6 slices of country bread
1 clove garlic, halved
1 1/2 c fresh ricotta, drained if necessary, room temperature
2 c Peperonata
8 gypsy peppers or a mix of red, yellow and orange peppers, about 2 1/2 lbs
1/2 c EVOO, plus more for roasting
2 T salt packed capers, soaked
1 T tomato paste
1/2 red onion, diced (about 1 c)
1/2 fennel bulb, cored and diced
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
2 T red -wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400º. In a bowl toss the peppers with a dash of EVOO and a pinch of salt coating them evenly. Arrange on a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast, turning the peppers once about halfway through cooking for 20-30 minutes, or until the skins have started to blister and pull away from the flesh. Remove from the oven, place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle. Remove the plastic wrap and peel the peppers. The skins should slide right off. Tear the peppers into roughly equal pieces, about 1/2 inch wide, discarding the stems, seeds and membranes.
In a large pot, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Dab the capers dry with a paper towel and add them to the oil. Fry the capers for about a minute, or until they bloom and become crispy. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, until the paste turns brick red. Stir in the onion, fennel, chili flakes and 1/2 tsp salt and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion and fennel are tender.
Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, dislodging any brown bits and stir in the peppers. Cook for a few minutes, tast3e for seasoning, and adjust with more salt or vinegar if needed. Can be served warm or stored in a tightly covered container for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 6 c.
Preheat the oven to 450º. Brush the EVOO evenly over both sides of each slice of bread. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and toast for 3 minutes. Rub each slice of bread with the cut side of the garlic.
Taste the ricotta, if it seems bland, mix in a pinch of salt. Divide the ricotta evenly among the bruschette, then top with spoonfuls of peperonata. Serve immediately.