Fiery summer bruschetta with zesty olive spread and spicy candied bacon

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time20 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
Spicy Candied Bacon:
8 slices thick cut bacon, halved
1/4 cup good quality maple syrup
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Summer Salad:
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1 fresh sweet white corn on cob, kernels removed and reserved
1 mango, peeled, flesh removed and diced
1/4 cup bocconcini, torn into pieces
1/2 red onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 loaf sourdough bread, cut into 8 slices (not precut bread)
Zesty Olive Spread:
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pitted black cerignola olives (can substitute black olives)
1/2 cup manzanella olives
2 tablespoons capers
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
For the bacon:
Preheat the oven to 220C/ Gas Mark 7.

1) Put a baking rack over a parchment paper lined tray and arrange the bacon slices across the rack - do not overlap. In small bowl combine the syrup and cayenne and brush the bacon generously with the mixture. Put in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Summer salad:

2) In a large bowl, add the vinegar, honey, Dijon and lime zest and juice and whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a dressing. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Bruschetta:

3) In large saute pan, add the olive oil, cayenne and garlic. When the garlic has browned, remove it and discard. Add the bread slices, in batches if necessary, and cook until browned on both sides. You may need to add more olive oil to the pan if the bread soaks up too much. Remove to sheet tray and set aside until ready to plate the dish.

For the Zesty olive spread:

4) Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until pureed and smooth. Check for seasoning and set aside until ready to use.


5) Put 2 pieces of bread on each plate. Spread the zesty olive spread on top of the bread. Lay 1 piece of bacon on each bread slice and top with the summer salad. Repeat with remaining bread and toppings.

Cook's Note: Inspired by the movie Julie and Julia - if you have seen it, you will know what scene I am talking about!!!!! This is meant as a light summer dinner! Knife and fork required!

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs cannot make representation as to the results.

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