Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Fruits

tomatoes (various), lettuce and basil

Cooking with the fruits of your own labours has become something of cliché. Jamie, Stephanie, Maggie, wherever you look they’re all doing it – in books, on telly, at your local freakin’ primary school.  Everyone who's anyone is banging on about the wonders (environmental, social, healthful, and above all spiritual) of growing and eating your own (organic) produce. And yet, you know, they’re right. At the risk of sounding like a complete tosser, there really is something genuinely magical about cooking and eating stuff you’ve grown yourself. 

the noble, black russian
So, last night, to celebrate the ripening of my first tomatoes - Black Russian, Principe Borghese and Tiny Tims, in case you’re interested - I made myself a simple, delicious meal of cheese and tomatoes on toast. Except of course, being part of the Jamie Oliver generation, I rubbed the bread with garlic first. This not only added a whole new level of deliciousness to my dinner, it transformed my humble toastie into a glorious continental wonder; that ubiquitous dinner party starter and oft-mispronounced, cafe classic....  


In case you've been living on the moon for the past 15years and don't have a dozen bruschetta recipes banging around in your kitchen collection already, my version went a little something like this...

Backyard Bruschetta

nice bread, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced in half
backyard tomatoes, sliced
a few leaves of (home grown) basil
salt and pepper
cheese, cut into slices (I just used cracker barrel)

look at those handsome black russians
Toast the bread then rub it really well on both sides with the garlic. Place the tomatoes on the toast, salt and pepper them well, then tear up the basil leaves and sprinkle them on top. Lay the cheese on top of the tomatoes until they are covered up - you can never have too much cheese. Pop under the grill until the cheese is golden brown. Any excess cheese will run off onto the tray where it will go all lovely and crunchy – I told you could never have enough cheese.

Cut each bruschetta in half and enjoy them with a glass of ginger beer, preferably in the backyard. As you crunch through each wonderful slice, take a moment to marvel again at that simple and oft-repeated truth...the world has many things in it but none of them are quite as delicious as a tomato that you’ve grown yourself.



  1. Too true my friend. Too true.
    I have a cold bruchetta recipe that goes a little something like this:

    Slice (in cubes if you fancy) a section of tomatoes, cumcumbers, fresh basil and avocado. Toss together.
    Dressing is balsamic, olive oil, lemon or lime juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
    Mix dressing in with salad. Put little serves of the salad mix on toasted nice bread.
    Eat. Whilst eating spill bruchetta all over yourself and attempt to catch stray bits on your plate so you can consume later.

  2. Even though this comment is posted as
    "James", its actually "Lish". I don't know why my google account does that sometimes.

  3. Ah, James/Ellisha, you crack me up!
    Keep looking for you on skype for a chat. Miss you. xx

  4. As we say to Charlie-girl... yum, yum, yum, yum!!

    Reading this has made me hungry and as I have no delicious organic, home-grown tomatos to feast on, it is going to be fried left-over pizza for lunch - boo!! In honour of the blog, perhaps I will add some extra cheese!!