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We were inspired by the Italian cookery programmes on Channel 4 at the weekend and are now craving Italian food! These easy bruschetta from Stevie Parle are just the thing to enjoy with a glass of chilled wine on a warm evening. Make one of the toppings and serve the bruschetta with prosciutto and a green salad. Supper sorted!
Cut 1 x 400g Taste the Difference sourdough boule into 8 slices and barbecue or grill for 2-3 minutes each side until toasted. Cut each into thirds. Serve with the toppings below.
Ricotta and chilli
1. Pierce the skin of 4 mild red chillies with the tip of a knife and barbecue for about 8 minutes until lightly charred. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to steam for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place 125g ricotta in a bowl and fluff it up with a fork. Season well with salt and pepper and beat in 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil.
3. Stir in the zest and juice of half a lemon - you want it to be really flavoursome and perky, so add more seasoning and lemon juice to taste.
4. Remove the clingfilm from the chilli bowl, when cool enough to handle, carefully remove the skin and seeds (you may want to wear plastic gloves), trying to retaining the chilli top if possible. Slice each chilli in half lengthways.
5. Spread the ricotta over the sourdough pieces, top each with half a chilli, scatter over a few pitted and chopped black olives, finish with a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Smashed broad bean
1. Pod 1 x 500g pack of broad beans, blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water, drain and refresh in cold water. Remove the skins to release the bright green beans inside.
2. Use a pestle and mortar to crush a quarter of a garlic clove with a pinch of sea salt until smooth. Add mint leaves from ½ x 28g pack mint, bash them about a bit, then add the podded and skinned broad beans, a handful at a time, crushing them until you have a coarse mush.
3. Transfer to a bowl and stir 40g finely grated pecorino, 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to perk everything up.
4. Season with a little pepper and spoon over the grilled sourdough pieces. Scatter over the remaining mint leaves and serve.
Barely a recipe, this is one of my favourite things to eat. Especially good if you're clever enough to grow your own tomatoes.
1. Lightly rub the grilled sourdough pieces with half a garlic clove – three light strokes should be enough for a subtle flavour.
2. Cut 1 x 225g pack very ripe cherry tomatoes into quarters and vigorously rub and press them into the toast so that the tomatoes break down into pieces.
3. Sprinkle with sea salt, then generously drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with ½ tsp dried oregano and serve.