"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bruschetta 2 Ways: 100% Local

For my 24th rotation around the sun I cooked up a meal for my closest friends. I also went to the Saturday farmer's market at the Embarcadero which is the best farmer's market I've been to in the Continental United States. Seriously. It has an unbelievable selection of local, fresh, vibrant produce, cheese, breads, herbs, pantry items. One of the exciting new items I picked up was a couple stalks of green garlic. I didn't know that about the existence of green garlic but here are some of my observations: it looks a lot like green onions, however the leaves are flat, as opposed to the rounded leaves of green onions. Also, the bulbs of green garlic have a slightly purple tint. Finally the taste and smell is a sure reminder that this spring time vegetable is a kin to the garlic family. Because the taste of green garlic is beautiful alone, I recommend pairing it with mild cheeses and not using too many other herbs. I call this creation NorCal Herb Cheese Bruschetta. I will also provide the recipe for tomato bruschetta.

NorCal Herb Cheese Bruschetta

1 baguette
Fresh Chevre Sebastopol, CA
Green garlic
Fresh Rosemary
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Slice baguette into 1" thick even slices.
2. Drizzle with olive oil and toast for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
3. Finely slice the green garlic and rip the rosemary into small pieces.
4. Mix the herbs in with the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread onto the toasted bread.

Tomato Bruschetta
Of all the things I learned cooking at Cefalicchio in Italy, one of the most important items - was patience, pace and taste. Take your time, slow down, and taste as you go. Bruschetta is the perfect time to do this. The most important part of bruschetta is that you use fresh, ripe, ruby red tomatoes.

1 baguette
Extra virgin olive oil
Green Garlic

1. Slice the baguette into 1" thick even slices. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
2. Dice the tomatoes into small, even pieces.
3. Dice the green garlic and tear apart the fresh basil, add to the bowl.
4. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Toast the bread for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
6. Top with the tomato mixture and serve with a crisp, light wine.

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