31 January 2012

12 Bruschette For 12 Months of Blogging


It took me some days to think of what to prepare for today's post.  I thought of making a cake or something sweet and original to mark my blog's 1st year anniversary.  I took up some ideas, disregarded them, thought of others and the chain goes on.  In a nutshell, my mind was a juggling mess.  Until I came up with this idea like a lightbulb shining over my head.   For the first time in my blogging life, after 222 posts, I took a pen and a sheet of paper and wrote down every single bruschetta I would be doing alongside another piece of paper with the grocery list.  If you know me well, I'm not a disciplined planner.  I am the type of person who thinks of a recipe while staring at my fridge or cupboard.  Try as I might, no ideas come out if I am not staring at the ingredients themselves just like I can never write a post without staring at the photo of the food I am writing about.   Food gives me inspiration. 

Apropos this special day and place, I prepared 12 different kinds of bruschette for the 12 months of existence of Apron and Sneakers.  Can I also interpose my 12 years (almost 13) of living in this wonderful country that I now call home?   And I would like to share with you each of these bruschette for the 12 months you had been following me, visiting my kitchen and trying out my recipes.  Your comments keep me moving forward.   You and the food I cook are my inspiration in keeping this blog alive.  


It took several deep breaths and a lot of convincing before I plunged in to the world of food blogging.  I was timid and very unsure at first.  When I did a tour of the food blogs before starting, my little confidence shrank away after seeing so many beautifully composed ones.  My blog is about sharing the recipes of the food I prepare for my family, the places we visit and what I think about them.   I was wondering who would be interested in reading them except for my husband and some exceptionally supportive friends.  When I saw the slow trickle of traffic turning to a good flow, I felt accepted and thought that there is an essence to all the work & time I give behind every post.   The comments and messages you leave are essential and gratifying especially when you try one of my recipes and tell me about it.  Now that I am in the midst of this hype, I am enjoying every single aspect of food blogging.   One year has seen fundamental improvements in all aspects of my blogging and every single phase has been a learning experience.

I see the 12 months that had passed as a stepping stone to more recipes and photos that I would be sharing.  Thank you!

Grazie dal cuore e buon appetito a tutti!

12 Bruschette 

Bread slices come in all sizes so the amounts of the ingredients I am putting should be modified according to the size of the bread that you have.  When making the bruschette, be free to put the amount you want and what ingredient you want on the bread.  The important thing is that the ingredients blend well.   All the ingredients of the recipes are for one (1) bruschetta only.



 

One.  Grilled Aubergine, Tomatoes and Basil  

 (adapted from I Piaceri della Tavola)

  • 2 - 3 slices of grilled aubergines
  • 3 - 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Grill sliced aubergines and sprinkle with salt.  Brown both sides. When cooked, place them on a small plate and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  
  2. Grill whole tomatoes.  Turn them until all the sides of the skin are scorched.  While grilling, squash them a bit with a fork.  Watch out for the squirts.  Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Toast both sides of the bread.  When done, rub garlic on the bread with the cut side.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & sprinkle with salt.  Layer the grilled aubergines.  Then the basil leaves (leave one for the top), then the tomatoes.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  
  4. Best when eaten warm. 

 
 

Two.   Tomatoes, Green Olives and Chorizo

  • 1/2 medium tomato or 1 cherry tomato, sliced horizontally
  • 1/8 (about) cup pitted green olives, chopped very finely in an electric chopper
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons finely chopped chorizo iberico (or salami)
  • fresh oregano 
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Toast both sides of the bread.  When done, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & sprinkle with salt. 
  2. Layer the sliced tomatoes until you cover the whole bread.  
  3. Spoon the finely chopped green olives on top of the tomato slices.
  4. Put the chopped chorizo on top of the olives.  Sprinkle fresh oregano leaves.  
  5. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.


 

Three.   Brunello Red Wine Gelatin, Pecorino di Fossa & Mint

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons Brunello red wine gelatin (or any fruit jam that goes well with your cheese)
  • shavings of pecorino di fossa cheese (or any crumbly aged cheese with strong flavor)
  • fresh mint leaves
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Toast both sides of the bread.   Let it cool.
  2. When the bread is not warm anymore,  spoon some red wine gelatin and cover the whole bread with it.  Put shavings of pecorino di fossa on top.  Put a small dollop of red wine gelatin on top of the cheese again.  
  3. Put a leaf or two of mint.



