This is quite a summer. After spending some weeks in my beloved Barcelona, going to the beach, of course, and returning tanned and happy (because I cannot go to the beach here, that's for sure) I find myself ready to take what the rest of the summer gives. It's not really really bad, weather wise, although there was only four or five days when I didn't need a jacket. Many things had happened since my last post. Not only in my life, but in the world in general. Lots of new, most of them bad, very bad news. We witness a pacific country mourning the loss of innocent people, killed by a demon. A country where normally nothing happens (nothing bad, that is) but it attracted all the attention because everything happened in one day. How many hells must a man go through to become such a beast? I think that nobody is safe from criminals like that one, there are so many of those. And we don't know if destiny is setting up a meeting with one, around the corner, so the best, in my opinion, is get the most of our lived, and enjoy every day, every hour, every minute.
Another bad news, the death of Amy Winehouse. Something that got many of us sad, but not surprised. In a way, it was the news we knew was going to happen sooner or later. It's a shame to lose such a talented woman. Her career and powerful voice could have taken her so far in music history. She and Francis must be performing a wonderful duet, wherever they are now...
And apart from these, bad news keep on coming. Riots in London (pretty scary, it looks like we are at war), unhappy youngsters in Spain, demonstrating everywhere, world poverty and hunger always in the headlines, the credit crunch that came to stay, and in the middle of all of these, us, mere mortals trying to keep on with our lives, wondering if there will ever be a little bit of quiet and safer times. Must we learn to live with these bad news? Is this the world our children are getting from us? Since I don't have the answers to these questions, I better do what I enjoy doing, cooking that is! Let's get the most of our lives, and eat and try new recipes. Some are good, some are better. So far, and since we are still in summer, though the temperature is currently 17 degrees, (which is not that bad) my post today is a colorful starter, fresh and full of flavour. It's a vegetarian one as well, and I am glad to say that THIS one I DID share it with my other half (the Vegetarian).
Bruschetta: A slice of bread, usually toasted on the grill, rubbed with garlic and topped with different toppings, i.e. parma ham, pecorino, pesto and olives, avocado and tomato, mushroom ragu, grilled vegetables, etc. One of the fillings came out from the wonderful site "The Kitchn", and the other one is a tomato and Parmesan one. The bread is gorgeous when you grilled or broil it. It retains much more flavour. Then the topping and that's it, a wonderful starter!
Ingredients for the Broad beans one:
1 pound fresh broad beans, shelled
2-3 medium radishes, julienned (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds or dill
Freshly ground black pepper
8 (1/2-inch-thick, 3-to-4-inch-long) focaccia slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook broad beans for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer beans to a large bowl of ice water. Let cool and then drain. Slip the outer skin off each bean and discard the skin. Place the beans in a large bowl and coarsely mash with a fork leaving some beans whole or in chunks.
Combine the beans, radishes, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint leaves, and fennel fronds . Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Brush olive oil over both sides of the focaccia slices and grill or broil. Rub toasts with garlic and then spoon the broad bean mixture on top. Sprinkle a little extra salt on top and serve.
1 focaccia cut into slices
1 garlic clove
8 or 9 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup Parmesan shavings
Salt and pepper
Cut the tomatoes very thinly, season. Rub the bread with the garlic and brush both sides with the olive oil. Grill or broil and top with the tomato and the Parmesan, decorate with basil. Serve at once.