Garden parties are back on (socially distanced, of course) and single-serve bites are the way forward. Sitting somewhere between a canapé and a plateful, bruschetta manages to please everyone. I like to load them high and serve a couple of options to bring colour to the table.
Here are three of my favourite recipes…
Rainbow roast tomato, mozzarella, basil and pine nut bruschetta
Full of flavour, this Italian-inspired bruschetta (pictured above) makes an ideal garden-party dish. Roast the tomatoes and prep the dressing ahead of time, then assemble just before serving.
1 kg mixed cherry tomatoes (red, orange, yellow)
1 tbsp dried oregano
80g pine nuts
A large bunch of basil
1 small garlic clove, crushed
A pinch of sea salt
125–150g ball buffalo mozzarella
Sliced baguette or sourdough
Preheat your oven to 250°C on the fan setting and line a large oven tray with parchment.
Spread the tomatoes over the parchment-lined tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the oregano. Season with salt and massage everything with your hands to ensure all the tomatoes have an even coating.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked and are slightly blackened in places. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tray.
Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over a low-medium heat until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool.
Finely chop the basil and add to a small bowl. Add the garlic, sea salt and olive oil and give the mixture a good stir. Stir the pine nuts into the oil.
When ready to serve, brush the sliced bread with oil and toast on a hot griddle pan for three to four minutes on either side. Or simply pop the slices in a toaster and allow to cool slightly.
Top the toasts with the roasted tomatoes. Then tear over the mozzarella and drizzle on the basil pine nut oil.
Roasted apricot and ricotta bruschetta
The perfect balance of fresh and sweet, this bruschetta is a burst of summer. Roast your apricots in advance and allow them to cool completely before assembling. You can even do so the night before.
A handful of fresh mint
Toasted baguette or sourdough
Honey (for drizzling)
Preheat your oven to 200°C on the fan setting and line a tray with baking parchment.
Halve and de-stone the apricots. Place them on the tray cut-side-up, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Spread the toast generously with ricotta and top with the cooled apricots.
Drizzle with honey and tear over the fresh mint.
Summer pea and Grana Padano sourdough bruschetta
These bright green bruschette add a superb pop of colour and require hardly any time to put together. I love Grana Padano Riserva for this, as the maturity adds a wonderful complexity to the flavour of the peas, but any aged Grana Padano will do.
300g peas, blanched and cooled
30g Grana Padano Riserva, finely grated (plus extra to serve)
Zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of sea salt
Place the blanched and cooled peas in a mixing bowl and, using your hands, roughly crush them. You want to retain a little texture here.
Add the grated Grana Padano Riserva, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil and sea salt. Stir to combine.
Spread over your toasts and finish with a generous grating of Grana Padano Riserva.