Sunday, 3 July 2011

Basil Pesto and Bruchetta

The plan was to bake and do a post on a Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bundt cake but after spending a day out in the glorious sunshine having a long lazy lunch with a friend i cant quite summon up the energy. The fact that, after a lovely smoked haddock salad, i ate a huge slice of one of the most delicious carrot cakes i've had in a long time at the cafe Folk in Didsbury, also means i'm way too full and satisfied to contemplate more cake.

So instead of saving this bruchetta post for later, i'm employing it now until i can summon up the appetite to make the bundt. Quite frankly though, I dont think there will be a very long wait.

I love the simplicity and rustic nature of Bruchetta with its strong fresh flavours and different textures. Its also very adaptable to your personal preference. I particularly enjoy it spread with pesto, which i made using the remaining basil i had left over from the Salmon and Broccoli bake. I referred to a Jamie Oliver recipe which encourages you to dabble and mix the pesto to your taste.

Recipe - basil pesto and bruchetta

Pesto - Jamie Oliver recipe

• ½ a clove of garlic, chopped
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 good handfuls of fresh basil, leaves picked and chopped
• a handful of pine nuts, very lightly toasted
• a good handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• extra virgin olive oil
• a small squeeze of lemon juice
Pound the garlic with a little pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a food processor. Add a bit more garlic if you like, but I usually stick to ½ a clove. Add the pine nuts to the mixture and pound again. Turn out into a bowl and add half the Parmesan. Stir gently and add olive oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.

Season to taste, then add most of the remaining cheese. Pour in some more oil and taste again. Keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency. You may like to add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to give it a little twang, but it’s not essential. Try it with and without and see which you prefer.
Loaf of crusty french bread
Selection of tomatoes
Salt and pepper

Cut slices of bread at a diagonal. Heat a table spoon of olive oil in pan and lightly fry slices of bread on a low heat, until both sides are toasted. Spread one side of each slice of bread with pesto. Cut tomatoes in half, season if required with salt and pepper and place on top of pesto. Drizzle with alitte olive oil and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, you've done it again. This looks absolutely amazing! I love pesto, maybe a little too much. And of course, you can't go wrong spreading it on some toasted French bread. Hope you're having a great 4th!