Friday, 6 January 2012

Olive & goats cheese bruschetta


Ciabatta, 50g kamalata olives, 100g goats cheese, honey, cucumber.

Preparation: 15 minutes

I love olives - they're so mouthwateringly rich and seductive and can add a fantastic umami quality to your cooking. This bruschetta is a sinfully scrumptious quick snack made stunning with the fresh crunch of cucumber. Got leftovers? Try tossing it with fine beans and linguine.

1) Pit your olives (I never recommend buying pre-pitted olives. They are either rubberized with brine or the flavour and texture has been compromised with oxidisation. Eat them off the stones and they will melt in your mouth) and discard the stones - if you don't have a pitter, you can slice them with a knife and squeeze until the pit pops out.

2) Put the olives and 3/4 of the goats cheese in a blender and pulse through. Taste and then add honey to taste. The salty savoury flavour of the olives and cheese should be prevalent but the creamy delicacy of the cheese is lost without a little sweetness to bring out the citrus notes.

3) Slice the ciabatta and toast on one side (I like to brush with a very little basil oil and then press onto a hot, dry frying pan rather than grill as the bread will retain enough moisture to withstand the grilling that follows)

4) Spread the olive and cheese mixture onto the untoasted side of the bread, crumble the extre goats cheese onto the top and grill for 2-3 minutes. Serve with diced cucumber to cut through the richness.

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