Can you tell Italian cuisine is on my mind? Between our trips to Italy and my Italian cuisine podcast series, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes.
Traditionally, bruschetta features tomatoes and basil, but bruschetta itself just means “burnt / toasted bread,” so really, we can do whatever we want.
BUT, you can’t say broo-SHET-a. The “ch” sound in Italian is a hard “k” sound (like Chianti or Gnocchi), so it’s pronounced broo-SKET_a.
🌱2 tablespoons olive oil
🌱3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
🌱2 shallots, finely minced
🌱Salt and pepper, to taste
🌱1/4 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
🌱1/2 cup pitted black (or kalamata) olives, finely minced
🌱1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
🌱1 whole grain baguette, sliced
🌱Olive oil for brushing
🌱Basil Cashew Cream (see below)
1. Preheat oven to 400, and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
2. Add the oil to a large sauté pan, along with the garlic, shallots, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Cook over medium heat until the shallots begin to glisten, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and olives, and sauté for 3 minutes more.
4. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and turn off heat.
5. Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with oil.
6. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until about 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Spread a generous amount of cashew cream on each bread slice, and carefully spoon the olive mixture on top.
8. Sprinkle with some minced basil.
BASIL CASHEW CREAM
Because the cashews have to soak for at least an hour, you will want to factor that in to your total prep time.
- 2 cups (300 g) raw cashews soaked in 3 cups (720 ml) of water for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced basil
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water
Once the cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them in a strainer.
Place them in a food processor, along with the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil. Turn on the machine, and let it run for a few seconds to start combining the ingredients.
Add most of the water, and process until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 to 4 minutes, turning the machine off periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Before adding all of the water, I like first seeing what the consistency is; it’s always easier to add more than it is to take any out!
Salt, to taste. The consistency should be thick but spreadable.
For Your Modification
*Instead of basil, add chives, dill, parsley, or any combination you desire.
*Add finely chopped sundried tomatoes and/or olives instead of or along with the fresh herbs.
For Your Information
It will keep well in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.