Bruschetta. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you already know that making sourdough — Tartine-style Country Loaf — is a major part of my cooking pleasure. You also must be familiar with the importance of bruschette for my breakfasts and lunches. Here are two recent examples.
Slices of sourdough, pan-fried with a little olive oil, is step #1. This variation uses a very simple black olive paste from Puglia as the first thin layer on top of the bread. That’s step #2. Next comes the white bean purée. I use cannellini — in this instance, from Gustiamo in NYC — cooking the dried beans in a clay pot until just the right consistency. After draining the beans and letting them cool to room temperature, I sauté chopped onion and garlic slowly until tender. That mixture and the beans go into a small food processor, with a little reserved bean broth and some olive oil, and is blended until fairly smooth. Salt and pepper added if necessary, and we have finished step #3. The final step (#4) is to find in the refrigerator the small prep dish containing the cooked beet greens I sautéed earlier, the last time I made steamed beets. The greens go atop the bean purée for contrast of flavor and texture in our completed dish.
A variation I like was one made with bean crema made a bit chunkier — no food processor, just beans mashed with the aromatics, using a wooden spoon. After being spread on the toast, the beans are smothered with chopped strips of sweet peppers, sautéed in garlic and capers. In this breakfast photo the bruschetta is served with salt-roasted red potatoes, sautéed in olive oil.
Pasta, Mushrooms. No blog post of mine is complete without some pasta. Since I have signed up with a local farm for four weekly boxes of their mushrooms, I’ve used them in a number of dishes during February. One of my favorites was Linguinette with Mushrooms and Sourdough Croutons (chopped up bits of a loaf of my bread, and left out to dry on the counter for a few days). For mushrooms, I sliced and sautéed both Shiitake and Oyster varieties with olive oil and butter, mixed with the pasta and pasta water, and finished with grated Sardinian Pecorino.
As you can see, I chose a white wine — a richly-flavored Coda di Volpe from Vadiaperti in Campania. Great match with the mushrooms and the Pecorino.