Sunday 4 January 2015

Brushetta with Garden Salsa and Green Dressing

One of the great joys of this time of year is the abundance of ingredients in my Mother's garden. We love staying on the farm at this time of year. The weather is hot, there's plenty of animals to feed and jobs to keep our Little Miss busy and away from the TV, and plenty of spare time to cook meals from the season's bounty. 

Brushetta with Garden Salsa and Green Dressing

a baguette - day old is fine as it will be toasted
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper

a couple of red or green peppers
2 or 3 tomatoes
2 avocados
a cup of shelled and cooked broad beans
a handful of chives
a few slices of salami - cut into small cubes - optional
salt and pepper to season

Cut the baguette on the diagonal to form neat slices. Place these on an oven tray, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 5 minutes in a 200deg. C oven. Once crispy remove from the oven and set aside to cool. 

For the salsa: Cut the peppers, tomatoes and avocados into small dice and place in a bowl. Add the beans. 
Leave them whole if they are small, or cut them roughly if they are large. Add the finely diced salami if you are using it. Finely slice the chives and add to the mix. 

Add enough of the green dressing to bind the vegetables and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the salsa onto the toasted baguette pieces and serve immediately. 

Green dressing

a good handful of parsley and mint from the garden, enough to fill a small glass jar.
malt vinegar
rice bran oil
1 teaspoon French mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons chilli sauce

Wash and dry the herbs. Cut away the stalks. Put the herb leaves into a small jar. Before you go any further, make sure the head of the stick blender will fit into your jar. 

Pour enough malt vinegar into the jar to come 1cm up the side of the jar. 
Pour in the oil until it comes a further 3 cm up the jar. Thus giving you the 1:4 acid to oil ratio. 
Add the other ingredients to the jar. 

Use the stick blender to blitz the dressing until all the herbs are thoroughly cut up and the dressing has emulsified. Taste and adjust the season if required. 

After the excesses of the Christmas table, we've been making some lighter summer meals. This one is so simple and can be made from whatever ingredients you have on hand. The cheerful summer green dressing is super multi-purpose, and great served over any vegetable you happen to have handy.    Happy cooking! xx

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