Last month, we introduced a new challenge to the BB group: Barefoot on a Budget (BoaB) where a pricey Ina recipe is amended to fit into our budgets.  The first recipe (Lobster Cobb Salad) was chosen by majority vote and this one was the runner-up, thus becoming May’s BoaB recipe.  I would have like to have made the Lobster Cobb Salad but I really want to try it with the lobster and unfortunately, it is still fairly pricey here in New England.  Anywho, the this bruschetta was right up my alley and wouldn’t make a big dent in my wallet.

I didn’t find that I needed to change the recipe all that much in order to make it more budget-worthy and you’ll see a breakdown of the cost below.  I did halve the recipe since there are only two of us to cook for and swapped out the creamy Gorgonzola for the crumbly.  In truth, we made the bruschetta twice this week; once with crumbly Gorgonzola and once with creamy Gorgonzola (which cost $9.99/lb) and the crumbly batch appealed to us much more than the creamy.  The difference probably had more to do with the brand than the texture as the creamy was way too strong for our liking.  Either way, the recipe is fabulous, both a little sweet (the peppers) and a little salty (the cheese) at the same time, and is one that can easily be made for a larger group.

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Two years ago: Broccoli and Fontina Frittata and Oreo Cheesecake

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Bruschetta with Sautéed Sweet Red Peppers and Gorgonzola

source: Ina Garten

  • Good olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips (One 12oz pepper @ $1.99/lb = $1.49
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained (1/2 tbsp of one $1.99 jar = ~$0.25)
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (1pkg @ $2.49; 2 tbsp = ~$0.30)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Baguette (1/2 baguette @ $2.49/baguette = $1.25)
  • 3 ounces creamy crumbly Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, at room temperature (1.5oz @ $6.99/lb = $0.65)

Total Out-of-Pocket Cost: $3.94 for 2 servings (9 pieces of bruschetta)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook until soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Stir in the capers and basil, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Slice the baguette crosswise into 18 thin round slices. Brush the bread rounds lightly with olive oil on 1 side. Arrange them in rows, oil side up, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Top each toast round with a teaspoonful of the pepper mixture. Place 2 small pieces of Gorgonzola on top. Return the toast to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes and warm through. Serve immediately.

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  • June 1, 2009 at 6:34 AM

    Thanks for all the effort you are putting into new challenges. I also did not get to the lobster cobb salad (more a time issue) but I am enjoying the extra optional challenges popping up.

  • June 1, 2009 at 2:01 PM

    Looks like a beautiful, tasty, and budget-friendly app!

  • June 1, 2009 at 2:28 PM

    look tasty!! yuummm!!!

  • June 1, 2009 at 7:29 PM

    Wonderful picture and amazing color! Looks yummy, wish I had that for an appetizer tonight

  • June 1, 2009 at 10:55 PM

    I caught this episode with this just the other day, and I’ve been craving gorgonzola since! Your bruschetta looks great.

  • June 2, 2009 at 6:17 PM

    Those certainly look tasty!

  • June 3, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Tara, your bruschetta look delicious! I love the red and white and green colors. We loved these as well. The boab challenge was such a great idea, very fun 🙂

  • Rosemary
    August 24, 2009 at 5:02 AM

    I loved the recipe and unless I special order, I can’t find the creamy gorgonzola. I simply bring the gorgonzola to room temperature and slowly add a little heavy cream until I get the cheese spreadable. Turns out great!

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