There’s nothing quite as flavoursome as home grown produce and if you’ve been growing your own Gro-ables you’re going to have lots of wonderful veggies to tuck into. One of our favourite summer dishes for its flavour and its simplicity has to be the bruschetta.
Packed with colour and vitality, it almost sings of the Mediterranean. It’s great as a starter, on its own as a light lunch or for sharing with friends and a bottle of wine. Bruschetta is super simple to make and only takes about 15 minutes to prepare. You can make a basic version or get a little imaginative with your ingredients and add a touch of colour to your table.
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Tomatoes- Home grown tomatoes are perfect for this as they are so full of flavour and you can use cherry tomatoes or larger varieties.
Garlic and Onion- You don’t have to use onions as the recipe is lovely without, but if you do, choose a salad variety. Alternatively pick from your very own onions!
Basil- There’s nothing quite like the flavour you get from fresh basil leaves.
Olive Oil- It’s worth using a good virgin olive oil.
French Bread- ciabatta or some other rustic bread.
Salt and Pepper- to taste
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The quantities you require will really depend on the amount of people you’re feeding so just adjust accordingly.
Slice your bread and grill it lightly until it’s toasted, golden and crisp. Then drizzle it with a little of the olive oil. Cut your garlic gloves in half and rub the raw part of the garlic on the toast to infuse it with flavour. Then set the bread to one side.
Next chop up your tomatoes (and onions if you’re using them) into small pieces about the size of a pea or broad bean and put them in a bowl. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat them and season with salt and pepper. Roughly tear some basil leaves and just mix them in. For a twist you can add a tiny splash of lemon juice, some balsamic vinegar or chopped black olives.
You can then serve immediately or wait until later. Either pile up the tomato mixture on the individual toast slices or serve separately and let your guests serve themselves. Don’t forget to provide plenty of napkins as sometimes it can get messy.
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If you have an abundance of peas from your Gro-ables harvest try a pea and mint bruschetta. Prepare the bread in exactly the same way as above. Then gently fry some peas and onion in a little butter just until they’re soft. Then blend them to a chunky paste and stir in a good handful of finely chopped mint. Then serve as above.
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If you’ve been growing red peppers as part of your Gro-ables, why not include them in your recipe. Cut them into quarters and de-seed them and then place them on a tray and drizzle them lightly with a little olive oil.
You can grill them or roast them in the oven which takes about 30 to 40 mins. If you want to, you can season them with salt and pepper. Once they are roasted, chop your peppers into small pieces.
You could serve them on the bruschetta on their own or combined with your tomato and onion mix.
Bruschetta originates from Italy and it is very much a staple recipe there for many restaurants and families. Served as an antipasto, it’s believed that it dates back to the 15th century. Genius in its simplicity, you’ll find bruschetta light, wholesome and filling! They’re a diverse and wonderful start to any meal and a really sociable way to enjoy a summer evening.
Why not pair it with a glass of dry Italian wine and eat it on the patio? So how are you getting on with our Gro-ables recipes? Please share your recipes and ideas with us on our social media sites, or leave a comment below. Happy cooking!