When I was sixteen, I was sacked from McDonald’s. It was a rather unceremonious sacking, but remarkably, landed me my next job making coffee in a local coffee shop. I say ‘coffee shop’ but it was more of an American Diner serving real American milkshakes and Reese’s Pieces cheesecakes. It was the most exciting thing to have happened to Letchworth Garden City, like ever. Admittedly that wasn’t hard – Letchworth was, and still is where people go to die. Anyway, that’s why Caffeine was such a breath of fresh air in that stale, powdery old town. The council got rid of Caffeine eventually of course (bastards) but I still miss it, even after all these years.
Anyway, we used to make this gorgeous bruschetta which, to be fair, wasn’t anything like any Italian bruschetta I’ve ever had. It’s the US version, so naturally it’s three times the size and covered in cheese, but it’s SO GOOD! This wasn’t just my favourite, it was my dad’s too. He used to come in and order it alongside a small cappuccino that he would nurse for at least 2 hours. Good times… Feel a bit sad now. Enjoy!
Big brunch bruschetta
Serves 2 / hands on time 20 mins / total time 30 min / V
250g mixed ripe tomatoes
1 garlic clove, peeled
Handful of fresh basil
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 ball vegetarian mozzarella
2 thick slices of bread (I recommend, sourdough)
1-2 tbs balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7.
2. Start by halving the tomatoes and scooping out the seeds (if using cherry tomatoes there is no need to scoop out the seeds). Slice into strips (again, not if you’re using cherry tomatoes) and put in a bowl along with a good crack of pepper and salt. Add a handful of chopped basil along with 1-2 tbs of balsamic vinegar (if using good quality balsamic vinegar, use just 1 tbs as it is stronger than regular supermarket balsamic). Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and put to one side.
3. Lightly toast the bread in a toaster before rubbing the surface of each slice with a raw, peeled garlic clove. Top with sliced avocado and thinly sliced mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper, place on a baking tray before cooking in the oven for 10 minutes.
4. Once the cheese has melted, finish the slices under the grill to allow the cheese to go nice and brown (optional). Slide onto plates and top with the balsamic tomatoes. Serve with an extra dash of balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.