Bruschetta - Sun-dried Tomato Basil Pesto

Bruschetta is an antipasto from Italy that is served as an appetizer (a starter dish) or a snack. The intense color and layers of flavors of this Bruschetta is an extremely easy and quick recipe that everyone will enjoy. The Sun-dried Tomato Basil spread gives a rich color and gusto to the flavorful Artisan Filone Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bread.

Usually a French baguette (bread) is grilled and topped with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, olive oil and fresh basil leaves. I came up with a slightly different version of adding pesto as a base for a flavorful bruschetta. Pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding or crushing. This sun-dried tomato basil pesto contains all of the ingredients listed on the title. You may check out my Shrimp Zucchini Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto for the recipe to make the homemade Sun-dried tomato pesto from scratch. 

Replaced the Mozzarella Cheese with Pepper Jack, another layer of flavor as the cheese is seasoned with sweet peppers, rosemary, habanero chilies, garlic, spicy jalapenos for an extra kick. This semi-soft, open textured cheese is spicy to taste yet leaves a delicate and buttery taste in the mouth. As the pepper jack cheese contains the rosemary flavor, I topped my bruschetta with the same herb fresh from my garden for an intense zest. Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen leaves and purple, white or pink flowers. Finally topped with pitted and sliced Kalamata olives. 

This appetizer was one of the dishes that was served for my 2015 Thanksgiving Dinner, which was gone in seconds! 

Level: Easy
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cuisine: Italian-American Fusion
Yields : 20-25 bite sized servings

1. Artisan Filone Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese bread -1 loaf- cut into 1/4 inch slices (check notes)
2. Sun-dried tomato basil spread - 1 jar (6.5 oz)
3. Pepper Jack Cheese - 1 small pack
4. Kalamata olives - 1 can (pitted and sliced)
5. Rosemary - 4-5 sprigs chopped (fresh leaves) 

1. Lightly toast the sliced bread in a pan or broil for 2 mins or less in the oven.
2. Cut the pepper jack sheets into the desired size of the bread. I cut them into 6 rectangles. 
3. Spread a small amount of sun-dried tomato basil spread evenly on one side of the bread and layer it with cheese, sliced Kalamata olives and sprinkle some chopped rosemary. 

Tips and Notes:
1. You may prepare it ahead of time, or broil it the oven for 2 mins (until the cheese starts to melt) to serve warm.
2. Artisan Filone Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bread can replaced with Artisan Kalamata Olive Bread or French Baguette if you are not a spicy foodie.