Smokey Spiced Summer Bruschetta

Smoked serrano pepper. Learn it, live it, love it. This thing is amazing. It is the perfect amount of spice (for me, at least…which may be spicy to some), and a seriously lovely smokey flavor that shines through, even when I only used one pepper.

As a recap, I am participating in a Chilly Chile contest through Marx Foods, hence the plethora of pepper recipes. My favorite summer potluck dish of all time is a bruschetta recipe I have adapted over the years from the Junior League of Clearwater – Dunedin’s cookbook, From Grouper to Grits. The second I was told I needed to develop a cold recipe, I knew I needed to make yet another adaptation to this old favorite recipe.

I was planning on using the pequin pepper again, but when I took a sniff of the smoked serrano, I knew that would be the perfect pepper to punctuate this plate. Man, was I right (insert pat on back)! The smokiness of this pepper cannot be explained through a blog post. You have to try it. And mixed with the summery sweetness and tang of the bruschetta, it was a perfect palate pleaser!

Just a little warning though, you want to let your diners know that this is a spicy dish. It  packs quite a bit of a bite!

Smokey Spiced Bruschetta Recipe


  • 8 oz Yellow Grape Tomatoes chopped (or your favorite tomato variety)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 – 2 large garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1/8 vidalia onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 smoked serrano pepper (rehydrated and chopped finely)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Place chopped tomatoes in a strainer and sprinkle with salt
  • Let stand over the sink or a bowl for 2 hours to extract the excess water in the tomatoes
  • Place tomatoes, garlic, serrano,  onion and basil in a bowl
  • Add sugar, oil and vinegar
  • Stir well
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, up to overnight
  • Traditional bruschetta is served over thin slices of french bread, brushed with olive oil and baked until crispy. However, it is also good on  top of chicken, on salads, on pretzel crisps, or any way you can conjure up!

Disclaimer: I received the chiles for this recipe free of charge as a part of the Fire on Ice Chile Recipe Contest by Marx Foods.

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