This amazingly-delicious bruschetta recipe is also super easy to make! You can make a large quantity of Tzatziki and what you don't use for the bruschette you can store in the fridge and enjoy it for a whole week! As always, try and buy the freshest ingredients as they make a huge difference taste-wise!
Makes 6 bruschette
6 slices of wholemeal bread, toasted
150g cherry tomatoes, washed
1 bunch of basil leaves
500g greek yoghurt
½ a cucumber
1 garlic clove
sun dried tomatoes
1. Wash the cucumber and grate it using the large holes on a cheese grater. Place the grated cucumber in a colander and press it, to remove the excess water.
2. After having removed the water add the cucumber to the greek yoghurt and mix well. Add salt and pepper and mix, taste to see how much needs to be added. Pour in olive oil gradually, tasting to make sure you don't add too much.
3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to a non-stick pan with a drop of olive oil and the garlic. Sauté them for 4 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Add enough water to just about cover the base of the pan, cover with a lid. After 5 minutes remove the lid and let the water evaporate almost completely. Cook for further 2 minutes to let the tomatoes caramelise and turn off the heat.
4. Place 1 tablespoon of tzatziki on each slice of bread (or more if you want) and add a couple of caramelised tomatoes per slice.
5. Roughly chop the basil and sun dried tomatoes, scattering them on the bruschette. Sprinkle some pepper over everything and serve.
This is one of those recipes which I struggled to make, as I was trying to recreate the ones my mother always makes at home, I love arancini, especially the ones you eat in Sicily, huge and oozing with ragù and melted cheese. These are much simpler and also a little 'healthier' as they don't have cheese or ragù. But you can always add them if you feel like being naughty.
NOTE: you have to make risotto with saffron the night before. For the basic risotto recipe click here.
Makes roughly 12 small arancini
300g of risotto made the day before and chilled
1. Break 1 egg into the bowl with the risotto and combine it well.
2. Place the flour and breadcrumbs in two separate bowls. Crack the remaining eggs into a third bowl and whisk till they are combined.
3. Dampen your hands and take roughly one teaspoon of risotto. Make it into a ball by squishing the sides.
4. Roll the risotto ball in the flower, making sure to coat it completely. Then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
5. Repeat this for the entire bowl of risotto.
6. Heat 2 fingers of vegetable oil in a non stick pan. Drop a tiny bit of mix to see when the oil is hot enough. Place the arancini in the pan, four at the time.
7. Using tongs, turn them almost constantly, making sure that each side browns nicely. When the oil is very hot, they only need to cook for 2 minutes each.
8. Remove the browed ones from the pan and place on a dish with kitchen roll on it, so that the excess oil gets absorbed. Sprinkle with salt and eat hot!
This recipe comes from the cookbook 'Fricandò' by Mina Novello, a lovely chef from Biella, in Piedmont (north of Italy). She released her latest book in which she published 100 traditional and exquisite recipes, this being one of them.
Things You'll Need
180g red lentils
2 garlic cloves
½ a litre of vegetable stock
30g of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bunch of parsley
1. Heat oil in a deep pan or pot, add chopped onion and garlic, let brown.
2. When browed add parsley, lentils and pepper to taste. Pour in the vegetable stock, cover with a lid and bring to boil.
3. Once boiled, blend directly in the pot (or place into a blender) adding the butter. The pâté needs to be of a thick consistency.
4. Place in a bowl or Tupperware lined with cling film and let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Flatbreads are a great alternative to pasta, or any main dish. The great thing about them is that you can top them with almost anything, even sweet things! This combination is for the cheese lovers, but can also be made cheese-less by not putting the Stilton.
For the topping
1 ripe pear
4 slices of prosciutto crudo
½ a cup of walnuts
1 small red onion
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
20g of Stilton or blue cheese
for the flatbread
½ cup flour
1. To make the flatbread, click here. Alternatively, you can use a store-bought flatbread or tortilla.
2. Chop the onion into rings. Heat some olive oil in a small pan and add the onion. After 2 minutes add 1 tablespoon of granulated or dark sugar and enough water to cover the base of the pan. Cook until the water absorbs itself.
