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Grilled Bruschetta with Roasted Red Peppers

By David Bowers
Published: January 12, 2012
GRILLED BRUSCHETTA – Food styling and photo by John & Tanya Bäck
This is the appetizer course from "Romantic Dinner for Two" (February 2012).

Prep all of your dinner ingredients so they’re ready, but char the pepper in advance, even as early as the day before. Pair with Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne. Makes 2 servings.

1    large red bell pepper
1    tablespoon lemon juice
4    slices sourdough bread, about 1⁄2-inch thick
      Olive oil
1    garlic clove, peeled, left whole
1. Turn a gas grill on high, and lay the pepper on the rack over the flames. Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until the exterior is charred black all over and the pepper sags and softens but retains its shape (if it collapses utterly, you’re only a step away from charred dry flesh inside).
2. Put the charred pepper in a brown paper bag, and fold over the top. Let it steam 5–10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Slough off the charred skin with your hands, and slice the tender insides thinly into a small bowl. Toss with lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cover until ready to use. (Chill if not using within 2 hours.)
3. Place the bread slices over direct heat, and grill them, turning frequently to prevent burning, until they’re golden and crisp. Brush with olive oil on both sides, and lightly rub the surface of each slice with the garlic cloves. Don’t scrub it hard! You only want to impart a hint of garlic flavor.
4. Spoon the grilled pepper slices on the toasted bread, spooning on any juices that have collected in the bowl. Cut the slices in half and serve with the champagne.
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