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Friday, 26 July 2013

Summer Bruschetta

I have a confession to make.
You know the whole “I’m going to be a kinder, gentler, more patient person?”
That lasted all of one day.
Today, I’m back to being selfish, impatient and rude.
Life’s more fun like that, don’t you think?
Just kidding folks, just kidding!

I mean, you all know what a sweet, cherubic angel I am, the very picture of kindness and gentler than Grace herself…
But when the kid woke this morning and asked for “pasta” for breakfast, I had to seriously give it my all to stop from flipping like a pancake on a smoking griddle. Know what I mean?

Anyway, we’re making Bruschetta today. Which I’m warning you is a super simple recipe.
So if you’re looking for complicated cooking folks – come back later. Like in 3 months. Which is when it will get cooler. I hope. Because it’s 34 degrees and I can’t do complicated in 34 degrees. I can barely do anything in 34 degrees. TBH, the only place I like 34 degrees is on the beach with a Margherita in my hand. In London? Not so much. London, you see, is not built for 34 degrees. The trains are stifling, the buses are stifling, the supermarket is stifling. I hardly know how things stay alive in there. Not alive alive, but you know what I mean. Anyway, to make a long story short – if you’re wondering how all of this is relevant – I can’t step into a supermarket without feeling like I’m going to collapse in less than 5 minutes straight onto a bed of curly lettuce...
Which basically means I have no ingredients with which to cook the complicated stuff.  For supplies these days, I’m relying on my friendly neighbourhood Waitrose delivery guy, but then when I order online I do only the basic stuff – you know, bread, eggs, milk, tomatoes. The complicated stuff I gotto pick out myself. I just do. It’s written.

So therefore we’re making Bruschetta today. Which I’m warning you is a super simple recipe.
(Did I say that already?)

By the way, on a side note, I must tell you that while London can’t cope with 34 degrees, the British can’t really cope with 34 degrees either. They’ve all gone a little mental. I mean there are guys at work wearing hot pants and flip flops. And I am SO not exaggerating. I’ll take a picture one of these days, seriously, and show you. I can’t comment on the women, mostly because there’s like five women in the entire office. Which is why I work where I work. I like men. Yeah baby. Just kidding, just kidding. But yes, there are really only like five women on my entire trading floor. One of whom is me. And trust me, I’m not wearing hot pants and flip flops to work. Though maybe I should one of these days. Just for giggles. No? Bad idea? Ok, bad idea.

Anyway, another reason why we’re making Bruschetta today, (which I’m warning you is a super simple recipe) is that its gonna take me a bit of time to get back into the swing of things after my hiatus. And on that note – thanks TONS to the folks who wrote in about how much they missed this nonsense I spew. Seriously, thank you. I missed writing this nonsense I spew too, but I promise you my hiatus (I like that word, I think I'm going to use it all day) was for a very valid reason. Not the usual “I got busy” and “work’s been too hard” and “I’m so tired” stuff.  I had a truly valid reason. Which I’ll tell you later because I think we’ve already gone too much off track on this fine and sunny morning.

So, I think it’s about time to get to what we’re really doing here today.
The answer to which – if you had ANY doubt at all – is that we’re making Bruschetta. Which I’m warning you is a super simple recipe.

But stay with me. Some good things are about to happen to you very soon.
Because, Bruschetta is amazing.
Just amazing.
It’s the very essence of summer.
A mouthful of tomatoes and garlic and basil – all cool and fresh and utterly delightful.
Words cannot express how refreshing this is on a hot summer’s day.
NOT more refreshing than a Margherita on the beach…
But close.
Really. Try it and you’ll see how soon it becomes an integral part of your emotional well-being.

Here’s what you need:

- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 75g red cherry tomatoes
- 75g yellow cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Handful of basil leaves
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, for a little kick
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 whole French baguette or Ciabatta loaf – basically any bread with a flattish, open surface and a crisp, floury crust.

Here’s how you do it:

In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add crushed garlic and stir until golden and aromatic. I love garlic. I absolutely do. It's one of those things that can make anything taste good. Remember that, seriously. The next time you're cooking and you taste what you're cooking and go "ho hum, I think this needs a little something" - try garlic. Please. I'm telling you. 

Anyway, set it aside and allow to cool. And save the extra olive oil you've cooked it in please - we need it!

In another bowl, halve the red and yellow tomatoes lengthwise and combine with basil, vinegar, cayenne, salt and pepper. Pour the olive oil & garlic mixture on top and mix through thoroughly.

Now cut the bread into slices in a way that maximises surface area, like 1cm thick. Add some more olive oil to a pan and brown the bread slices on both sides. Yum yum yum.  There's really nothing on earth like the smell of baking or browning bread. It makes my head spin. Anyway, we're done. Mainly because now I need to eat. So, to serve, spoon the tomato mixture over the slices of bread and dig in.

Told you it was a super simple recipe. 
Low on effort, high on taste
No time prepping = lots of time eating
Just the way I like it!

Cheerio folks!
See ya soon xx

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