Chili Pepper Bruschetta

Today, I’d like to share a recipe for a hot “Bruschetta”. Frankly, I don’t really know how to name this but I think it tastes delicious. It consists exclusively of raw ingredients and is very hot. As far as I can tell, the product qualifies as vegan (but I don’t care).

Ingredients

  • a good handful of chili peppers (compose according to taste and availability)
  • one small spring onion
  • three cloves of garlic (vary amount according to taste)
  • one tablespoon of fine salt
  • one tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • two teaspoons of light vinegar
  • approximately 150 ml of cold-pressed olive oil

You can compose the chili peppers according to your personal taste and desired heat of the final product. In the batch I’ve photographed here, I’ve been using two orange Habaneros, one green Jalapeño and a small handful of Rawits. I like mixing orange, red and green peppers together because it gives the mixture an interesting color. For increased heat and more complex flavor, I’d rather replace the Rawits (which I don’t think taste very interesting) with red Habaneros but unfortunately, the grocery store did not have any of these today. Even though they have rather low heat, I like adding Jalapeños because their flavor blends nicely with the Habanero and adds freshness.

People’s opinions on garlic differ. I generally like it but adding too much of it can displace the rich flavor of the chili peppers so I don’t want to overdo it with the garlic here.

Vegetable ingredients arranged on a wooden table.

Vegetable ingredients: spring onion, garlic and chili peppers (green: Jalapeño, red: Rawit, orange: Habanero).

Tools

  • chopping board
  • chef’s knife
  • beaker glass or other container for mixing the ingredients
  • screw-top jars (for bottling the final product)

It is recommended to use a chopping board that is either dishwasher-safe or dedicated to the preparation of this kind of food. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy eating, say, a muesli with fruits cut on the same board afterwards very much.

Requirements

Depending on your knife skills, the total preparation time will range from a few minutes to about half an hour.

Preparation

Use a sharp knife to chop the chili peppers, onion and garlic into very fine peaces. Try crushing the kernels of the chili peppers as well so they will release their heat in the mouth where we can taste it rather than in the digestive system where it merely causes abdominal pain. On the other hand, if you cannot tolerate much heat but like the complex flavor of the Hababero, consider removing some or all of their kernels (though sad it is). Using a sharp knife is important. We want finely chopped pieces, not a paste.

Chopped vegetables arranged on two plates for display.

Ingredients readily prepared for mixing. Left: chopped chili peppers, right: chopped spring onion and garlic with freshly ground pepper and salt.

Put the chopped vegetables into a beaker glass together with the salt, freshly ground pepper and vinegar. Carefully add small amounts of olive oil until the mixture can be stirred nicely. Don’t douse everything in oil at this point yet.

Once all ingredients are mixed well, fill the mass into small screw-top jars and compact it by gently knocking them on a towel. Finally, add olive oil until all vegetables are covered with oil. This will prevent air contact and help preserve the product for a longer time.

Final product in a transparent screw-top jar.

The final product.

For maximum taste, let the product rest in the refrigerator for one or two days to allow the flavors to blend.

Storage

Since all ingredients are raw, the product will not keep for a long time, even when cooled (which it should always be). In theory, one could pasteurize the jars but doing so would destroy much flavor and the freshness in particular. Instead, I prefer making only small batches that I can eat within a week or so. Keeping the product for that amount of time in the refrigerator is no problem.

Usage

I like eating the “Bruschetta” on a good baguette together with cheese, ham, salami and a glass of red wine. It’s also delicious with hard-boiled eggs, steak, rice or even on a “Schlemmerfilet” (which I don’t know an English word for). In case of the latter, I spread a good amount of “Bruschetta” on top of the frozen “Schlemmerfilet” prior to putting it into the oven.

Hazards and Precautions

Depending on the choice of chili peppers, the product may become very hot. Don’t serve it to people who are not accustomed to very hot dishes without a stern warning. Even people who can seemingly tolerate the immediate heat might encounter stomach problems after a few hours. Therefore, if you are not used to eating larger amounts of raw chili peppers (and garlic), start small. Eating larger quantities of raw onions and garlic might also render you socially unconscionable for an extended period of time.

Carefully clean any tools that have made contact with the chili peppers and don’t rub your (leave alone anybody else’s) eyes or other sensitive body parts without thoroughly washing your hands first. Some people recommend to handle chili peppers only with medical gloves but personally, I find this overkill. If you can put it in the mouth, you can touch it with the bare hand, too. Finally, while cutting your finger is never a wise thing to do, it becomes even worse when the knife is contaminated with capsaicin.

Conclusion

I hope you’ll enjoy this dish as much as I do.

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