 Four.   Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar, Gorgonzola & Walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons (about) mozzarella, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2  radicchio (I used radicchio di Treviso.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons gorgonzola (or any blue cheese)
  • crushed walnuts
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Cut away the end of the radicchio and spread the leaves on the griddle.  Grill until completely cooked through.  When cooked, chop coarsely.  Put in a bowl and mix with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper.
  2. Toast both sides of the bread.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & sprinkle with salt.
  3. Put chopped mozzarella on the bread.  Spoon the radicchio on top.  Then put a layer of gorgonzola and sprinkle some crushed walnuts on top.



Five.   Grilled Pear, Gorgonzola & Walnuts Drizzled with Chestnut Honey

  • 1/2 pear, thin & horizontal slices
  • 2 tablespoons gorgonzola (or any blue cheese)
  • 1 teaspoons chestnut honey (or any strong & dark honey)
  • crushed walnuts
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Grill both sides of the pear slices and the bread.
  2. Layer the pear slices on the bread.  
  3. Put the gorgonzola on top. 
  4. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top.



 

Six.   Mozzarella, Grilled Zucchini & Anchovies 

(Adapted from I Piaceri della Tavola)

  • 1/2 zucchini, thin & horizontal slices (use a mandolin)
  • 1 salted anchovy fillet
  • 2 tablespoons (about) mozzarella, chopped coarsely
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Grill both sides of the zucchini slices and sprinkle with salt.  Toast the bread at the same time.
  2. Drizzle bread with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Layer grilled zucchini on top.
  4. Put an anchovy fillet.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves
  5. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
  6. Serve warm.




Seven.   Lardo di Colonnata, Tomatoes & Rosemary  

(Adapted from I Piaceri della Tavola)

  • 1 slice of lardo di colonnata (This one has a special & particular taste so I can't recommend a substitute.  However, here is a link saying that fatback can be a substitute.)
  • 1/2 medium tomato or 1 cherry tomato, sliced horizontally
  • rosemary
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Toast both sides of the bread.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Put lardo di colonnata on the bread.
  3. Put tomato slices on top.
  4. Sprinkle with a few leaves of rosemary.
  5. This is very good when served warm.




Eight.   Robiola & Prosciutto Crudo

  • 2 tablespoons robiola cheese that looks like this  (or any fresh & soft cheese, Philadelphia cream cheese comes to mind.)
  • 1 slice of prosciutto crudo
  • sage leaves
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Toast both sides of the bread.
  2. Put the robiola on the bread.
  3. Top with a slice of prosciutto crudo.
  4. Put a leaf or two of sage.




Nine.   Fava Beans & Pecorino di Fossa

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons fava beans (It's off season so I used the canned ones.)
  • shavings of pecorino di fossa cheese (pit cheese)
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  •  rosemary
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Toast both sides of the bread.  
  2. Put the cheese shavings on the bread.
  3. Top with fava beans.
  4. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper
  5. Top with some rosemary leaves.




Ten.   Capuliatu (Ground Sundried Tomatoes) & Feta 

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons Sicilian capuliatu (or any ground sundried tomatoes)
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Toast both sides of the bread.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Distribute capuliatu on the bread.
  3. Put some crumbled feta on top.
  4. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Top with basil leaves.




Eleven.   Provola Affumicata & Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar

  • few thin slices of provola affumicata (or any smoked cheese)
  • 1/2 radicchio, grilled & chopped finely
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Cut away the end of the radicchio and spread the leaves on the griddle.  Grill until completely cooked through.  When cooked, chop coarsely.  Put in a bowl and mix with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. 
  2. Toast one side of the bread.  Before grilling the other side of the bread, put the provola affumicata on it.  
  3. Distribute the radicchio on top of the cheese.
  4. Top with thyme leaves.
  5. Serve warm.



Twelve.   Mozzarella, Grilled Capsicum & Anchovies

  • 2 tablespoons mozzarella, chopped coarsely
  • 3 grilled slices of capsicum (I used the bottled one.)
  • 1 fillet of salted anchovy, chopped finely
  • fresh oregano
  • 1 slice of bread
  1. Toast both sides of the bread.   Drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Put the slices of capsicum.
  3. Put mozzarella after.
  4. Top with chopped anchovies. 
  5. Put some oregano leaves.
  6. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.