3. Place the flatbread onto a pan on high heat. Heat one side and flip.
4. Lower the heat and start adding the ingredients. Start with the spinach, spreading it evenly over the bread. Then add the caramelised onion. Break the stilton or blue cheese into small chunks and sprinkle it over.
5. Twirl each slice of prosciutto around a fork and place onto the flatbread, like shown in the picture. Roughly chop the walnuts and add them too.
6.Turn off the heat, peel the pear, cut it into quarters length wise and place it onto the flatbread. Sprinkle all with pepper.
The second very best Christmas lunch appetisers from my family to yours. Simple to make but delicious! The better-quality ingredients you have the better they’ll taste.
For the Taleggio Bites
250g Taleggio Cheese
10 slices of cured Pancetta
For the Yorkshire Puddings
140g plain flour
For the Mini Caponate
look at the recipe for caponata and half the doses
For the Pinzimonio
3 carrots, peeled
2 red peppers
salt and pepper
1. Wash and chop the carrots and pepper into 1 cm thick slices. Place on a plate. Pour olive oil, salt and pepper into a small bowl and place it by the veggies.
2. Heat the oven to 210 degrees. Pour a little sunflower oil into a cupcake baking tray. Place in the oven and let them heat (about 5/7 minutes). In the meantime, place the flour in a bowl and beat in the eggs till smooth. Gradually add the milk and beat until the mixture is lump free. Pour the butter into a jar and remove the cupcake tray from the oven. Carefully (the oil might spit) pour the mixture into the holes evenly. Place back in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the puddings resemble the picture.
3. Follow the recipe for the Caponata, place into small bowls (or glasses) and serve with a small spoon.
4. Slice the Taleggio cheese into chunks 1cm thick. Place the pancetta slices in a non-stick pan, without adding anything. Let them crisp and brown till you desire. Remove them from the pan and dab them with some kitchen roll, then immediately wrap them around the cheese.
5. Assemble everything and eat!
Yorkshire pudding recipe source here.
The very best Christmas lunch appetisers from my family to yours. Simple to make but delicious! The better-quality ingredients you have the better they’ll taste.
For The Salmon
100g smoked salmon
4 slices of white bread, without crusts
For the Deviled Eggs
4 hardboiled eggs
16 cooked prawns
150g canned tuna
1 bunch of parsley
For the apricots
8 dried apricots
For the Parmigiano Biscuits
150g cold butter
salt and pepper
1. Cut the bread into slices of 4 and place in the oven for 15 mins on a low heat. (100 degrees). Once they’ve become crunchy spread some butter over them and a slice of smoked salmon.
2. Carefully cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks, placing them in a food processor. Add the mayonnaise, parsley, canned tuna and half of the prawns. Blend, adding mayonnaise to achieve a smooth consistency. Using a small spoon place the mixture back into the egg yolk cavity and top with a prawn each.
3. Using a small spoon scoop some Gorgonzola onto the apricots and squish lightly.
4. Using your hands knead the butter, flour and parmesan till everything is of a crumbly consistency. Make little balls using your hands and squeeze them tight. Place onto a baking tray, keeping the balls at least 5cm distant from each other. Bake for 7/8 minutes at 180 degrees.
5. Plate everything and eat!
This creation is all merit of my friends’ obsession with feta and making flatbreads, which I am extremely thankful for. It all began when we discovered that roasting tomatoes with feta was delicious, and that it could be eaten with everything. Then came the idea to make homemade flatbreads, and pairing the two together seemed like the obvious choice.
Makes 2 flatbreads
For the flatbreads
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the topping
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
½ an onion
2 tablespoons white/brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Wash the tomatoes and place in a baking tray. Coat evenly with olive oil and drizzle with rock salt, mixed herbs, pepper and rosemary. Roast for 25/30 minutes.
2. In the meantime, place the flour in a large bowl, and start gradually adding water. Knead the dough till it has a firm consistency, adding the olive oil and herbs. The dough should spring back when poked.
