There are as many ways to pile flavour on a slice of crisp bread as there are cooks. Here are some ideas to help you find your favourite!
Yield: 16 pieces
4 thick slices rustic bread
a splash or two best olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, cut in half
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 or 3 local ripe tomatoes
a handful fresh basil leaves, finely sliced or chopped
2 or 3 green onions, finely sliced
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat your barbecue or broiler.
Generously brush each slice of bread with olive oil, and grill or toast it until golden brown on both sides.
Vigorously rub both sides of the toasted bread with the garlic, dramatically scenting each slice. Sprinkle some of the mozzarella cheese on each slice of bread and return it to the grill or broiler for a few moments, just long enough to melt the cheese a bit.
Cut each slice into quarters.
Chop the tomatoes and toss them with the basil leaves and green onions. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Place a spoonful on top of each bread slice.
You can add any flavour you like to the tomato mixture. Try looking to the Mediterranean for inspiration. Olives, capers, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes are all great ideas. Besides basil any fresh herb or pesto works well. For an interesting and tasty twist, try using ripe, local strawberries instead of tomatoes.
Mussels travel with their own built-in sauce base. They’re easy to steam and, when you do, they release a flavourful broth that many connoisseurs swear is the best part. That broth can be flavoured any way you want, so mussels are also a great ingredient to freestyle with.