Bangin' bruschetta

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 baguette, cut on the diagonal into 1-cm slices
  • 1 medium-sized black aubergine, cut lengthwise into 1-cm slices
  • 1 Vidalia onion, cut into 1-cm disks
  • Salt
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, pulp removed, cut into 1-cm cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pepperoncini peppers, diced, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice
  • 60g finely grated manchego cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat griddle to medium-high.
1) Using 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, brush both sides of the baguette slices and griddle until golden brown and lightly charred around the edges, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and set aside.

2) Using another 2 tablespoons olive oil, brush aubergine and onion and griddle until lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove aubergine and onion from heat, season with salt, and set aside, on a cutting board, until cool enough to handle. Slice both into 1-cm cubes.

3) Combine aubergine, onion, tomato, garlic, remaining tablespoon olive oil, black pepper, pepperoncini and pickling juice in a bowl. Toss to combine and check for seasoning, adding additional salt, if necessary. Assemble toasts on a serving platter and place a heaping spoonful of vegetable mixture on top of each. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Yield: 6 appetizer servings

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