3. Chop the onion in slices and cook with butter. Halfway through being cooked, add white or brown sugar to caramelise.
4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and cover with crumbled feta. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
5. On a wooden surface, spread out some flour, to stop the dough from sticking. Cut the dough into two smaller balls and start rolling it out. The flatbreads should be less than 1cm thick.
6. Heat a large pan over high heat with a drop of olive oil and place the flatbreads in, one at the time, flipping them every 3 minutes to cook them properly.
7. As they are cooking, turn off the oven and remove the baking tray. Mix the tomatoes and feta so they form a kind of sauce.
8. Top the cooked flatbreads with caramelised onions and then the roasted tomatoes and feta. Sprinkle with pepper.
One of the many reasons why I love summer so much is zucchini flowers. These delicate, edible flours can be cooked and eaten in so many ways they never get boring. This version is one of the lighter ones, perfect as an appetiser or for an aperitivo.
What you'll need
Oven dish / baking tray
9 zucchini flowers
200g caprino cheese (soft goat cheese)
mixed herbs (chives, rosemary, marjoram, oregano)
salt and pepper
1. Clean the flowers thoroughly, leaving them to dry on a clean tea towel.
2. Place the goats cheese, herbs, parmesan and egg in a bowl. Using a fork, squish the ingredients together and mix well.
3. Taste the mix and add salt and pepper if needed.
4. Using your hands, open the flowers and gently push in the mix. Add mix to almost completely fill the flowers.
5. Place on an oven tray and roast at 160 degrees for 10/15 minutes.
My quest for making an amazing Focaccia topped with yummy things began when I visited the very popular food shop “Eataly” in Milan. As I was walking by the bread counter I saw three amazing focaccias topped with courgette flowers, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, stracchino, gorgonzola and so on. I cheated slightly in making mine as I did not make the focaccia base myself but bought it instead.
Serves 6 people as an appetiser
What you'll need
1 baking tray
1 focaccia/pizza pastry base
200g mozzarella / stracchino
20g rocket salad
8 fresh cherry tomatoes
½ a courgette
1. Roll out the base and place in the oven and cook according to packet instructions.
2. In the meantime, dice the courgette and cook in a pan with some olive oil.
3. When the base is ready, remove from the oven.
4. Start placing the various items on it, starting from the cheese. Followed by the tomatoes, courgette and rocket salad.
5. Top with olive oil, salt, pepper and dollops of pesto.
6. Place back in the still warm oven for a minute or two and then serve hot.
I’m going to take a brief moment and feel proud of this beautiful Pinterest-like lunch platter I made this summer. Okay, moment is over. I decided to make it because I LOVE bruschette and anything on toast. My reasoning behind it was that it would be great to have your whole lunch on the same cutting board, with a mixture of flavours and ingredients. I made my way to ‘Coop’ supermarket which has an excellent selection of fresh produce and bought the most delicious and creamy ‘burrata’ cheese of my life.
1 bunch of cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil
½ an aubergine
200g burrata cheese
4 slices prosciutto crudo
3 ripe figs
20g plain yoghurt
3 teaspoons of honey
1 clove of garlic
5 slices of large whole wheat bread
1. Wash the aubergine and cut it into thin 5mm slices. Place a grill over high heat and the aubergine slices on top of that. Cook till both sides are roasted and soft (yet crunchy).
2. Dice the cherry tomatoes, place in a bowl and season with pepper, salt and olive oil.
3. Slice the bread and toast it for 3 minutes.
4. You can now start assembling the platter. For the first, traditional bruschetta rub the garlic on one side of the bread. Add almost all the tomatoes, a few chopped-up basil leaves and a whole one for presentation.
5. For the second bruschetta place the grilled slices of aubergine, chunks of burrata and few remaining diced tomatoes. Coat the toast with olive oil and add basil.
6. For the third one place the four slices of prosciutto on the bread and top with the sliced figs.
7. Finally, for the ‘dessert’ bruschetta top it with yoghurt, the sliced figs and finally the honey.
8. Cut into small pieces the remaining slice of bread and if you have any left-over ingredients, place them in little bowls on the platter.
Enjoy! And don't forget to send me pictures if you ever make this yourself!