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Friday, 11 July 2014

Grilled pepper bruschetta

(nice things on toast, part deux)

Maybe I’ve lost my mojo. It is hard for me to think that maybe my creativity stemmed from my unhappiness, but at least that realisation has given me something to work on.

I have been away at a yoga retreat in Turkey (bliss), and my yoga teacher Dimuthu said something really interesting about scar tissue, and how sometimes we protect old injuries, whether physical or emotional, so carefully that the scar tissue which builds is far bigger than the injury, creating a huge block. That concept resonates with me a lot. I am so much happier now, but maybe I am still protecting those old wounds. 

Inside the yoga studio
I definitely needed a holiday
So anyway, back to food. Being at a vegetarian yoga retreat in Turkey I am, of course eating extremely well. The food is simple and wholesome, and mostly grown in the hotel gardens. I have been taking a lot of notes, and really look forward to recreating some of the dishes when I get home; things like bulgur wheat as a side, full-fat yogurt swirled with olive oil, and tahini swirled with apricot and hazelnuts.

This pepper bruschetta recipe, despite being more Italian in influence, I think it works with the style of the food I have been eating here too – simple vegetables and good olive oil. Some of the best things to eat on a hot day.


Approximately 3 red or yellow peppers. It is hard for me to estimate how many peppers you will need, but obviously it is better to make a bit too much than too little. Any leftovers would be wonderful in a salad or pasta sauce, or just as more bruschetta.
2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
Approximately 5 basil leaves (depending on how big they are), torn up
Coarse-ish sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the bruschetta:
6 slices of ciabatta, or similar lovely Italian bread
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Really good quality extra virgin olive oil


This quantity makes approximately 6 pieces of bruschetta – obviously depending on how big your slices of bread are.

Preheat the grill to very hot, but not the hottest it can go.

I find it best to line trays with foil when roasting peppers, as the liquid that comes out of them can be difficult to scrub off trays once it has burnt.

Grill the peppers for 3-5 minutes each side, until softened and blackened in places. When they are done, put them in a bowl and cover it tightly with cling film to let them steam.

When the peppers have mostly cooled down, peel off their skins and take out the stalks and seeds.

Slice the pepper flesh into thin-ish strips and put them in a bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, the torn basil leaves (save a few bits for garnish), and some salt and black pepper.

Cover the bowl and leave the peppers to marinate for at least half an hour. Put them in the fridge if you will be leaving them for longer than half an hour, but make sure to remove them from the fridge in enough time to come back up to room temperature before serving.

To make the bruschetta toast the bread on both sides, and then rub one side with garlic (serving side up).

To serve, spoon the pepper strips onto the bruschetta and garnish with the remaining bits of basil leaf.