"The Perfect Bite" is a term that I use to describe the way that I eat. I like to savor each bite, take it all in pure appreciation. I like to organize each forkful into a perfect little bite with all components of a dish accounted for and represented, maximizing flavor. This usually means that I am one of the last ones at the dinner table, munching away, but I don't care. I believe that food is one of the simplest pleasures that we as humans get to enjoy. And the best part is that we get to enjoy this a couple of times, each day.
The reason I am telling you all this is because this little creation I cooked up today has maximum "perfect bite" capabilities. Each time you sink your teeth into this crusty baguette, you get a rush of amazing flavors coming at you all at once (no fork positioning required). There's the crunchiness of the toasty baguette followed by a layer of smooth tangy goat cheese topped off by sweet and soft roasted red peppers and peppery fresh basil. I completed this dish by adding a couple drizzles of extra virgin olive oil and some flecks of coarse sea salt. Talk about a satisfying meal! The perfect spring afternoon treat or excellent for a light dinner. This is the type of meal that makes you appreciate food and want to savor each and every last bite.
To compliment this meal, I added a site of mache lettuce (arugula or spinach would also be good here) and dressed it only with a couple squirts of fresh lemon juice, fresh ground pepper, and a couple of fresh Parmesan cheese flecks. It was so fresh and natural and quite simply delicious.
One special note about the goat cheese, it's not for everyone and if it's not your thing, you could also melt some fresh mozzarella or provolone on top of the baguette or opt for some salty feta. All very fine choices.
Roasted Red Pepper Baguettes with Mache Lettuce
- 1 baguette, sliced in half (about 5 or 6 inches long is the perfect size)
- Roasted red pepper slices (you can either roast your own or get good quality jarred ones)
- Goat cheese (enough to thinly coat the top of each baguette half)
- Fresh sliced basil
- Coarse sea salt
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper
- Mache lettuce
- Fresh lemon juice
- Thin pieces of Parmesan cheese
Toast the baguette halves until they just become crispy. While still hot, smooth the goat cheese on top of each slice. Arrange the roasted red peppers on top and add the basil. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and fresh black pepper. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top.
For the salad, toss the mache lettuce in a little lemon juice. Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh grated pepper.