Well, it’s been a long time since I posted but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of it. Although I’ve not blogged, I have been cooking, so have a few stories to share, including my visit to the Treby arms, the stunning pub restaurant run by masterchef winner Anton, and also the story where my girlfriend and I had a minor disagreement about a fish!
So due to popular demand (one person) I thought a good place to start is with the easiest snack/starter out there… bruschetta. I love Italian food, the uncomplicated use of good, fresh ingredients is what it’s about.
Bruschetta with homemade pesto
- big bunch of fresh basil
- small handful of walnuts
- parmesan cheese
- a good olive oil
- couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- spring onions
- couple slices of good bread (I used a tiger loaf)
First get your pesto sorted. In a dry pan toast the walnuts lightly until fragrant then drop into your food processor and blitz to a fine pulp. Add the basil, keeping a little bit aside for later. Blitz again adding a decent glug of olive oil as it combines. Finely shave in parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. And that is it, bloody awesome fresh pesto in about 30 seconds. Add more oil to lossen the pesto if needed, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Next, drizzle the bread with oil and place under the grill, or even better on a griddle pan to get that smokey taste, turning once to lightly toast both sides (I forgot about mine so it ended up a bit more than lightly toasted!) On your board, roughly chop the tomatoes. Trim the spring onions and finely cut on the diagonal (for style points!) Finely chop the garlic and chuck all three together. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and a dash of Tabasco if you like a kick. Get your fingers in there and mix it up. Give it a try and season again, maybe also add some mint, white wine vinegar or balsamic if you’re into all that.
Now the bread is done, transfer to the board and rub with a peeled garlic clove. The rough surface of the toast will break the garlic up and is generally awesome. Spread a generous helping of the pesto on the bread and plate. Drop handfuls of the tomatoes on top and dress with the remaining basil and a drizzle of oil. If you fancy (and for extra points) add extra oil to a bit of pesto and drizzle round the edge of the plate, followed by a bit of balsamic.
And that’s it, enjoy! Kicks the ass of a pot noodle any day and takes no time to prepare. A great snack or starter and the pesto will keep for a few days in the fridge if it has a fine layer of oil sitting on top.
Not the fanciest or cutting edge, just good tasting food – Don’t cook the spoon