Friday, August 8, 2014

Using the harvest from the garden for a perfect appetizer- Caprese Salad Bruschetta

We have a small kitchen garden in our backyard - a few small patches in fact. The husband takes great care of the garden and we have a standing joke in the house that he takes better care of them than he does about the other family members. In short, they are his "babies". We have had some great harvest over the years including tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers, zucchini and beetroot. Over the last years he has grown cauliflower , cabbage, eggplant, water melon, pui saag and even had a great crop   of bottle gourd last year. Based on my request, he has grown some potted herbs that have included curry leaves, basil, rosemary , chives, thyme and dill. This year, we had some rogue plants that we hadn't planted but still grew on their own based on last year's planting. The cherry tomatoes and basil came out on their own and they were crying to be harvested and used in something delicious. So I decided to turn it into a Caprese Salad Bruschetta. A bruschetta can be topped with many different options and I wanted to use the perfect Italian salad called the Caprese salad due to the easily available ingredients.


  •  Cherry tomatoes - a handful
  • Basil leaves- 1 small branch
  • Mozzarella cheese balls- 15-20
  • Olive oil- 1/2 cup
  • French baguette bread- 1
  • Garlic- 1 clove
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make the bruschetta
  • Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Apply olive oil to the bread and place it on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the bread for 5 minutes till it turns a bit crisp.
  • Meanwhile chop the basil, slice the tomatoes and mozzarella balls into halves.
  • Combine the rest of the olive oil, basil , mozzarella, tomatoes , salt and pepper.
  • Take the bread out of the oven and rub them with the garlic clove on both sides.
  • Top the bread with the salad.
  • Put the bread back in the oven for 10 minutes or till the cheese melts.
The harvest from the garden has yielded some great cooking, including pui sager ghonto( a mixed vegetable curry with egg plants, squash and greens) and bandhakofi diye chingri maach ( cabbage curry with shrimp). I have a cauliflower sitting in the fridge with Gobi Manchurian written all over it. When I was a kid , I had seen my dad and grandfather tending to flower and vegetable gardens and now we have a farmer in the family too. Happy cooking folks! It's even more fun with fresh ingredients.

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