Eggplant and Charred Pepper Bruschetta Recipe

Ingredients

For the sherry vinaigrette:

  • ½ red onion, sliced paper-thin
  • ½ cup sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

For the eggplant:

  • 3 small eggplants (about 1 pound), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, some left whole and some torn

For the charred peppers:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 padrón peppers, or other green chiles (such as shishito)
  • Salt
  • 6 slices of country bread, toasted

This attractive and richly-flavored appetizer comes from James Beard award-winning Chef Chad Robertson who makes stellar breads at his San Francisco bakery. - Yasmin Fahr

Adapted from “Tartine Bread” by Chef Chad Robertson

Directions

For the sherry vinaigrette:

Place the onion slices in a bowl and add the vinegar, currants, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine and let stand for 5 minutes. The onions will turn bright pink. Then add ½ cup olive oil and mix.

For the eggplant:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a rimmed, nonstick liner.

Generously brush both sides of the eggplant pieces with olive oil and arrange on the prepared sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle liberally with salt and bake until the slices are very soft, about 20 minutes.

Let the eggplant rounds cool and then transfer them to a shallow serving dish. Top with the basil leaves and sherry vinaigrette. Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes before serving.

For the charred peppers:

Char the peppers right before serving, making sure the kitchen is well ventilated.

Add the tablespoon of oil to a skillet and heat over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the peppers and cook, without moving them, for 1 minute.

Then, turn the peppers over with a spatula and cook for 1 minute longer. Season the peppers with a pinch of salt and transfer to the serving dish with the eggplant.

To serve, spoon the eggplant and peppers onto the toasted bread and moisten with any leftover marinade from the serving dish.  

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