Friday, December 08, 2006

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil, Mushroom Risotto, Cheese Board

Last night Colin served up a triple Italian meal of bruschetta with tomato and basil, mushroom risotto and a delicious selection of cheese and grapes. I honestly couldn't fault any of it so without furher ado, here comes the science:

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil


1 ciabatta loaf
1 clove garlic, peeled and rubbed in a little salt
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


6 plum tomatoes
Basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper


Prepare the tomatoes by placing them in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for exactly 1 minute before draining them and slipping off the skins. Then chop them finely.

Pre-heat the griddle over a high heat for about 10 minutes. When it's really hot, place the slices of bread – on the diagonal – and grill them for about 1 minute on each side, until they're golden and crisp and have charred strips across each side. Take a sharp knife and quickly make about 3 little slashes across each one, rub the garlic in and drizzle about half a tablespoon of olive oil over each one.

Top with the sliced tomatoes and basil leaves, season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle a few more drops of olive oil over before serving.

Mushroom Risotto


10g dried porcini mushrooms
225g fresh dark-gilled mushrooms
60g butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
175g Italian carnaroli rice
150ml dry Madeira
2 level tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly milled black pepper


Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 1 pint of boiling water. Leave them to soak and soften for half an hour. Meanwhile, chop the fresh mushrooms into 1cm chunks. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the onion and let it cook over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes, then add the fresh mushrooms, stir well and leave on one side while you deal with the porcini.

When they have had their half-hour soak, place a sieve over a bowl, line the sieve with a double sheet of kitchen paper and strain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Squeeze any excess liquid out of them, then chop them finely and transfer to the pan to join the other mushrooms and the onion. Keep the heat low and let the onions and mushrooms sweat gently and release their juices – this will take about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the dish in the oven to warm.

Now add the rice and stir it around to get a good coating of butter, then add the Madeira, followed by the strained mushroom liquid. Add a level teaspoon of salt and black pepper, bring up to simmering point, then transfer the whole lot from the pan to the warmed dish. Stir once, then place it on the centre shelf of the oven without covering. Set a timer and give it 20 minutes exactly.

After that, gently stir in the grated Parmesan, turning the rice grains over. Now put the timer on again and give it a further 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and serve immediately with a sprinkling of shavings of Parmesan.

Cheese Board

Gorgonzola, Pecorino, Talleggio and Provolone.



Blogger Skry said...

Mmm... cheese...

The Bruschetta was great. Must take a wee dig at that some time. It's the sort of thing you'd make for finger snacks for a few guests and then eat them all yourself!

And as for the Wild Mushroom Risotto, mushrooms are the only thing to rival cheese :D

11:28 pm  

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