Peppers Star In Zia’s Zesty Bruschetta

Sheela Junk was born and raised on the Windward side of Oahu, and she really enjoys her job as service manager at Zia’s Cafe in Kaneohe. Zia’s is owned by Don and Lindsey Diamond, who also own Kalapawai Market and Kalapawai Cafe in Kailua.

Sheela, a Kalaheo High School graduate, is attending Windward Community College and hopes to transfer to Chaminade, with a goal of a career in criminal justice. She has been married for seven years to her high school sweetheart, John, who works at Jack Wolfe Insurance. They have two daughters, Teya, 7, and Mia, 6.


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Roasted Peperonata and Goat Cheese Bruschetta ($9.50)

Zia’s offers a great variety of brunch, lunch and dinner items, a full bar and plenty of parking. It also is open for breakfast on weekends, and a customer favorite is its smoked salmon eggs benedict.

Here is a delicious appetizer courtesy Zia’s chef Jesse Kila. Red peppers have no saturated fat or cholesterol. They are a good source of vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E and B6, and folate.To roast your own peppers, make a slit near the stems and grill or broil until blackened. Place in plastic bag for about 20 minutes to steam, then scrape off the skin and remove stem and seeds.


* 4 garlic toast points or large crostini

* basil butter or regular butter (To make basil butter: Puree basil and mix with butter.)

* herbed goat cheese

* microgreens, or regular greens, chopped small

* honey balsamic reduction (Reduce 2 cups balsamic vinegar to 1/2 cup in a small saucepan with 1 teaspoon honey.)

Mix together to combine:

* 1 1/2 cups roasted red bell peppers, thinly sliced

* 1 teaspoon capers

* 3 roasted garlic cloves (mashed)

* juice of 1/4 lemon (no seeds)

* pinch salt and pepper

* 1 tablespoon julienne-cut fresh basil

* basil oil, for drizzling on plate (To make basil oil, marinate basil leaves in oil for a few days)

Spread butter on toast points or crostini. Put under broiler just to melt butter. Spread pepper mixture on toast, top with microgreens and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve with basil oil on side of plate.

Makes four servings.

Correction: The amount of milk in last week’s recipe should be 1/4 cup. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.