Through the course of this instructable you'll learn how to make my spin on an Italian Bruschetta. For larger meals, for say when I smoke a roast and have a few friends over, this makes an excellent side. I can't wholly take credit for the initial creation of this recipe, as my younger brother (who is more the cook than I am) and I came up with this recipe together one night when making a French bread. The original version included smoked deer sausage cut into cubes and it was quite awesome. This recipe generally takes about 10 minutes prep time and a cook time of 12-15 minutes at 350ish. (I'll explain this little discrepancy shortly) Basically you want the cheese melted, the vegetables toasty, and the bread to have a bit of a crunch.
Main recipe originally created by David Robichaux Jr. and Mikey Robichaux.
Instructable, cooking, & photos by David Robichaux Jr.
Let us get started shall we...
Step 1: Ingredients
1 loaf artisan bread from local bakery. (used here is a garlic clove loaf from Kroger)
2 tablespoons of butter
1 jar of basil pesto (I prefer the Classico basil pesto)
Meats (for this bread I'll be using peppercorn bacon and pepperoni, as it's what I had in the fridge)
Cheese. Mozzarella is usually a good choice, though for this I have an Italian cheese blend and parmesan (again whatever is in the fridge)
1/2 Bell pepper.
Vine ripened tomatoes.
Salt & Pepper.
Note: Toppings and amounts of topping vary depending on you, simply treat it like a pizza and use however much you prefer.
Step 2: Cooking Meats.
I start with cutting and cooking the meats in a skillet. Dice up your meats into small portions and simmer over medium heat until cooked. (Most of the time when I plan to cook this for dinner I'll just cook the meats in the morning. Especially since, as soon as I smell that bacon cooking, I must eat some of it.)
Step 3: Bread Prep.
We'll get started by cutting the bread in half and setting it on baking stone / pan. I did this while I had the meats simmering in pan.
Next we'll take the 2 tablespoons of butter in a dish and melt in microwave. Since I'm using a garlic clove bread there is no need to add garlic to the butter. If you bought an artisan bread of another variety add a little garlic powder to your melted butter and stir it in.
What we'll then do is drizzle this buttery goodness over the two halves of bread.
Next we'll take this wonderful creation that is basil pesto and lightly spread it over the bread.
Step 4: Preheat Oven.
The story behind the ish is that, with the oven at my house it is merely calibrated guesswork. The numbers on all the stove and oven knobs were already worn a bit when a former roommate had the idea of detailing the stove. He thoroughly cleaned everything and pulled the knobs to soak them in bleach water. All the numbers are gone now, and as we've never gotten new knobs, we've simply adapted to this form of calibrated guesswork.
Also, as space is an issue in a small trailer, our cast iron skillets live in the oven. Which is just dandy when someone forgets that before they start preheating the oven.
Step 5: Add Meats and Cheese.
Next up we'll add the meats onto the bread. Spread evenly across the bread.
After you've added your meats onto the bread, you'll now want to add your cheese(s). For now I'm just using the blended cheese.
Step 6: Veggies.
Next up, you'll take your onions and bell peppers to top it off. I normally thinly slice the onions and bell peppers. I however had diced onions in the fridge already.
Once you have your veggies on top, you'll place this in the oven and let cook for about 10 minutes. Until the cheese is melted and the veggies are toasty.
Step 7: Tomatoes.
I nearly forgot the tomatoes. These you'll simply slice, put on a plate, then give a couple cranks of salt and black pepper to eat on the side.
I remember a while back I was telling my young niece what I called “the proper way to eat a tomato.” Just like pictured here. She then went on to devour what was left of the tomatoes that day...
Step 8: The Finish.
After about 10 minutes cooking in the oven, I'll check to see if the cheese is melted to satisfaction and the veggies have slightly crisp edges. I'll add a touch Parmesan cheese on top, then sprinkle a small amount of Italian seasoning. I then will turn off the oven, and let the bread sit in the oven for another few minutes. That will work to a small amount of varying textures of cheese.
Pull out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices.
As you'll tell when you go to slice this bread, it will be crunchy overall. That butter will have soaked through the bread, not to mention the olive oil that is part of the basil pesto as well.
Step 9: Afterword.
This recipe is one that will work as a side or appetizer to plenty of meals. Or served as the main course with a small salad and tomatoes, like I'll be having mine tonight. As with any recipes, take your own personal preferences into account and add your own flair to it.
Let me know how yours came out and what you've done differently.