Make these scrumptious toasts while peppers and fennel are plentiful.
500g (1 pound) fennel bulbs (about 1 large bulb)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 red and 1 yellow pepper (bell pepper/capsicum)
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh marjoram (or use ¼ cup small basil leaves)
1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed
425g (14 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and drained
Finely grated zest ½ orange or tangelo
1 loaf pide or ciabatta, sliced not too thinly
Italian (flat-leaf) parsley sprigs
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest 1 lemon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp drained capers, mopped with paper towels and finely chopped
½ tsp creamy Dijonnaise mustard
½ tsp salt
1 Trim fennel bulb and cut into fat chunks. Rub with oil. Cook until golden all over and just tender when tested with a fork either on a barbecue hot plate preheated to medium, or lay pieces in a shallow roasting tin lined with baking paper and roast in a hot oven for about 20 minutes.
2 Grill or barbecue red and yellow peppers as described here Char-grilling peppers. Cut peppers into strips. Put the peppers in a bowl with any juices, and add fennel pieces, a good sprinkle of sea salt and grinding of black pepper and the marjoram. Toss gently together.
3 To make the bean purée, heat 2 Tbsp oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook briefly until changing colour, then add the beans, orange or tangelo zest and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Squish beans with a fork until they form a lumpy puree.
4 Lightly char the slices of bread on both sides on a preheated barbecue grill rack over gentle heat; take care as the bread burns easily. Alternatively, cook bread under an oven grill, or in a hot ridged grill pan. Spread slices with bean purée and top with peppers and fennel.
5 Whisk dressing ingredients together and spoon over bruschetta. Scatter with parsley sprigs and serve.
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com