These crostini are topped with a delicious marinated red pepper mixture and can be served as a snack, starter or with pre-dinner drinks. The flavours remind me of summer, but you can serve them any time of the year. To be honest, they are probably best in summer since both peppers and tomatoes seem more flavourful in the summer. That said, their bright red colour looks fabulous as part of a festive spread, and they still taste good at other times of the year.
I like to add a little crushed garlic to the oil before brushing it onto these crostini for extra flavour, although this is optional. Grilling the peppers and skinning them increases their sweetness and intensifies their flavour, so even though it is a bit more work, I would not be tempted to miss out this step. However, if you really don't want to bother, just use some diced marinated peppers from a jar instead. Because the topping is quite moist, I would advise not to complete them until the last minute in order to retain maximum crispness of the crostini.
Red pepper crostini
- 1 part-baked baguette thinly sliced
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 tbsp unrefined rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red pepper seeded and quartered
- 1 tomato
- 2 spring onions
- 4 – 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190°C(180°C fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Crush the garlic and mix with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Brush onto the bread slices and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven until crisp and golden, about 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container until required.
- Place the peppers skin side up on a grill pan and cook under a hot preheated grill until the skin blackens and chars. Place in a bowl and cover with a tea-towel. Allow to stand until cool enough to handle.
- Peel the skin away from the pepper and discard. Cut the pepper into small dice and place in a mixing bowl.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Scoop out and discard the seed. Cut into small dice and add to the peppers.
- Slice the spring onions and add to the bowl along with the remaining olive oil and vinegar and a little seasoning. Tear the basil into small pieces and add to the bowl, toss together until well combined.
- When ready to serve place the crostini on a serving plate and top with the pepper mixture. Serve immediately.
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