A particularly interesting version of Bruschetta exists in Puglia, where the goat cheese is used with the local olive oil, which is so characteristic in southern Italy. Here in the US, we substitute with Montrachet which is a pure white goat's-milk cheese with a delightfully tart flavor that easily distinguishes it from other cheeses. It comes in a variety of shapes including cylinders, discs, cones and pyramids, and is often coated in edible ash or leaves, herbs or pepper. Store tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator, it can stay fresh up to 2 weeks. Old goat cheese takes on a sour taste and should be discarded.
- 1 Large red bell pepper
- 4 oz soft fresh goat cheese (such as MONTRACHET)
- 12 1/2 inch-thick slices of Italian or French bread
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (In oil, drained)
- 10 basil leaves, chopped
- 6 Roma plum tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup cracked Sicilian olives
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Char red bell peppers over gas flame or in broiler until golden brown on all sides, set aside for 15 minutes the peel off the outer skin. In a food processor or blender, mix the goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and the roasted peppers and pulse in 2 tablespoons olive oil; continue pulsing until the mixture is the consistency of soft butter.
- Combine the diced tomatoes, red onion, basil leaves, olives and olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper toss the mixture, cover and leave at room temperature. Could be prepared 1 hour ahead. Preheat broiler or a barbecue to medium heat. Rub one side of the bread with garlic and olive oil and toast both sides of bread until golden brown. Spread goat cheese over the toast, mount tomato mixture on toast, dividing equally, place on a serving platter and garnish to your own taste.