We’ve been loving our Gourmet Dinner Club for the past three years. It’s made up of several foodie-couples who adore cooking and eating. We somehow get our acts together and pull off a four course meal with appetizers, salad, main dish, and dessert, complete with specific wine pairings to match each course.
On one of those fun nights, I made this Bruschetta. Much of it can be prepared ahead of time, which is a huge plus that anyone who hates last-minute scrambling will appreciate!
We dig out our cute linens, our “good” dishware, and always the Riedel stem ware. OK, yeah, it’s a little bit on the frou-frou side, but oh soooo much fun! Bonus: We get to use our “good stuff” more than just once or twice a year! If you have some food loving friends, chat about starting some kind of dinner club. Whether you go with a casual or upscale style, it is absolutely loads of fun. Oh, if you have young kiddos like we do… totally get a sitter.
Add whatever other toppings you like to those crispy baguettes. Have fun with it!
RECIPE (serves 6-8)
1-2 French baguettes
extra virgin olive oil
2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
1/2 tsp sugar
3-4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup sliced basil leaves
1/4 lb Roquefort cheese (can also use Gorgonzola)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
kosher salt to taste
Seed and thinly slice the peppers. Heat 2-3 TB olive oil over medium-high. Saute garlic until aromatic and soft. Add peppers and saute until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add sugar and saute for a couple more minutes. Last, stir in basil for a minute. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. This pepper mixture can be made an hour or two ahead of time and set aside to warm later.
Heat oven to 375F. Slice baguette evenly into 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush each slice with olive oil on top. Place in a large pan lined with parchment paper (important for even toasting and to avoid burnt bottoms). Toast just until lightly browned, about 8-9 minutes.
Spoon pepper mixture on each baguette slice. Top with crumbled cheese. Return to oven for another minute just to warm up. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Source: Chew Out Loud, adapted from Ina Garten