My own idea on how Julie Powell made her yummy bruschetta in Julie and Julia.
- 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes
- 2 orange peppers
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 loaf of any thick, hearty bread of your choosing
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- Slice all the tomatoes and peppers into small chunks about the size of quarters or nickels.
- Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium.
- When the oil is hot, place the orange peppers into the oil and cook until they soften and are just starting to brown.
- Remove peppers and place tomatoes into the pan to soften them a bit. Do not cook the tomatoes, just heat them a little to soften them up. Remove from pan when finished.
- In a bowl, mix the tomatoes and peppers with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to your taste preference.
- In the empty frying pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and heat it up on medium-high.
- When the oil is hot, place a few thick slices of your preferred bread into the oil and cook until the outsides are toasted. Remove from the oil and pat them off with a paper towel if they appear to be too oily.
- Take the clove of garlic and rub it on the now toasted bread. The course cooked sides should act as a small grater and thus scrape some of the essence off.
- Arrange toasted bread on a plate and top with the tomato/pepper mixture.
- Garnish with a few pieces of basil torn from the bunch.
The idea of cooking the vegetables a little is to soften them down. Bruschetta is generally a nice topping that isn’t full of crunch. We do the peppers separate from the tomatoes simply because peppers require more time.
I use fresh basil for this dish simply because this is not just about flavor, but the visual. You can stir in dried basil instead of fresh, but it looks so much nicer with fresh basil.
The bread you use is entirely up to you. As you can see in the image, I used a thick wheat, a hearty rye, and even a “corn cake” (similar to a rice cake), only I didn’t toast the corn cake.
You can use your toaster instead if you want to not fry the bread, but it takes so much better with it fried. If you go the toaster route, then at least brush the finished bread with olive oil before you rub the garlic on it. The oil is part of the flavor of bruschetta.