So, a funny thing happened to me today. I decided that rather than continue to sift idly through and admire the many blogs that I regularly read, I really ought to stop neglecting this one. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking—quite the contrary. It’s just that I haven’t been telling that many people about it.
This one today is really nothing special in terms of a recipe. In fact, it isn’t really a recipe at all; more of a suggestion of how to eat. I was inspired by a) a freeform recipe for various bruschette from Chad Robertson’s amazing Tartine Bread (but who isn’t inspired by that?), b) a week in Italy that completely reignited my love of bread and c) my growing (somewhat worrying) love for eating food off of a wooden board.
The best combination of these ingredients turned out to be the goat’s cheese and balsamic roasted carrots with fresh basil. But I probably shouldn’t mention that since part of the fun we had in eating this meal was in testing out various combinations of roasted vegetables, fresh herbs and spreads. Yes, we had some fresh tomatoes with basil and olive oil, but I won't bother with that. Just gather all the components together and have at it.
Mixed Grilled Vegetable Bruschetta
1 loaf of day old bread (sourdough in my case), sliced thickly
1 bulb fennel, cut into ½ inch slices
2 carrots, sliced into ½ inch coins
2 small zucchini, sliced into ½ inch strips
1 small bunch asparagus
1 handful each of fresh basil, parsley and coriander
1 ball fresh mozzarella
½ a round of goat’s cheese
Olive oil for roasting
1 clove of garlic
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F/170 degrees C. Place all the vegetables on a baking sheet and dress generously with olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 35-45 minutes until everything is going brown at the edges (you may want to flip things halfway through the cooking time). When the veggies are done remove them to a serving platter and, turn the oven down to 300F/140C. Put the slices of bread directly onto the oven rack for about 4 minutes. You don’t want to toast the bread, just dry it out a little so that it soaks up all the good stuff. When the bread is just on the verge of toasting, pull it out and immediately rub one side with the raw garlic clove. Place the bread garlicky side down onto the baking sheet you roasted the vegetables on so that it soaks up a little of the leftover olive oil and seasonings.
Serve on a board with the cheeses and herbs and help yourself. No utensils required.