This recipe comes from the kitchen of Kenny Giambalvo, Executive Chef of Pazzo Ristorante and was prepared for hungry market shoppers at our Chef in the Market series at our PSU Market on Sept. 17. It is a perfect recipe for entertaining, as the spread and grilled peppers can be made up to six days in advance and stored in an airtight container. Just be sure to slice and toast the bread immediately for serving.
Spicy Eggplant Bruschetta with marinated roasted peppers
For the eggplant spread:
- 2 globe eggplant, peeled and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced finely
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced finely
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced finely
- 5 anchovy fillets
- 5 Calabrian peppers, sliced
- 1 oz grapeseed oil
- 1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
- 2 oz extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt& fresh ground black pepper
Roasted bell peppers:
- 2 red bell peppers, burned, peeled and julienned
Balsamic vinegar reduction
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp orange peel
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Prepare the balsamic vinegar reduction and set aside to cool.
- In a heavy bottomed braising pot, heat the grapeseed oil. Cook the garlic and onions together until the onions are translucent.
- Add the anchovies, hot pepper and fennel, continue cooking until the fennel is tender.
- Add the eggplant and over low heat continue cooking until the eggplant is completely tender and most of the moisture is cooked off.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the fresh thyme leaves and process to a smooth texture.
- While the machine is running, slowly add the olive oil. Adjust the seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
- Transfer to a shallow container that can be sealed tight and keep refrigerated until needed.
- Bring the bell peppers, 3 tbsp of the balsamic reduction, 1 oz extra virgin olive oil and salt and black pepper to a simmer and reduce to 3 tbsp of liquid. Set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, combine the peppers with the reduction, olive oil and seasonings. Transfer to a container, cover and let stand for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.
- To serve, slice a baguette on the diagonal and toast until desired crispyness. Immediately before serving, spread the eggplant mixture on each slice and top with the peppers. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese if desired.