Sweet Pepper Crostini
My inspiration for a way to cook them came at a place and time when I least expected it. I was waiting with goosebumps in an overly air-conditioned doctor's office one day, with thoughts of the sweltering summer garden farthest from my mind. Thumbing through a well-worn edition of Gourmet magazine, I came across a recipe that combined diced chicken and bell peppers with cumin and thyme, the final mixture stacked on a pool of chickpea hummus. The marriage of sweet peppers with smoky cumin piqued my curiosity, and then and there I etched a note in my mind: If peppers from the garden start piling up in abundance, try cooking them with cumin.
And so it was with this invention of mine. I sliced the peppers and combined them with a few generous dashes of ground cumin, a little olive oil, and one minced clove of fresh garlic. No more than ten minutes under the broiler and there I had a rainbow of wonderfully fragrant pepper ribbons, still slightly crisp to the bite.
On toasted slices of a baguette, I added a dollop of room-temperature hummus and my Crayola-colored combination of cooled-down peppers. A few dashes of paprika and olive oil gave my crostini appetizers their final flourish.
They were crisp, creamy, and sweet all at once. A small feast for the eyes and stomach of a gardener who worked hard to grow the star ingredient.