For this delicious gluten-free bruschetta recipe, grilled eggplant slices are used instead of bread. The bruschetta topping is made of roasted peppers, basil and garlic. Creamy burrata cheese makes the whole thing decadent and fabulous. This post is sponsored by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.
Now that we’re in the real deep heat of summer there are fresh veggies popping up all over the place. When the kind folks over at the Produce Bites Blog asked me to come up with a recipe featuring Georgia’s fresh summer produce (they’re big Georgia produce-lovers over there, as am I!) I put one fist in the air and whooped out a, “Yessss!”
This is exactly my favorite thing to do: Look over a list of ingredients and come up with a way to pull them together into something incredible. It’s like my own summery version of the show Chopped. Riiight?
Here’s a list of some of the Georgia fruits and vegetables that are available in the summer: watermelon, sweet peppers, peaches, grapes, eggplant, cantaloupes, cabbage, blueberries, beans (pole and lima). For more helpful information about fruits and vegetables, check out Produce Bites. Great recipes, tips and info over there.
I wanted to use at least two of the ingredients that are currently in season. I also wanted something fun for summer. Like a great summer appetizer to have at a patio table by the pool.
I suddenly remembered being at our 4th of July party and having the idea of grilled eggplant slices as the base for bruschetta (instead of bread or toast). Eggplant is on the Georgia list. I HAD to do it.
Now, what to put on top of that bruschetta? The sweet peppers caught my eye. I hadn’t roasted peppers myself at home in awhile and I thought the mellow smoky flavor would be amazing on the eggplant.
So, we roasted some bell peppers (we did it under the broiler) and we grilled some eggplant slices. After the peppers were peeled and chopped, we added minced garlic, fresh basil salt and pepper. That got piled onto the eggplant rounds. Then for a special finish…
We put a smudge of burrata on top of each one. If you don’t know burrata it’s essentially fresh mozzarella that’s been stuffed with cream. No joke. Use regular fresh mozzarella if you can’t find it. Nearly as good.
There you have it! A fresh, fun produce-packed appetizer perfect for summer nights by the pool. Make sure you pick up some eggplants, bell peppers or other delicious fresh produce next time you’re at the store. You definitely won’t regret it!
Eggplant Bruschetta with Homemade Roasted Peppers and Burrata
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 medium eggplant
- Olive oil
- Coarse black pepper
- 5 large basil leaves, chopped
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 ball of burrata cheese
- Preheat broiler and adjust oven rack so that it is as close to heat source as possible. Put bell peppers on a sturdy baking sheet and under the broiler for 15-20 minutes, turning peppers over every few minutes until they are blackened all over the outsides.
- Put peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, trim ends off eggplant and slice into 6 ¾-inch slices. Brush each side of each slice of eggplant with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle each side with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.
- Preheat grill to medium. Add eggplant slices. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side, spinning halfway through on each side to get hashtag grill marks. Remove from grill and allow to cool.
- Put peppers is a small bowl with about 1 cup of water. Use fingers to remove peel, letting the water help to wash away the black specks. It’s ok if some bits of peel and flakes of black remain.
- In a medium bowl combine peppers with basil, garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of coarse black pepper. Pile mixture onto the eggplant rounds. Cut burrata into 6 pieces and use a spoon to scoop each one and it onto a mound of red pepper.