Wednesday, April 16, 2008
There are probably as many variations of toppings as there are days in the year. I’ve listed below some fairly standard ones, and ones that I really like, but I haven’t even touched the sides of what you can do.
Is you want to serve these as canapés cut a French baguette into as thin round slices as you possibly can, and I do mean thin. If the bread is a little bit stale it will help. If you want to make these as a starter cut the bread not into thin round slices but cut it on the diagonal (but still quite thin) and then toast under a grill after brushing with oil.
After slicing brush each side of the bread with olive oil and place onto a baking tray. Put into a hot oven (400F/200C) and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook for 3 or 4 minutes again. Watch them like a hawk and don’t let them burn. You will end up with lots of crispy toasted pieces of bread which can then be covered with all sorts of yummy things!
Mozzarella and Tomato with pesto
Spread a good dollop of fresh pesto onto the bread, top with thinly sliced mozzarella and thinly sliced plum tomatoes. Grind a little sea salt on top and serve.
Onion Chutney and Parmesan
To make up the onion chutney peel and roughly slice 3 or 4 large brown onions. Put them into a heavy casserole dish (with a lid) and add 50g butter, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp paprika (or ½ tsp pimenton if you fancy a bit of a kick) and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Over a very low heat with the lid on cook the onions for about one and half hours (stir occasionally) and you will be left with a golden brown, sweet oniony sticky mess. Divine!
Put a spoon of the chutney on the toasted bruschetta and with a potato peeler curl off a small sliver of parmesan cheese and place on top. Serve.
Goat’s Cheese and Pesto
Spread a good dollop of pesto onto each bit of toasted bruschetta and place a thinly sliced round of chevre goat’s cheese on top.
Roasted Peppers and Pesto
Roast some red and yellow peppers under a grill until the skin has blackened. Wrap in foil or cling film and leave until cold. Peel off the skin (which should be easy by now), remove all the seeds and membranes inside and cut into long thin strips.
Put the peppers into a little bowl and toss with a little balsamic vinegar. Spread a dollop of pesto on the bruschetta and top with the peppers.