What do you do with bell peppers? Make this bell pepper sandwich bite! It is perfect vegan brunch recipe using focaccia bread and strawberry chives pesto
I have a special love for bell peppers. This fact will be obvious to all of you because you have seen (and made) many of my recipes which have bell peppers.
What is it about bell peppers that I just cannot resist?
I don’t know the answer, but, if anyone has an answer to that question, please comment below.
My all time favorite bell pepper recipe has to be my Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich. It is my go-to grilled cheese sandwich and I think I eat it about 3-4 times a month!
I just love the juicy, crunchy and sweet flavor of bell peppers. It adds a delicious flair to any recipe it graces. I have found that roasting it in the oven or on a grill is the best way to cook bell peppers because it gives them a smoky flavor.
Instead of making a full sandwich, I thought it would be better to make them bite sized and serve as part of my Sunday vegan brunch theme.
Shameless self promotion alert! Have you grabbed my vegan brunch e-book? It is filled with delicious tomato based recipes that start with an out-of-this-world bloody Mary and end with a tomato dessert! Have a tomato themed brunch this Sunday and serve each of the 6 recipes. I made sure that the recipes don’t take long to make because you shouldn’t spend all of your Sunday in the kitchen!
I used my strawberry focaccia in this recipe and you must think I am insane for doing that. Truth is, I am insane but not for mixing fruits and veggies in this recipe.
The strawberry and peppers worked so well in this recipe. The sweetness of the strawberries works so well with the bell peppers and the tang from the balsamic vinegar.
Wait there is more….
The spread I used in this vegan sandwich, is my favorite chive and strawberry pesto! Does that make your jaw drop?
It might seem like too much strawberries, but, it really isn’t that. The strawberries provide just the right amount of sweetness to this recipe. The strawberries are like backup dancers. They make the main dancer look perfect but don’t stealing the spotlight
So, what is your favorite bell pepper recipe?
Bell Pepper Sandwich Bites
Note: Prepare the focaccia before hand. You can use your favorite focaccia, but, this recipe works best the strawberry one.
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray cooking oil on a baking tray
2) Take 2 bell peppers and cut them into halves. I took one red bell pepper and one green one. Remove the stem, core and seeds
3) Lightly brush the halves with olive oil and place them in the cut side down on the baking tray. Place tray in the bottom rack. Roast for about 7 minutes or until the outside of peppers blisters and chars
4) Remove from the oven and let them cool. While they are cooling, prepare the pesto. You can use your own pesto, but, make sure it is on the sweeter side
5) Once the peppers have cooled to the touch, remove the outer skin. It should peel off easily.
6) Cut the peppers into long strips
7) In a small pan, add 1 tsp of oil and heat on medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the peppers, 1/4 tsp of oregano, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of black pepper and 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette.
8) Saute for about 4 minutes on low heat and then set it aside
Cut the focaccia into squares and cut the squares into halves. Spread the pesto and top with the bell peppers. Close with the sandwich top and serve immediately.
Bell Pepper Sandwich Bites Using Strawberry Focaccia
- 2 bell peppers took one red bell pepper and one green one.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil to brush the peppers
- 1 tsp of oil to saute the ingredients
- 1/4 tsp of oregano
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of black pepper
- 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette
For the strawberry chives pesto
- 1/4 cup of cashews plus water to soak it in overnight
- 1 cup of finely chopped chives
- 1/2 cup of strawberries
- 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup of almond milk
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- 1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes.
- 1 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lime juice
For the focaccia:
- 5 strawberries thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 Tbsp of pure maple syrup
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1.5 cups of warm water
- 3 Tbsp dried rosemary divided into 2 equal parts
- 2 Tbsp dried oregano divided into 2 equal parts
- 1 tsp of dried thyme divided into 2 equal parts
- 1 Tbsp dried parsely divided into 2 equal parts
- 3 tsp of salt
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
To make the pesto
- Soak 1/4 cup of cashews overnight
- In a food processor, add 1 cup of finely chopped chives
- Add 1/2 cup of strawberries. I roughly chopped them before adding to the processor
- Add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
- Drain the water from the cashews. Add the cashews to the processor.
- Add 1/4 cup of almond milk
- Add 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes. The pepper flakes are optional but I like them because they added just a little kick to the vegan pesto
- Add 1 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lime juice
- Process on low speed until everything is well blended.
To make the focaccia
- In a small bowl, add 1 packet of active dry yeast (fast acting), 2 Tbsp of sugar and 1.5 cups of warm water. Mix with a plastic spoon and set it aside for 15 minutes. When you see bubbles on the surface, it is ready.
- While waiting for the yeast, sieve the flour in a bowl. Add 2 tsp of salt and half of the dried spices. Mix well
- Make a well and add the yeast water a little at a time. Mix the dough completely and then knead it for 10 minutes, until smooth. Rub oil around the dough ball and place it in glass or ceramic bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic bowl and set it aside
- As the dough rises, punch it down. I punched it down about 2 times in a span of an hour. After both punch times, knead the dough again and form a ball. Place it in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Line the inside of a slow cooker or crock pot with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray and place the the dough inside
- In a separate bowl, add the remaining oil and spices. Mix well. Baste the top of the dough with this mixture and set the slow cooker to low. Wrap the lid of the slow cooker with a hand towel and cover it.
- Let it work on its own, but, baste it every 30 minutes.
- In a bowl, add the 4 strawberries that have been thinly sliced lengthwise and1 Tbsp of pure maple syrup. Mix and set aside
- After 2.5 hours, baste the focaccia one last time and line the strawberries on top. Slow cook for another half hour on low, then turn off and let it cool
- When it is cool enough to handle, remove from the slow cooker and place it on a cooling rack.
To make the sandwich
- Remove from the blender and let the vegan pesto chill for about 15 minutes before serving.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray cooking oil on a baking tray
- Take 2 bell peppers and cut them into halves. I took one red bell pepper and one green one. Remove the stem, core and seeds
- Lightly brush the halves with olive oil and place them in the cut side down on the baking tray. Place tray in the bottom rack. Roast for about 7 minutes or until the outside of peppers blisters and chars
- Remove from the oven and let them cool. While they are cooling, prepare the pesto. You can use your own pesto, but, make sure it is on the sweeter side
- Once the peppers have cooled to the touch, remove the outer skin. It should peel off easily.
- Cut the peppers into long strips
- In a small pan, add 1 tsp of oil and heat on medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the peppers, 1/4 tsp of oregano, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of black pepper and 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette.
- Saute for about 4 minutes on low heat and then set it aside
- Cut the focaccia into squares and cut the squares into halves. Spread the pesto and top with the bell peppers. Close with the sandwich top and serve immediately.