OK. So I keep saying this.
Good food starts with the best possible ingredients.
The reason I am an advocate of farm fresh, farm to table or farm to fork cooking apart from the fact that I want to support sustainable farming, is the taste, look and most of the time simplicity. When you have amazing, in season ingredients you just need to respect them, find the best possible herbs, other ingredients to enhance flavor and make sure you don’t overcook and don’t overdo.
This summer bruschetta was the appetizer at my summer welcoming dinner over the weekend. It looks stunning, it is simple, you just have to follow a few easy steps.
You will need to have the following ingredients:
- Heirloom tomatoes in different colors
- Micro cilantro
- Micro arugula
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
The components of the bruschetta:
- Garlic avocado spread. Intentionally I put garlic first. This will not be a guacamole, or an avocado puree. You want a strong garlic spread. Use very good, ripe avocado. I found that you will almost need half an avocado per toast. So I suggest follow this rule and if there is leftover, it is not a problem. For 4 slices of bread smash 2 avocados and mix with 4 smashed or grated garlic cloves, juice of 1 lime, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
- Charred corn. Cook 2 corns on the cob, drain, pat dry, and put on grill at high temp to char a little bit. You can also keep it over flame or use blow torch, or just leave it cooked only. Cut kernels off the cob.
- Heirloom tomato ceviche. You could easily just add slices of heirloom tomatoes. But let’s think for a while. We will have a garlicky spread, sweet corn and almost sweet tomatoes. You will need a bit of acidity to break through the sweet and spice and let everything shine. This is the reason I marinate the tomatoes. Slice tomatoes chunky, at least 1/4 inch. Then cut them in half. I took a photo of how to cut heirloom tomatoes to keep their look and this way of cutting will ensure that liquid and seeds will not separate.
Use at least 4 halves on each toast. To make the marinade chop 1 shallot, squeeze juice of 1 lemon juice add some salt and black pepper. 10 minutes before serving, marinate the tomatoes. Don’t let them sit in the liquid longer, it will start changing the texture.
- Bruschetta. Use a very good quality, whole grain, sourdough bread with big holes in there. Use it at 1-2days old. This type of bread will give the most amazing texture when toasted and also contains good grain. Or if you don’t mind white flour (you should!) traditional ciabatta is really good here. I made the toast on the griddle. The advantage of using a griddle is to get nice, crispy, yummy bread which is left soft inside. So good. Cut bread into chunky slices, at least 1 inch thick. Heat the griddle to a very high heat. Drizzle olive oil on the bread. Once the griddle is smoking hot, put your bread slices on it and press them down a little bit, to make sure it is even. Check in a minute, make sure it is not burnt!!! When you are ready to flip it over, drizzle olive oil on the up side, and sprinkle a little bit of himalayan pink salt over, from high above!. Trust me. It will make a difference. Flip the bread and toast second side.
- Assemble. Spread generous amount of garlic avocado on toast. Add corn kernels, then tomato slices and finish off with generous amount of micro cilantro and arugula. The reason we were not using any green herbs in the spread or in the marinade is because we are adding it in a salad form at the end. In case you have no access to micro cilantro and arugula, slice the cilantro into chiffonade (thin slices) and top your toast with that and with a few wild arugula leaves.