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Feta Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze is the perfect starter to your family dinner. Super quick, easy and most importantly – crazy delicious!!

Bruschetta really is the ultimate appetizer. It’s just one of those really simple dishes that everybody loves. Fresh, hearty and most importantly, versatile. Versatile enough to chuck in some feta and pour over a bucket of balsamic glaze? Ohhhhh yes.

Authentic Bruschetta only calls for a few simple ingredients – Tomato, Basil, Garlic and Olive Oil. Which in itself is already a marriage of ingredients made in heaven. But for me, that makes the perfect foundation to mix things up and throw in a few special additions, my favourite one being Feta.

I LOVE feta. And for me there’s nothing better to add it to than a fresh homemade bruschetta.

Not just because feta bruschetta is fun to say, but because it tastes freakin’ delicious.

The richness and creaminess of the feta brings something so delicious to the party. It creates such a beautiful combination with the tomato, garlic and basil. I usually purposefully make too much just so I’ve got a feta bruschetta dip for later.

What bread to use for bruschetta

For me it’s always gotta be a loaf of Ciabatta. It’s quite corse and has bumps for the oil/juice to sit in with makes in perfect for bruschetta. But any Italian bread that leaves a rough texture when sliced will work. This will help break down the garlic when you rub it on.

Another addition to feta bruschetta I love is of course a sweet ‘n’ silky Balsamic Glaze.

Like holy crap balls this stuff is good. I drizzle the stuff over literally everything. Usually just over my face with a wooden spoon, but I thought I’d keep it classy this time round.

Unlike feta, balsamic vinegar is a traditional appearance with the likes of tomato and basil. It’s pretty common as it is dashed over bruschetta too.

Personally I find plain balsamic vinegar enhances too much acidity in the dish, especially with raw onion being there. Whipping a quite balsamic glaze balances things out nicely, adding a touch of sweetness to the dish.

Plus let’s be real, everything tastes better with a sweet balsamic glaze.

What tomatoes to use for bruschetta

Essentially you can use any tomatoes you like, just make sure they’re ripe and fresh. Go the extra mile to find the best quality tomatoes to make them the hero of the bruschetta!

What oil to use for bruschetta

Extra virgin olive oil, or regular olive oil. Same again, make sure it’s great quality.

What feta to use for feta bruschetta

All down to preference. In the photos I used a firm Greek feta, which keeps the ingredients fairly separate. Whereas in the video I used Danish, which is much creamier and blends with the tomatoes more.

So at your next food gathering or family dinner spare a thought for some feta bruschetta if you’re thinking of whipping up a quick starter! Packed full of flavour and pretty as can be, this easy bruschetta couldn’t be more convenient to make!

How to make Feta Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze (Full Recipe & Video)

  • 1 loaf Ciabatta, divided into 8
  • 9oz / 250g Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup / 100g Feta, crumbled
  • 1 small Red Onion, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 handful Fresh Basil, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Glaze
  • 1 clove of Garlic, peeled
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • In a bowl, combine your Tomatoes, Onion, Feta, Basil, a good glug of Olive Oil and Seasoning to taste. Place to one side.
  • Drizzle your Ciabatta in a little oil, then place your on the griddle pan over high heat. Fry for a minute or so each side until grill marks form.
  • Lightly rub your garlic across one side of each of your Ciabatta slices.
  • Top your Ciabatta with the Bruschetta mix and drizzle over your Balsamic Glaze.

a) Balsamic Glaze – Check out my Homemade Balsamic Glaze!   b) Other types of Bread to use – Essentially any Italian bread to have a coarse/rough texture when sliced. Tuscan or Pugliese bread are traditionally used. A sourdough also works great.    c) What type of Feta to use – In terms of what Feta to use, a traditional Greek works great because it’s slightly firmer than say Danish Feta, which turns slightly creamy when mixed with the other Bruschetta toppings. All down to preference 🙂   d) What Tomatoes to use? – You can really use any tomatoes you want, just made sure they’re ripe and fresh! Really go the extra mile to find the best quality tomatoes to use and make them the hero ingredient in this bruschetta.   e) These gorgeous photos were taken by the incredibly talented Dani Knox Photography!

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.34g (6%) | Protein: 4.06g (8%) | Fat: 5.12g (8%) | Saturated Fat: 2.285g (11%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.557g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.982g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 11mg (4%) | Sodium: 247mg (10%) | Potassium: 153mg (4%) | Fiber: 1.1g (4%) | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 13% | Vitamin C: 7% | Calcium: 9% | Iron: 6%

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The Crisper Whisperer: How to Glaze Root Vegetables Recipe

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the crisper whisperer how to glaze root vegetables recipe 5d12fb7b17930 - The Crisper Whisperer: How to Glaze Root Vegetables Recipe

One of the first lessons you learn in culinary school is the unyielding power of mispronounced French words. Culinary French don’t sound purdy, but it can inspire a vast range of emotion, from dread to desire, among the clog-wearing set.

Few words wield more fury than the unassuming-sounding tournage, the name for the meticulous cutting of vegetables out of hand into small, seven-faced footballs, often for hours at a stretch. If the ability to tourne carrots, turnips, and potatoes is not particularly relevant for the vast majority of professional chefs these days, schools don’t see that as reason to cancel the plumage-fest that its teaching inevitably becomes.

