Bruschetta Dip in an Italian Bread Bowl

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and finely chopped

1 small Japanese eggplant, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 round or oval loaf Italian peasant bread (about 8 inches)

1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

1/4 cup grated ricotta salata cheese, plus more for topping

Crackers and/or crudités, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, fennel and eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring, until the water is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives and vinegar. Let cool about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a small serrated knife, hollow out the bread loaf, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Slice the cut-out bread into pieces and arrange on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until slightly toasted, 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Stir the basil and cheese into the vegetable mixture; season with salt and pepper. Fill the loaf with the dip and top with more cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the toasted bread and crackers and/or crudites.