Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mini Bagel Bruschetta with Peppers and Gorgonzola -- Barefoot Bloggers Budget Challenge

Our Barefoot on a Budget Challenge for May is Ina's Bruschetta with Sautéed Sweet Pepper and Creamy Gorgonzola. The Barefoot on a Budget Challenge is a new feature for Barefoot Bloggers members where we are challenged to make a Barefoot Contessa recipe and made any substitutions needed to shave a little off the grocery bill that week.

Here is the original recipe with my changes noted...

Bruschetta with Sauteed Sweet Peppers and Creamy Gorgonzola

Good olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon capers, drained -- didn't measure, just tossed some into the pan
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves -- used dried basil from the pantry $$
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper -- left this out, not a pepper fan
Baguette -- used mini bagels instead $$
3 ounces creamy Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, at room temperature -- I used a non-imported (cheaper) Gorgonzola than I usually buy $$

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat -- I just used Pam cooking spray. Add the peppers and cook until soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.

Stir in the capers and basil, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Slice the baguette crosswise into 18 thin round slices. Brush the bread rounds lightly with olive oil on 1 side.

Arrange them in rows, oil side up, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Top each toast round with a teaspoonful of the pepper mixture. Place 2 small pieces of Gorgonzola on top. Return the toast to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes and warm through. Serve immediately.

Before and after baking...

Changes & Results: At first I was going to bake my own baguette as part of the budget challenge but then I remembered the mini bagels we buy for the kids who love to make mini pizzas with them, okay, I admit it, I like to make mini bagel pizzas too. I thought that some Little Lender's Mini Bagels would be the perfect substitution for a baugette and they were. The mini bagels got nice and crispy crunchy on the outside and stayed a touch soft and chewy under all of that cheesy pepper goodness.

I really enjoyed this recipe! The flavors were amazing together, I loved the hint of sugar and what it added to the peppers while sauteeing. I did not sautee them quite as long as Ina suggests, I like my peppers to have a little crunch left in them, I'd say I sauteed about 5-7 minutes. Other changes were not to measure out the capers, basil, or gorgonzola, I just added what I thought would work out. I'm pretty sure I used quite a bit extra gorgonzola, I just sprinkled on a little mountain of cheese and hoped for the best. The cheaper brand of non-imported gorgonzola was wonderful, I really couldn't tell a difference compared to the non-crumbled imported wedge I usually buy, but I didn't have them side by side or anything for a taste test.

Another favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe for me, these were amazing and a great adult alternative to mini bagel pizzas -- and made a nice light lunch with a salad while the kids had their own 'top your own' mini bagel pizza night :)


Anonymous said...

i love the use of mini bagels with these. :)

Natashya said...

Mmm, cheesy goodness! love the mini bagel version!

Debinhawaii said...

Making them on mini bagels wa a great idea! Glad you liked this one--they look delicious!

Michele said...

What a lovely treat! Yum!!

Chocolate Shavings said...

Those look delicious, and cheap to make!

Pamela said...

I just love that you used mini bagels! These look wonderful and full of great flavor!

Anonymous said...

great job! i'm a big bagel fan so i can definitely appreciate your choice for the Budget challenge!

Suzie said...

They look great. I really liked them too - the flavours were great.

Megan said...

mmmm, little bagels! And cheese, too!

Anonymous said...

I love it! They look delicious.

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