There has been a definite theme on the blog lately: I have not felt like cooking much. During a heat wave like the one I am currently experiencing here in one of the northernmost parts of the south, this is pretty normal. The sticky humidity saps everybody’s energy. At this very moment the dog’s tongue is practically on the floor and it feels as though there isn’t enough water on the planet to keep either of us hydrated. When the weather gets like this, I tend towards one-pot meals that require minimal effort. Because in tiny kitchen, turning on the stove for even a brief period of time heats up the entire house! This bell pepper and onion bruschetta is what I like to call a low and slow recipe: it comes together quickly and the heat on the stove does not get turned up too high. You get a quick, delicious, and filling meal without having to sacrifice all of the effort your HVAC is putting in!
Bell Pepper and Onion Bruschetta? Really?
Okay, okay. I call this bruschetta. But really, it is a cheap (albeit delicious) bastardization of the Italian classic. Traditional bruschetta is grilled bread that is rubbed with garlic and then topped with one of a myriad of toppings. The most traditional bruschetta has tomatoes, but can really be anything, ranging from beans to olive tapenade. We are taking major shortcut:
This bell pepper and onion bruschetta is made with larger slices of sourdough bread we stick in the toaster. We do not grill it and rub it with garlic. Sorry, but on a hot summer’s eve, I have zero inclination to grill bread in a pan or crisp it in the oven. Nope, nope, no thank you.
Want to make your own sourdough bread for this recipe but do not know where to get started? Check out my sourdough starter step-by-step guide!
Could you grill your bread? Yes. You could. But not today, my friends.
Getting Started With Bruschetta
For this recipe, you only need five ingredients:
- bell peppers of varying colors
- yellow cooking onions
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
In a large pot (I use a medium-sized dutch oven) over medium-low heat, warm a few tablespoons of olive oil. While the olive oil is cooking, slice your bell pepper and onions thin. Do not worry about making them perfectly uniform in size here- the ultimate goal is to caramelize the onions and break down the peppers. Your chopping does not need to be perfect!
Once the oil is hot, toss in all of your chopped veggies and add in a generous pinch of salt. Cook the vegetables on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. You might notice some brown bits. You might notice some sticking to the bottom of the pan. It’s okay. As the peppers and onions caramelize, this is going to happen. But once things seem to really be cartelizing and cooking down (about twenty minutes into cooking), pour your balsamic vinegar into the pot to deglaze it and reincorporate those dark bits back into the dish. You want this, I promise. These extra caramelized bits offer a depth of flavor that bring this bruschetta to a whole new level.
Once the peppers and onions have cooked down to your liking, set them aside and toast your bread. Slather the bruschetta on said toast and serve!
Bell Pepper and Onion Bruschetta
- Medium or large cooking pot (I use an enameled, cast iron dutch oven)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 3 bell peppers varying colors
- 3 cooking onions yellow
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar*
- Pour olive oil into the pot/dutch oven and warm over medium-low heat.
- While the olive oil is heating, slice the bell peppers and onions. The smaller you slice, the faster the vegetables will cook down, but the size is a matter of preference.
- Once the oil is hot, transfer all the peppers and onions to the pot and season generously with salt. Stir so that all the vegetables are coated in oil.
- Cook down the vegetables. This is done by leaving the onions and peppers to cook over medium-low heat while stirring occasionally. Stir periodically over the course of twenty minutes. You should be able to observe the peppers and onions breaking down and carmelizing.
- Pour the balsamic vinegar over the vegetables to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Stir for approximately thirty seconds or until the vinegar is well incorporated.
- If you wish, continue to cook the vegetables until they reach your desired texture, but at this point I remove them from the pot and set aside to cool slightly.
- At this time, toast your bread.
- When ready to serve, geneously slather each slice of toast with the bruschetta topping. Voila!
My husband and I often eat this as is, as part of an open faced sandwich situation. But it would make a wonderful side dish if served on smaller pieces of bread, or as an additional filling for a panini. Or with some smoky vegan sausage. I can hear my mom screaming for sausage and peppers right now. Oh boy. I think I might have to make that next!