Saturday, August 29, 2009

Glory in Simplicity

Some nights when kicking around the house, a bite to eat here and there just needs to be simple, fresh, and good. We've got your back on that one. Left over pseudo-ricotta from the pizza and some of the remaining framer's market haul fit together perfectly into a simple snack-y type deal I've been calling: toasties.
We used the ricotta from the weekend's pizza, some arugula, a nice fresh loaf of ciabatta and came up with:

This isn't really a recipe, it's more of an assembly line. You'll need a good crusty bread for this- I'm sure it would be fine on plain ol' white toast, but let's go for broke, shall we?

The Goods

1 loaf Ciabatta
Left over or freshly made Pseudo-ricotta (recipe)
1 Bunch arugula
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Cut your Ciabatta on the bias (at an angle) More surface area = more goodies = happyface.
Toast slices until lightly golden.
While still warm, spread a thin layer of the pseudo-ricotta, top with the arugula, and drizzle with olive oil.
Crunch on in.
Repeat as needed.

Along this idea of Toasties, we tried a classic bruschetta. You keep that sigh of boredom to yourself, these have a firm basis in the delicious. That bias cut ciabatta bread? Fry it. In olive oil. Do it. Do it like this:
Second Batch o' Goods

Sliced Ciabatta bread
Olive Oil for frying
A pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Roughly 6-10 leaves of basil
A clove of garlic
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Slice your tomatoes in half and set aside in a bowl.
Stack your basil one leaf on top of the other, and roll them up from the bottom stem to the tip. With either a paring knife, or my choice- kitchen shears, thinly slice (chiffonade) the rolled up basil. Sprinkle the basil over the tomatoes, add oil, salt and pepper, and set aside.
For the bread, get your largest skillet- if you have a cast iron one, now would be the time.
Be careful not to overdo it with the olive oil! Too much will overpower the bread and even leave it vaguely bitter. You want to cover the whole bottom of the pan with only the tiniest bit in excess.
Arrange your slices in the pan and toast (yeah, fry) them until golden brown on each side. We're aiming to only flip them once, so keep your eye on them.
Lay the hot bread out on a plate to cool slightly. You could use a cooling rack, mine never got that far.
While cooling, cut the garlic clove in half and rub it over the surface of the hot bread (use tongs, unless you have asbestos hands) Believe it or not, you don't have to press it into the bread to get the flavor. The heat of the bread and the oil of the garlic clove work out just right, a few swipes will do it.
Choose your bread wisely, and top with a spoonful of your tomatoes.
Sometimes the simple can be the divine.

There are probably a mazillion possibilities out there. A fav of mine for breakfast is: Plain ol' toast with white chocolate peanut butter (yep, it's vegan) dotted with fresh blueberries.

What's your favorite?

1 comment:

m said...

mmm, the white chocolate peanut butter sounds divine!