Sunday, 18 October 2015


Here is another delightful Sardinia inspired recipe for you too try. I've talked before about the quality of the tomatoes and basil on the island but the olive oil is also out of this world. Who would of known that by mixing these three ingredients together and using it to top griddled bread rubbed with garlic would create a thing of such beauty. When it comes to something as simple as a bruschetta it's all about the quality of ingredients that you use. If you want to make your bruschetta brilliant you need to step away from the supermarkets and explore.

 My bread was baked fresh from Liverpool's East Avenue Bake-house up on bold street. I love the smell of freshly baked bread and I couldn't keep my nose away from this crusty loaf that a bought for my bruschetta. It tastes delicious once I had toasted it too. All you scousers should get over there now and try one of there loaves. If your not lucky enough to live in Liverpool then hunt out your nearest bakery and pick yourself up a loaf. It's so worth it, the difference between a bakery made loaf and something that is massed produced for larger stores is incredible.

Next up is the olive oil you use. Bruschetta is one of those times when you should crack open that expensive bottle of fancy olive oil you bought yonks ago especially as you really want to taste the flavors of the oil. To compliment the basil used in the toppings I filled up a bottle of basil infused olive oil at Bretta and Co back up off Bold Street in Liverpool. It tastes and smells amazing plus it comes in a pretty little bottle which you can take back and refill and get a little discount on your oil.

Prices are a lot more affordable than a pre-bottled olive oil so if you know of a deli near you that offers a similar service go and check it out and you might be presently surprised by the range and price of what's on offer, just as I was! If you can't find anywhere then head over to the supermarket and purchase the best olive oil you can afford.

Whilst in Bretta and Co I also picked up some smoked garlic. I love the smell of smoked garlic, it has to be one of my favorites and if you can find some (I've seen it on sale in Morrisons and Ocado too!), it's such an easy way to add flavor to most meals. You could also smoke your own garlic but don't ask me how to do that (that's what Google is for!) or if you really cant find smoked garlic then just use plain garlic.

Onto the tomatoes and basil. The ones I ate in Sardinia were just amazing, like they had literally been grown and picked that day before going straight to the plate. I find mass produced stuff you get in the UK is just no where near to it but the closest you can get is to visit your local markets or world food stores such as Mattas in Liverpool. The fruit, vegetables and herbs are just so much more flavorsome and interesting and you can often get more for the pound as well. The best place would be to go to a farmers market as then you know that they have all been grown locally so if your lucky enough to live close to one go and check it out. You will taste the benefit.

There you have it. Once you have sourced the best possible produce in your area, give my recipe for bruschetta a go and really taste the difference. You should get 6 portions out of it, idea for two or as part of a sharing starter for four.

Tomato And Basil Bruschetta


3 Slices Of Good White Bread
Approximately 100ml Good Olive Oil
1 Large Smoked Garlic Clove
Salt And Pepper To Season
4 Medium Tomatoes
Handfull Chopped Basil Leaves

  1. Begin by placing a griddle pan on a high heat (No oil in the pan). Brush one side of each slice of bread with a little of the olive oil and once the pan is hot, place the slices on the pan oiled side down until toasted (you may need to do this in batches.). 
  2. Brush the other side of the bread with the oil and flip the slices until this side is the same. Remove from the pan.
  3. Rub the garlic clove onto one of the sides of each slices of bread and sprinkle this side of each slice with a little salt and pepper. Leave to one side.
  4. Take the tomatoes, slice in half and scoop out the moist seedy insides. Cut the flesh into chunks (up to you how big!) and place in a bowl with the basil, a big glug of the olive oil and a crack more of salt and paper. Mix everything together, taste and adjust by adding more seasoning or oil as you see fit. Spoon onto the bread, cut each slice in half and serve.
And by serve I mean serve straight away. You want that bread to stay nice and crisp in contrast to the soft topping. If you assemble your bruschetta and then leave it before serving you run the risk of the bread going soggy and no one likes the texture of soggy bread in their mouth now do they. The combination of tomato and basil is just so classic that the smell should be drifting up to nose and the taste dancing on your taste buds. You might not be emulate the quality of produce you get on holiday but if you take time and look around you local area you'll find you can get incredibly close to it!

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