Tuesday, July 22, 2008

what's cooking wednesday - bruschetta

Just the other day I casually suggested to Mike that I thought I'd like to try some canning.* I did not get the response I was expecting. What I got instead was, "That's a good idea. You'd be good at something like that."

Wha? And furthermore, huh?

Mike is usually against anything that will require a large mess.

"Plus, you love jam." He's right. Very right, I'm afraid. I really do love my jam.

So we talked about jams and jellies and the possibility of a relish or two. Somehow the conversation got turned around to bruschetta. We both love bruschetta and one of my besties, Kaffy, makes an extremely delicious one. Why not, we thought? Let's give it a try.

Since I'm on holidays from work right now and not in daily contact with Kaffy we turned to the internet for help and armed with our recipe headed out to get the finest ingredients WalMart had to offer.



8 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 loaf french bread, sliced and toasted

In a bowl toss together the tomatoes, basil, parmesan cheese and garlic. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt & pepper. Serve on toasted bread slices.

Recipe Notes: Well this is going to take some tinkering, but we're off to a good start. As we were shopping Mike suggested we save ourselves some time and use canned diced tomatoes. Something I know Kaffy has also done. As luck would have it Alymer's has a canned diced tomato in olive oil and garlic which, according to the label, is perfect for bruschetta. So I picked up a couple of cans. I did this because I'm not a great chopper. At all. Back at home the tomatoes went in the bowl with the other ingredients, I also added half a red onion that I diced. Then I threw it in the fridge to let the flavours meld. Now I didn't add the olive oil or garlic since it was already in the tomatoes and that was a mistake. What I should have done (and if I remember correctly this is what Kaffy did with canned tomatoes as well) is drain them of their liquid. Then assemble the recipe as directed. Also I should have diced the entire onion, there just wasn't enough of it. I am looking forward to making this again with my proposed tweaks. I am also looking forward to picking Kaffy's brain on the subject when I get back to work.

At the store I could not resist an Artisan loaf that caught my eye. A small and somewhat dense loaf of bread that had been studded with whole cloves of garlic. The smell was amazing. It was the perfect compliment and worth every penny of it's artisan price tag.

*Why the sudden interest in canning? I blame the "other Shan with a Maya" over at All This and More and the post on her first canning attempt.

What is What's Cooking Wednesday and how can I play?

What's cooking Wednesday was born out of a desire to get out of that what's for dinner rut. Playing is easy, on Wednesday post a recipe that has been tried and tested by you and then pop over here and add your name to the Mr. Linky. When entering your name also add the name of the recipe in brackets and make sure you link to your What's Cooking Wednesday post and not just your blog's front page. And don't forget to link back here, the home of What's Cooking Wednesday.

So for example I would write Shan (Speedy Chicken Stir Fry) in the name section. For the URL section I would post this: http://shanrev.blogspot.com/2007/10/whats-cooking-wednesday-speedy-chicken.html

I'll let you in on a little secret. Much to Kaffy's chagrin, my WCW recipes are almost never made on a Wednesday. So feel free to cook and photograph whenever you have time and join us posting on Wednesday.


michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Mmm...one of my favorites! I had a recipe up last summer, I think, but yes, definitely drain the tomatoes; even if you're using fresh, you might want to squeeze out most of the juice before chopping as it can get quite messy. Looking forward to hearing about your playing around with the seasonings, etc :)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I love bruschetta in any form! This looks lovely.

Norma-ann at The Mommy Project. said...

Shan...I just wanted to say that I got two books on canning out from the library a couple of weeks ago. Seriously. Creepy, isn't it? It is like we are of one brain.


Merry said...

Looks great! I've thought about trying canning myself. Though I did think about cheating & buying the plastic freezer jars for jam & just freezing it instead. Glad someone else has a jones on for jam. I'm constantly asking Nana to replenish our supply of her really yummy homemade jam.

anno said...

This is one of my summertime favorites, and your version looks wonderful. Looking forward to hearing more about your canning adventures!

Cristan said...

I think all the knitting/ canning/ money saving ideas that are cropping up lately are to prepare us for the next Great Depression! The one our grandparents warned us that we weren't prepared for! (Just kidding, a little!)

shan said...

ohmygosh, if I can successfully make yummy jam, then anyone can. I am about the most incompetent person when it comes to making stuff in the kitchen.

I have cherries now and will get blueberries next week for jammin'.

Have fun with it!!
Oh, and I think I didn't mention this in my blog post, but I just used the recipe that came with the pectin I bought.

Shan said...

Michelle - phew... i thought you`d give me the gears about canned tomatoes. I actually made another batch tonight. The flavours are happily marrying away in the fridge as I type.

Jen - thanks, it was pretty good. I mean it all disappeared so it couldn't have been to horrible.

Normie - oh that is creepy. What did you think? Are you going to give it a whirl?

Merry - Oh I have a serious jam addiction and homemade is just so much better.

Anno - thanks and you guys will be the first to know about any canning adventures.

Cristan - oh my that is so true. I find myself doing so many things that my Grandma the frugal queen did.

Shan - most of the reading I've been doing says to follow the instructions that come with the pectin. I'm still undecided, but Mike is really very supportive of the idea.