bruschetta with roast peppers, mozzarella and pesto

Lindsey Bareham

I’m happy to say that my first foray into growing basil is a huge success. I’ve already reaped enough leaves to make pesto, so this simple supper was extra special for me. Creamy mozzarella, roast peppers sharpened with a few capers, and pesto is a lovely pile up. A handful of rocket goes well with this.

serves 2, prep 20 min, cook 20 min

2 pointed red peppers
2 thick slices sourdough bread
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp best olive oil
1 buffalo mozzarella
1 tsp capers
For the pesto
75g toasted pine kernels
2 garlic cloves
basil leaves
9 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
knob soft butter

Heat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Place the peppers on a small, shallow roasting tin. Bake 15 min, turn and cook for a further 10 min until the skin is black and puffy. Lift on to a plate, cover with clingfilm and leave for 10 min. Strip off the skin, split the pepper lengthways and scrape away the seeds.

To make the pesto, place pine kernels, peeled garlic, basil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, a generous pinch salt and several grinds black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blitz to puree, scraping down inside the bowl as necessary. With motor running, add remaining olive oil in a dribble. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the grated parmesan. Stir in the knob of soft butter to stop the pesto splitting.

To assemble, toast the bread, rub one side with peeled garlic, smear with olive oil, pile with slices of mozzarella, pepper, scattering of capers and dot with pesto