ESB Guide to…Festive Tomato Bruschetta

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my blog. I hope you enjoyed my latest post – the second in my Brunch with ESB recipe series – Smashed Avocado and Poached Eggs on Toast. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can catch up here!

Today I want to share with you my recipe for Festive Tomato Bruschetta – a simple but show-stopping starter for over the Christmas period. A family favourite of mine, it is full of fresh tasty ingredients that will transport you to the Italian countryside.

Named after the Italian description of toasting – bruscare – this recipe is one that I have grown up with as a Christmas canape. I have adapted it for this post to make a starter size with larger slices of bread. You can choose any bread you fancy for this recipe but I find a loaf with a chewy texture such as a sourdough or ciabatta works particularly well. The colours of Christmas in a dish – green, red and white – it is a light interlude to the delicious but often filling Christmas meals. You can also make the same topping for smaller slices of bread such as baguette for canapes, which are sometimes called crostini.

To accompany the recipe, here is my cover of ‘Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep) from Irving Berlin’s White Christmas – a reflective classic originally sung by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.

Without further ado, here the recipe…

FESTIVE TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

Serves 3 as a starter

INGREDIENTS

4 large ripe tomatoes

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. sugar (to taste depending on how sweet the tomatoes are)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Half a jar of basil pesto (I used Sacla Original)

100g Soft spreadable goats cheese

3 large slices of white sourdough

Olive oil

EQUIPMENT

A sharp knife

A small mixing bowl

A table knife

A toaster

A teaspoon

A kettle

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Start by making the tomato topping. Boil a kettle and score a small cross in the base of each large tomato. Place in a heat proof bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave until the skins start to peel off which will take about 30 seconds. When the skin is peeling off, carefully remove from the water with a sharp knife and peel each tomato.
  2. When the tomatoes are skinned, cut them into quarters and remove the membrane and seeds. (ESB Top Tip : This may be time consuming but it makes the texture of the tomato extra special!) Cut the quarter pieces into small dice and put into a mixing bowl. Flavour with the balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and place to one side.
  3. Next toast the bread. (ESB Top Tip : Bruschetta is traditionally baked or fried but I find toasting is easier, quicker and just as delicious!) Place your choice of bread into a toaster and toast until it becomes crispy and golden. Then put it on a large plate and drizzle immediately with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Continue until all the bread is toasted and drizzled with oil.
  4. To assemble the bruschetta, first spoon a teaspoon of pesto onto each slice of toast and spread out all over so it is entirely covered. Then add a third of the goats cheese and spread roughly over the pesto. (ESB Top Tip : Don’t worry if the pesto and cheese mix together as it still tastes delicious!) Repeat with the other two toasts.
  5. Finally use a spoon to divide the tomato mixture between all three. Then cut in half and serve with a festive flair as a tasty vegetarian starter!

Thank you for popping by my blog today. I hope you enjoyed my recipe for bruschetta – it is a festive favourite of mine! What is your cannot-live-without recipe for Christmastime?

See you next time for another tuneful recipe, but in the meantime,

Happy Christmas Baking!

English Singing Baker x

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