Three Pepper Bruschetta
This recipe is adapted from a dish served at our favorite Italian restaurant in Boulder, which is no longer in operation, Via Perla. When they were still open, they had the best happy hour deal in town: a bottle of wine and an appetizer for $20. And when they first opened, this bruschetta was large enough for the two of us to split one for supper.
Alas, Via Perla did not survive the first round of pandemic shutdowns. They went out of business along with half the other restaurants on Pearl street. Fortunately, I figured out how to make this recipe at home months before they were forced to shut their doors for good.
Growing up, my father was always working on reverse-engineering some recipe from a restaurant that he liked. This task was much more difficult back before the internet, when he could not just punch the question into a search engine. No, whenever he found something he really liked at a restaurant he would eat it so slowly and carefully, trying to detect every ingredient behind that flavor he found so delightful.
My father is very much a perfectionist, and is perhaps most excited when he finds a minor breakthrough in fine-tuning something complex, be it his golf swing or the salad dressing from the Japanese steakhouse.
When I was a younger man I did not understand his obsession with these things. Now, as an adult (and something of a perfectionist myself), it occupies a similar amount of my brain space. I have spent months (years?) trying to perfect the salsa blanca and chicken nachos recipes from my favorite Mexican restaurant back in my hometown.
Fortunately, this recipe was much simpler. All you need to do is roast and peel a few bell peppers, slice them thin, and serve them on a nice piece of grilled bread with a smear of ricotta and a squeeze of lemon. It doesn’t take much effort to figure that one out.
Three Pepper Bruschetta with Ricotta
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow/orange bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 cup ricotta
1 clove garlic
Good, crusty bread
Roast the peppers and remove the skins. Salt them to taste. They can be served immediately made ahead and stored in a jar or covered bowl in the fridge for a few days.
To serve, toast the bread slices and rub them with a clove of garlic that has been split in half. Slice the peppers thin, and drape them over a good smear of ricotta on the toasts. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the top and a sprinkle more salt, if desired.