Busy Saturday doing lots of little really…so needed a light lunch that would tidy us over until supper – friends coming round so afternoon shopping trip to Salisbury was on the cards. Had a gorgeous ciabatta loaf which I sliced and grilled lightly on one side, then rubbed with babe Spanish tomatoes split in half – the shells I then pushed into each slice. I topped them with some sexy serrano ham, slivers of salty, sweet and tangy parmesan. Then a little rocket, some more olive oil and voila – a simple, yet just right lunch – I adore rocket – it just adds that pepperiness to such dishes and makes them even more appealing.
Salsa…simply Spanish for sauce..which does not do justice to this stunning summer dish that I made yesterday for an early evening garden supper. Why anyone buys this from a supermarket I do not understand – they never taste anything like the home made variety. This is one of my takes on a common theme of toms and chillies. We had it with stacks of warm ciabatta and prosciutto.
4 tasty toms, deseeded and chopped
1/2 cucumber peeled and deseeded
1 red chilli deseeded and chopped
1 green chilli deseeded and chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
Clove of garlic, finely chopped
Bunch of Greek basil – the one with small leaves, chopped
Decent extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Pop all ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Add a good glug of balsamic vinegar and about 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix again. Season to taste. Refrigerate for a little while to let all the flavours collide, merge and marry. The kick is good and the fresh feeling lingers long.
Posted the recipe for this stunner on April 2nd…ate it today for lunch with my wife and son (grey day outside – this made us all feel more warm and mellow)….he adores it…I used 2 red chillies today for an even more vibrantly tasty, mouth tingling sandwich – also used some gorgeous lightly lightly toasted and olive oiled ciabatta. An irrepressible snack at any time – a great quick lunch. Don’t ask – just make it for folk – a sort of feta accompli…….
Butternut Squash and Ricotta Crostini
An easy and remarkably satisfying snack for when you have friends round and want to serve something that goes well with that first glass or two of champagne!
Quarter and peel a butternut squash, cut into slices and smear with olive oil and cumin seeds and a little rock salt. Roast in a hot oven for around an hour until you can pop a knife easily into the flesh. Let it cool – then spread onto warm slices of ciabatta or good farmhouse bread – top with a spoonful of ricotta, a little black pepper and a leaf or two of fresh mint – you could also use basil leaves if you fancy…but mint is marvellous.