By Simone Conti
Bruschetta with plum tomatoes, olives and goat’s curd
Serves 4 as a snack, Serves 2 as a starter
This month I was really undecided regarding what recipes to publish, so I had some help from my daughter Emma. Thank you darling for being my little helper and helping me to keep it simple. All the dishes in this issue were picked by her, she really hopes you like them. Bruschetta is an easy, quick dish to prepare, it’s a perfect snack when you have people over. Alternatively it can be served as a starter if you serve a couple each.
200g ripe plum tomatoes
4 basil leaves, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 generous slice of sourdough bread, toasted
100g fresh goat’s curd
8 black olives, pitted and finely chopped
Salt and Black Pepper
1. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Sprinkle with a good pinch of sea salt, then put the tomatoes in a sieve and leave to drain for a few minutes (the salt draws out the excess liquid and concentrates the tomato flavour).
2. Mix the basil into the drained tomatoes, then tip into a bowl and stir in the olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to mash up the tomatoes a bit. Check the seasoning.
3. Rub the garlic clove over each slice of toasted bread, then add a good spoonful of tomatoes and push down firmly so the tomatoes get absorbed into the bread.
4. Break up the goat’s curd and place little bits on top of the tomatoes, then add the chopped olives. Finish with a good drizzle of olive oil.
Suggested Wine – Vinho Verde (Portugal)
Salmon, watercress, wasabi and guacamole burger
My daughter Emma decided last year to become a pescatarian because she felt really bad about eating meat. We usually have our burger night once a week so we had a big dilemma there. Either to cancel our burger night (my son’s favourite night) or find a good alternative for Emma. We tried this recipe and it turned out to be super delicious so, except for my son, we all switched to the salmon burger.
200g salmon fillet, skin and bones removed
2 tsp of sesame oil
1 ripe avocado
1/2 tsp wasabi paste
2 tsp lemon juice
2 white sesame buns
1 handful of watercress
1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced into rings
Salt and black pepper
250ml boiling water
1. Cut the salmon into four pieces, lightly season and brush with sesame oil. Halve avocado and scoop out the flesh. Mash with wasabi, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of salt.
2. Heat a heavy or non-stick frying pan and cook the salmon 50 seconds at high heat. Then turn it and cook for a further 30 seconds. The salmon will be pink, almost raw inside. If you prefer it cooked more, turn the heat to medium and cook up to 2 minutes each side.
3. Split the buns and spread avocado mash on both tops and bottoms.
4. Place watercress on the bottoms, then two pieces of salmon, then finally the onion and replace the tops.
5. Serve it hot and enjoy it!
Suggested Wine – Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
This mousse is very easy to make. You can make in a couple of minutes using a food processor, but it will require a few hours in the fridge to cool and become firm. Use different types of berries to make the pureé to get a much deeper flavour.
500g of mix berries will yield 350ml of pureé. I usually use strawberries and raspberries, but you can use your favourite type of berries.
20g powdered gelatine or 3 gelatine leaves
3 tbsp water
350ml fresh berries pure
150g icing sugar
250ml Greek style yoghurt
350ml cream, lightly whipped
1. If you use powdered gelatine, sprinkle it over the water in a bowl, stir and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Dissolve it by microwaving on high for 40 second or placing the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stirring to dissolve it.
2. If you are using leaf gelatine, soak the leaves in a flat tray of cold water 1cm deep. Soak for 2-3 minutes, then squeeze the water out and stir into 3 tbsp of very hot water.
3. Place the gelatine, berry pureé, icing sugar and the Greek yogurt in a food processor or a blender and mix for 1 minute.
4. Tip into a large bowl, gently fold in the cream, then pour into four cups or ramekins. Chill at least 2 hours.
5. Serve with fresh berries and extra whipped cream on the side, Enjoy it!!!
Suggested Wine – Sauterne (France)