Courgette and pepper bruschetta is a tasty twist on the normal tomato bruschetta.
My first encounter with bruschetta was when I visited an Italian restaurant with my husband many years ago. It was before he became my husband and one of our first dates. The waiter brought plates of tomato laden bruschetta as a starter. The bread slices topped with tomatoes and herbs burst with flavour in your mouth. For such a simple starter it is deceptively tasty.
Bruschetta can be traced back to the ancient Romans and the Etruscans as a way of improving the flavour of day old bread. The bread was brushed with a clove of garlic and drizzled with olive oil before being cooked in the oven. The name brushcetta comes from the Italian verb bruscare which means to roast over coals.
One way of testing the quality of freshly pressed olive oil was to smear it on a piece of fire toasted bread. This is a custom that continues today in olive oil producing regions in Italy like Tuscany and Umbria. The tradition of bruschetta may have evolved from this custom or it may simply have been a way for labourers and farmers to improve the taste of day old bread. These days every Italian city has their own way of serving bruschetta and the toppings will vary depending on which region you are in.
The beauty of bruschetta comes from its simplicity. It is all about the ingredients. Use a good olive oil, a lovely bread and the ripest freshest ingredients for the toppings and you will be rewarded with a taste sensation. Courgette and pepper bruschetta is one of the recipes that have been created by Lyle’s to celebrate summer. Black treacle mixed with lemon juice and crushed garlic is used as a glaze for the bread and the courgettes. This adds a lovely flavour, sweetness with a touch of zing.
I was surprised at how well the black treacle works as a topping for the bread. It also worked well as a marinade for the treacle marinated pork chops I made the other day. When the treacle is mixed with lime or lemon juice it stops the flavour from being overpowering and adds a subtle smoky sweet flavour to the food.
The bruschetta is really simple to make. Choose a rustic style bread like sourdough bread and cut it into slices. I used ciabatta bread as a base for my bruschetta. Mix the black treacle with lemon juice and crushed garlic and brush it onto the bread before grilling it on both sides. To top the bread slices brush the same glaze over the courgettes and then chargrill them in a pan. Top the bread with the courgette and some roasted peppers. You can buy a jar of roasted peppers but I just sliced up a red pepper and grilled it with the courgettes.
The bruschetta can be served as a tasty starter, light lunch or even for supper. Why not also have a look at my three ideas for simple summer sides. Do you have any simple starters you love? Let me know below.
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