I don’t know about you, but while I’m in coronavirus lockdown I am armchair travelling like there is no tomorrow. But lapping up travel content and hypothetical trips isn’t satisfying my travel bug. So instead of wallowing, I’ve decided to channel my travel woes into the kitchen and bring the holidays to me!
Whenever I travel, I want to make the most of every moment and this includes the local cuisine. Six years ago, I was lucky enough to move to Italy for 12 months. While I was there, I picked up a few recipes that are simple and I know make at home regularly. These Italian recipes are easy peasy to make and even more satisfying to eat.
To kick start this series, I’ve gone back to basics and made Bruschetta.
This little dish is typically served as an antipasto. Traditionally, it consists of grilled bread, topped which chopped tomatoes and garlic (although other variation do exist).
Equipment you’ll need:
- Chopping board
- One bowl
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Cherry tomatoes
- 2/3 cloves of garlic
- Baguette bread – slightly stale is perfect
- Basil (fresh or dried)
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic vinegar
Step 1: The bread
Start by chopping the bread. If you’re using a French stick, make your first cut at a diagonal angle. Then keep slicing on the diagonal line. Cut the desired number of slices. Then, on a baking tray, line the bread slices. Once they’re all arranged drizzle over them with olive oil. Turn your oven to 180 degrees and then pop in the tray. Depending on your oven, it will take 10-15 minutes for the bread to go golden brown on top. (The perfect amount of time to do the next steps).
Step 2: the topping
Chop your cherry tomatoes into half (you can slice them into quarters for smaller chucks). Place the halves into a bowl. Then, crush your garlic cloves. If you’re not sure how to do this, place your clove onto the chopping board. Then press your thumb into the flat blade of the knife, ensuring that you hear a slight crunching sound. Crushing garlic cloves keeps them flavoursome and makes them much easier to peel. Once peeled, dice them finely. Then chuck them into the bowl with the tomatoes. Then, drizzle the tomatoes and olives with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Using a spoon, mix the ingredients together. Finally, add the basil leaves and mix again.
Step 3: serving
Pull the toasted bread slices from the oven. Plate up a couple per person. Then dollop on your topping. It’s best to eat this dish with your hands, but take a knife and fork too as it can be a little fiddly to eat!
I love a hearty Italian meal, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Let me know if you end up making this or have any other topping variations you think I should try!