Movie Star Bruschetta

Have you ever watched the movie "Julie and Julia"? I am officially obsessed with it. If you love food like I do (or an amazing cast), you will LOVE this movie. I watch it probably every couple of weeks (not kidding). The character Julie cooks her way through Julia Child's famous cookbook, and what amounts are the most delicious looking recipes I have ever seen. I COULD just get the book, and make some of the recipes, but what would be the fun of that? In one scene, Julie is cooking what looks to be the most amazing bruschetta I have ever laid eyes on. She sautes the bread in a mound of butter, and when it soaks up all of that deliciousness she piles it high with rich red tomatoes, and crispy pungent basil. Taking a note from Julie, I whipped together a 'buttery' bruschetta, made 'famous' with some crowd pleasing ingredients. 

Ingredients (makes 8 large bruschetta):
8 slices of Italian Bread
1/8 cup vegan butter, or margarine (My favorite is "Earth Balance")

1 head garlic, roasted (instructions below)
8 plum tomatoes, chopped (gently squeeze some of the excess liquid/ seeds out of the tomatoes)
2 roasted yellow bell peppers (instructions below)
2 green onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced (yes, MORE garlic!)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
4-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 few grinds of pepper

Other Additions: There are many things that you can add to bruschetta to 'bulk' it up, or add additional flavor. A few of my favorites are as follows:
- chopped olives
- lemon juice
- Italian dried herbs
- chickpeas, beans or lentils
- avocado

1) You can roast the bell peppers and garlic at the same time. To roast the garlic, cut off the top portion of a garlic bulb (the pointy end), so that the cloves are exposed. Drizzle 1 tblsp of olive oil on top. Place bulb, cut side up, in a baking dish. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, remove, add more olive oil (if needed), and bake for an additional 10 minutes (or until the cloves are soft to the touch). Set aside.
- To roast the bell peppers, place the whole peppers on a baking sheet, alongside the garlic. During the 30 minutes, rotate the peppers so that each side is evenly roasted. The skin will begin to turn black. Take the peppers out of the oven, and let them sit until cool. Gently peel off the burnt skin, de-seed, and chop. You can also purchase roasted red peppers, in a jar.
2) Melt the butter/ margarine in a large skillet, over medium heat. Place the slices of bread into the melted butter, sauteing for about 3 minutes on each side (or until lightly browned).
3) For the dressing, whisk roasted garlic, minced garlic, vinegar, oil, basil, salt and pepper until smooth. Fold in chopped tomatoes, roasted bell peppers and green onions. Place a large scoop of mixture on each slice of sauteed bread. Enjoy!
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