Bruschetta, bruschetta, bruschetta. Say that three times fast. You won’t be able to because your mouth will be filled with this fresh and savory food the minute it’s set in front of you.
This colorful upside down veggie bruschetta isn’t the typical appetizer that bruschetta is known to be. This, ladies and gentlemen, is dinner. A gorgeous, nutrient filled bowl full of powerful leaves, vegetables, and fruit that will make you feel like a super hero all while indulging in a few pieces of crunchy garlic toast. Winner!
Bruschetta is a weakness of mine, and I bet it’s a weakness for you too. You see that pile of delicious toasted bread, shimmering with olive oil and salt, and all you want to do is dive headfirst and devour every crumb. Of course you want the topping, but we’re human, so we go for the part of the snack that isn’t the healthiest. This upside down veggie bruschetta solves the problem.
This is the story of how this gorgeous dish was invented.
It was a football weekend in my house. Wisconsin crushed poor little Miami of Ohio—how was it that these two schools were even paired up—and then Bama schooled Middle Tennessee, and finally, the Iowa Hawkeyes got their rhythm and took the Cy-Hawk trophy back from the Iowa State Cyclones. We were starving by the start of the third game.
As the husband and I searched the kitchen for food, we came up with a half of a baguette, a pile of arugula, radicchio, basil, a bell pepper, red onion, and tomatoes. There wasn’t enough bread to make a bruschetta appetizer, so we decided to go heavy on the topping and light on the bread.
It wasn’t our intention to make this a dinner, it just turned out that way, and it was so good that we made it again on Sunday. We were hoping that it was our football good luck charm, but alas, it was not. The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears, at home, on a beautiful fall day. Thank goodness for this colorful upside down veggie bruschetta. It took away some of the sting of losing. Kind of.
The key to making this lovely dish of healthy and yummy is to macerate the bell pepper, onion, olives, and tomato in the white balsamic vinegar dressing for about twenty minutes. That softens the veggies just enough so that they’re still crunchy, but not totally raw. And the flavor of the dressing soaks into the mix to give them great flavor.
While the pepper, onion, olives, and tomato are macerating, brush some garlic olive oil on the slices of bread and toast them until they’re golden brown.
Place the radicchio, arugula, and basil on top of the macerated veggies and drizzle a little olive oil over the leaves, toss well, and put in two large salad or pasta bowls. Top with four pieces of garlic toast and dig in.
You’ll get just enough bread and lots of healthy vegetables for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Of course you can also make this for a large crowd. Just toast more bread and serve it like traditional bruschetta.
And the flavors in this mix are incredibly rich and complex. The peppery arugula, the slightly bitter radicchio, and the robust basil complement the sweetness of the bell pepper and tomato, and the olives lend a nice salty taste, finishing up with the spicy red onion. Perfection in a bowl.
Are you a bruschetta fan?
Do you like the idea of making this dish a main course?
How many football games did you watch this weekend?