I am one of those people who starts off every January with good intentions of starting a fresh, only eating marvellous low fat salads and fruits etc. Then I remember the leftover Christmas food in the cupboards so I decide to start a fresh once that had all been eaten :)
But this year I’m on a mission so instead I turned the leftover Christmas food into healthy meals. Mainly I have trying to be creative with our leftover cheese board, I made Stilton and broccoli soup, cheesy pasta bake full of veg and I used the goats cheese and figs to make one of these delicious bruschetta’s.
I love making bruschetta or open sandwiches because you only have half the quantity of bread, plus I always buy nice crusty bread for the occasion and you can top them high with a variety of delicious ingredients. I like to keep things simple so I chose 2 main ingredients for each topping and made them shine.
Figs and goats cheese are a classic combination made even better by rocket leaves and balsamic vinegar. I first tried this combination on a pizza and I’ve been obsessed ever since, plus goats cheese is great if you are lactose intolerant as it has a very small amount of lactose and for most is safe to eat. You can use a vegan cheese or nut cheese instead of course!
No cooking required here, just put a handful of rocket leaves on to the toasted bread and then top with sliced goats cheese and figs. Drizzle with balsamic blaze and good quality extra virgin olive oil and dig in!
Use something like a ciabatta or French stick for these sorts of sandwiches and slice it diagonally to make each slice quite long.
Next I chose mushrooms and parsley, another set of ingredients I had leftover. I used a mix of exotic mushrooms but you could use any you have to hand! Parsley freshens the earthy taste of mushrooms but you could use thyme, oregano or even rosemary :) most people have these lying around after Christmas if you’ve made stuffing yourself.
I also added some mushroom pâté, firstly to enhance that delicious mushroom flavour, also to help the mushrooms stay on the bread and lastly because it needed using up! I had shop bought pâté but do try my mushroom and almond pâté recipe if you want to try making your own!
To make this drizzle some olive oil into a hot pan and then add the sliced mushrooms and a little seasoning. Finely chop parsley and add to the pan as the mushrooms and cooking so that it wilts and absorbs some of the mushroom juice. Spread pâté on to the toast and then top with the mushroom and parsley mixture. You could add some dried chilli or garlic to this if you fancy, I didn’t need anything because of the strongly flavoured pâté.
This last bruschetta was going to be kale or cabbage but I spotted these beautiful cavalo nero leaves and simply had to use them! Slice the cavalo nero into chunky pieces and fry in a little oil and seasoning for 5 minutes then add a sliced garlic clove and the juice of a lemon for the last minute or so. I sliced the garlic lengthways instead of crushing it so you could visually appreciate it but also so you got a nice caramelised garlic hit every now and then. Pile on the toast and eat whilst hot!
Why not try seeing what kind of bruschetta you can make with your leftovers this week? It’s a great Sunday lunchtime meal to empty the fridge before you do a weekly shop.
I just want to also say thank you to everyone for your lovely comments on my 2013/ round up post. It means the world to me and was a wonderful way to kick start this new year!