24 comments:

  1. Happy One Year Anniversary! Best Wishes and keep up the great work!

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  2. Congrats on one year of blogging! I can't believe you have that many posts! I'm behind you and I'm approaching my second year. That just means you've shared lots of great food. Cheers to many more happy years of blogging. Hard to decide which I like most but #3 and #6 have really gotten my attention. :)

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    1. Hi Jean! Sometimes I think post too much and need to slow down. It's almost embarrassing to have so much. I can't wait to see what you're cooking for your anniversary. I will wait for it! Number 6 is delicious and safe bet that everyone would like. Number 3 has a certain peculiarity because of the sweetness & saltiness together. I love them both. You've picked two of my faves. Thanks for dropping by and for the greeting!

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  3. Oh my goodness, those look amazing! Thank you for all of these great ideas. I LOVE prosciutto crudo! You have done a great job here!

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    1. This was my longest & hardest post but I wanted to do something for my blog's anniversary. I'm glad you liked it. Prosciutto crudo is really amazing. I love it too! Thank you Christine!

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  4. Wow, these all look amazing! I'm especially in love with the pecorino and favas, yum. Happy blog anniversary! :)

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    1. Pecorino & fave together really make a good combination. Delicious! Thank you Sara!

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  5. Wow! Love the 12 mouth watering bruschetta! The inspiration to make them is so sweet- happy one year! Our food lovers would love to hear about this on our community page! We'd love it if you'd check us out! http://bit.ly/wlZhX4

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    1. Thank you Amanda! I promise to check out your page.

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  6. Beautiful photography! It must help sometimes being able to use the lovely outdoor light in Italy. I really want to get better at food photography as at the moment they are only one small part of my all over the place blog 'Hound in Hanoi' http://juraphotos.wordpress.com/ I look forward to following your blog and trying some of your recipes!

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    1. Hi Jura! Indeed, the natural lighting here is wonderful even in winter. Thank you for dropping by. You have a very interesting & beautiful blog!

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  7. Your blog is stunning! so glad I found you, love this post, I want to eat all of them!

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    1. That is so sweet! Thank you! I just visited your blog. Yours is wonderful with a lot of Italian recipes. Glad we found each other. Ciao!

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  8. Happy One-Year!!! I am greatly looking forward to more gorgeous photos and seriously good recipes over the next twelve months!

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    1. Hi Josie! Thank you as always! Maybe this year I can slow down too. :-)

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  9. Happy 1st Blogiversary!!! This is amazing Weng! I totally pinned this and can't wait to try one by one! It's a lot of work to create this post and I really appreciate it. It's a perfect post to come back to for bruschette recipe!!!

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    1. I'm glad you like them Nami. The work I put in was more than the usual and I am glad that they came out well. Thanks for pinning!

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  10. I know I am unexcusably late (as usual), but I, too want to congratulate you to your 1st Blogiversary! Your hard work, passion, and love for food, your family and Italy is clearly visible in every word, recipe and picture. I wish you all the best for the next year and hope that many more people enjoy your blog just as much as I do!

    And the bruschette: Wow, where was the hard work I just talked about? THERE it is! Twelve recipes one more mouthwatering than the other. Yet again you have nailed it: Freshness, vegetables and simply good ingredients.

    XOXO

    Tobias

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    1. Ciao Tobias! What you just wrote hit a spot in my heart. Thank you very much! You're always excused and it's always better to be late than never. Hope things are going smoothly with the university. Ciao!

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  11. Congratulations on your 12 months & 12 years Rowena!! Cheers to many more. All of them look scrumptious and the hardest part is picking a couple to make for myself;)

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  12. Hi, I’m Sonia, an Italian food blogger, sorry for my bad English, I want tell you that I have included the link of this recipe in the section on my blog dedicated to “10 ways to make” (“10 Modi di Fare”) bruschette recipes.
    The post is ‘Friselle con pomodorini’ I hope not to bother you.
    Have a nice day.

    Sonia

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sonia! I already checked it out. Have a nice day too!

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