Finding the calm part one: Bruschetta
November 15, 2010 § 2 Comments
Whenever I’m stressed out or feeling a bit down there are three things that will make me perk up. One is getting outside for a walk. Two is nourishing my body with fresh produce. Three is cooking (duh!) When these things come together it’s simply a recipe for feeling great.
Sydney has been blessed with some divine weather recently so last Friday I thought to take advantage of the summery morning to check out the Sculpture By The Sea at Tamarama and head home via Belgrave St to finally buy a loaf of bread from Iggy’s Bakery.
When I say finally it’s no exaggeration, I have lived within three kilometres of Iggy’s for more than two years and have never bought so much as a bread roll! The thing is, unless I am jogging past in the morning I always forget that it’s there! So one day I took action and made myself a big note:
BUY BREAD FROM THE BAKERY TOWARDS BRONTE BEACH
(I didn’t know the name at the time!)
If you live in the Eastern Suburbs I would suggest lacing up your running shoes, sticking a $10 note in your sock and letting your nose act as GPS…you can’t miss the delicious aroma of freshly baked sourdough.
The family of bakers started off in Cambridge (Massachusetts USA) and headed Down Under to spice up the life of the local surfers (or that’s why I think they came anyway!) And thank goodness they did.
I think I shocked the boys a little when I rocked up early in the morning looking rather sweaty and very excited…a situation I made more awkward by digging around in my sock for money…
Such happy happy bakers!
A full country sourdough is ENORMOUS and only $8.50! I would recommend grabbing six friends, one loaf, a blue vein and an aged cheddar, a bottle or two of sparkling and making your way down to Bronte park for a civilised Sunday brunch. Wait a minute, that’s a great idea! I need to get on board! However, if you’re only planning on feeding one or two it might be wise to stick to a half loaf or a quarter (only $3.00).
I remain impressed with myself that I managed to make it all the way home with a freshly quartered, still warm and steaming loaf in my brown paper bag and I didn’t even take a nibble. Is that self-control or what?!
…Later that evening….
The most important thing to remember with bruschetta is that it has to be simple. This means don’t mess with the recipe and buy the BEST quality ingredients you can get your hands on. Best bread. Best tomatoes. Best olive oil.
You should also grill, rather than toast, the bread and by the end you should be licking the topping from your fingers.
1 large, properly ripe roma tomato
generous sprinkling of salt
freshly milled black pepper
2 basil leaves
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 fat hand-cut slices of sourdough
Cut the tomato into dice, about 7mm across.
Sprinkle with salt, add some pepper, tear in the basil leaves and toss well. Mix in the olive oil and leave to stand for half an hour (If you don’t do this you won’t be getting the best result).
When ready to eat, you need your bread abrustolito, which means somewhat charred (use a ridged pan, barbecue or flat cast iron pan). Brush the bread with olive oil and press onto the hot plate, take it off just before it goes black.
Spoon the mixture generously over the bread and eat warm or at room temperature.