It feels like an eternity ago that we went on our epic (for us) one month trip to Italy – I can’t believe it’s only been about 18 months! While we were there we ate loads of beautiful fresh produce, and a particular favourite ‘dish’ that we have been recreating ever since is this super simple tomato on freshly grilled bruschetta, and buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto drizzled in extra virgin olive oil. I put the quantities together for Fairfax as a pre-Christmas drinks recipe – but they are seriously good any time, as long as you can get your hands on beautiful, ripe, flavour-packed tomatoes. My favourite recipes and foods are always the simple things – and I have to say sometimes I get so sick of the latest food fads taking over the media and bloggosphere – I’m all for healthy, simple, fresh ingredients that don’t get overly mucked about with during cooking, I love seafood but barely eat red meat, so when I do, I choose the best I can get my hands on, looking for fabulous quality. To be honest the whole gluten-free/raw/paleo/ trends of the moment are all very nice, but they’re so bloody earnest, they just about do my head in! (Possibly a bit old and cynical for all that…)
Anyhoo, as it happens, I am posting this on my birthday – 48 years old today – see, ancient! If you are a lovely young hipster recoiling in horror right now, wait, don’t go, I still know a thing or two from my vast years of experience mucking about in the kitchen! I had been quite looking forward to my birthday, 48 seems like a pretty good age to me, but it’s been a bit of a sh*t week to be honest. I was due to celebrate 5 years since having my melanoma excised in March next year, and was feeling quite good about it, when at one of my obsessively regular skin checks my dermatologist discovered another ‘weird one’. Since then it’s been removed, confirmed as another f*cking melanoma (excuse the language – but y’know?!) so I will be having the wide excision (biiiig margin around the mole area) in a couple of weeks. Luckily it is as early as you can get it, so that’s good news (!). But there you go – mothers please keep your babies (of all ages) from getting sunburnt, and everyone else who has enjoyed a life in the sun, get yourself checked at least annually – if I didn’t, I hate to think if I would even be here.
Well that was a lovely little cheery blog intro…hope you’re not put off, the recipe is fab!
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
Chop tomatoes into 1-2 cm pieces, scraping out most of the seeds as you go. Place in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Slice bread into 1cm thick slices, keep whole if you are serving as a starter, or halve if you are serving with drinks. Heat a grill or barbecue hot plate and cook a minute each side or until golden and toasted. As they come off the grill, rub with the cut surface of the garlic on one side then drizzle lightly with remaining olive oil. Serve immediately by loading tomatoes onto the bruschetta and sprinkling with torn basil leaves – or serve on a platter for guests to construct their own. Serves 6
¼ cup picked basil leaves
On a platter arrange mozzarella and prosciutto. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over basil leaves.