You might not think this topic bears heavily on the home cook, but it does. Because of tournage, home cooks have been robbed blind of one of the simplest and most delicious methods of cooking winter’s abundance of root vegetables. The classic French practice of glazing is quick and rewarding and produces a surprisingly elegant result (which bears little resemblance to the cloying dishes sometimes called glazed vegetables in the United States).

More Whispers

For whatever reasons to do with peacocks and machismo and what have you, the perfectly proper way to glaze root vegetables requires that you tourne them first. But chopping them into bite-sized pieces gets you 99 percent of the way to perfection with maybe one percent of the effort. I’m no Good Will Hunting, but that looks like 100 to me.

French glazed vegetables are cooked in a shallow bath of water fortified with small amounts of butter and sugar. One of the few tricks to glazing (and it’s a trick home cooks should learn anyway, since it’s widely applicable and cheap as hell) is to cover the cooking vegetables with a cartouche, a circle of parchment paper with a hole cut out of the middle. This method makes the cooking liquid evaporate slowly, giving the vegetables time to cook through gently and leaving you with just the right amount of glaze. Unlike tournage, cartouche is the kind of poorly pronounced culinary French that you’ll want to keep in your vocabulary.

This week I’ve glazed carrots because that’s what we had in our crisper, but this method works beautifully with just about all root vegetables, from turnips to parsnips to beets to pearl onions. If you’re combining vegetables into one dish, classic technique would have you cook each separately to ensure perfect tenderness, but if you cut them all about the same size, it’s perfectly reasonable (I’d say a lot more so, in fact) to cook them all together. Just be sure not to crowd the pan beyond a single layer, or the veggies won’t brown properly.

Ingredients

    • 5 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (or other root vegetables, to yield about 2 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or chives, for garnish

Directions

  1. 1.

    Prepare a cartouche by cutting a circle of parchment the size of your sauté pan with a circular hole in the center. This is a good tutorial, except that you should snip off the pointy end of the triangle to make a hole in the center for steam to escape. (If this sounds like poorly pronounced French to you right now, it will make more sense after watching the short video.)

  2. 2.

    Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauté pan (preferably not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and toss to coat with butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and some salt and pepper. Pour in water to go about halfway up the carrots, not more than 1/2 cup. Cover with the cartouche and adjust the heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender on the outside and still a bit too firm in the center.

  3. 3.

    Remove the cartouche, return the heat to medium-high, and cook the carrots uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally, until they brown in spots and the liquid is reduced to just enough glaze to coat the carrots, about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives (or other herbs of your choice) and serve.

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Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Sautéed with Crisp Garlic Recipe

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images - Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Sautéed with Crisp Garlic Recipe

Gordon Ramsay’s In the Heat of the Kitchen has been fun to look through, but I haven’t really been able to put it to much use. Most of the recipes seem rather complex for a hectic weekday night. So I was a little surprised to find this quick little broccoli recipe stuck between “Caramelized baby onions with beet jus” and “corn fritters with lime crème fraîche.” With only eight ingredients, seven of which I had already, this proved to be a perfectly practical side.

While the crisp garlic is fun and those onions sure do add a lot of sweetness, what really separates this dish from a standard accompaniment is the oyster sauce. It somehow binds all the ingredients and transforms this into an interesting side dish worth paying attention to. It’s such a simple addition, too. This, of course, all depends on whether you have oyster sauce just hanging around the fridge ready to go in to random dishes. I do. Its cost is so small, and it keeps surprising me with dishes like this one.

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, thick stems removed, and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Also, get a large bowl of ice water ready. When the water is boiling, dump the broccoli in and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain the broccoli and transfer to the ice water. When cooled, dry the broccoli in a towel.

  2. 2.

    Pour the oil into a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic slivers and saute until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

  3. 3.

    Toss the onions into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the broccoli and cook until hot, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, pour in the oyster sauce, and sprinkle the garlic slivers atop. Season with salt and serve.

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James Peterson’s Pickled Chiles

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james petersons pickled chiles 5d12fd2a3552a - James Peterson's Pickled Chiles

Pickled chiles are a versatile pantry staple. They can be used to add mouth-puckering tang to just about any place you’d ordinarily use hot peppers, they keep for weeks at a time, and they take all of five minutes to prepare.

While it is easy to throw just about anything into a hot pickle brine, James Peterson keeps his pickled chiles simple in Vegetables.

Encouraging readers to experiment with chile varieties (he recommends both hot jalapenos and mild poblanos), he provides a barebones description of the technique as well as a slightly more elaborate recipe. Still, even in the recipe, he adds only onion, garlic, and thyme to the chiles and covers them with brine made of nothing but boiling white wine vinegar and salt.

Ingredients

  • about 1 pound assorted large fresh chiles, such as poblano, Anaheim, or New Mexico, or 1 1/4 pounds small fresh chiles, such as jalapenos
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Directions

  1. 1.

    Rinse off the chiles and remove their stems. Cut large chiles in half lengthwise and, wearing rubber gloves, pull out their seeds. Leave small chiles whole. Fill a 1-quart mason jar with the chiles, distributing the onion, garlic, thyme, and salt evenly among the layers or chiles. Bring the vinegar to a boil and immediately pour it over the chiles. Be sure the chiles are completely covered with the hot vinegar. Immediately twist on the cap and let cool without opening. Refrigerate the chiles and serve within several weeks.

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