begin to appreciate how quick they are to cook! Set aside and leave to cool.

2. Meanwhile, put the peppers on a baking tray and pop them into the hot oven for about 30 minutes, until they blacken. Tuck them into a plastic bag and leave them to cool.

3. Pull out the core and squeeze the peppers; the seeds and juice should come out easily. Peel them and slice up the flesh into long juicy strips. Throw them (nicely!) into a bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, mix the chopped garlic and shallots and add the lemon juice. Stir in the oregano, olive oil and sherry vinegar (sherry vinegar is fabulous, it has the sexy sweet flavour of Balsamic, but without the overwhelming strength). Season to taste with a good grinding of sea salt and black pepper.

5. Add the peppers and leave to marinate for a couple of hours.

6. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Put the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan and garlic into a food processor and whiz until coarsely chopped. Trickle in the oil in a thin stream until the mixture has a fairly thick consistency, taking care not to over blitz; pesto is always best really chunky.

7. Cover the pesto and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the flavours to develop. This pesto will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks, but may be spooned into small freezer bags and frozen for up to 4 months.

8. Serve the bruschetta bases topped with the peppers and pesto.

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