It is HOT here in Georgia - well, considering it's only the beginning of April! It's been .80s all month, so far - it was almost 90 yesterday and 85 today. I just can't bring myself to turn on the AC, so we've been sucking it up. It's not usually that bad (stays 80-82 with the windows open) but when you have the oven on... Unfortunately, I had the oven on today. :-(
We had bruschetta for dinner tonight and I was planning on grilling it, but I was in la-la land as I assembled everything. I didn't even think to turn on the grill to preheat and sometime during the assembly/salad making process un-thinkingly turned on the oven to pre-heat! When the oven dinged signaling it was all warmed up I figured "What the heck, the damage is already done" and just decided to throw the bruschetta in there. Relatively a minor misstep if I do say so myself.
Anyway, it was delicious, although I do like it better on the grill - I like the subtle smokiness it imparts. I made a simple chick pea salad to accompany it (originally, so I wouldn't have to turn on the oven ;-)) and it was good too - it would have been better if I hadn't forgotten I was out of onions! Usually I keep a bowl full on the counter, but I used the last one a couple of days ago and didn't remember to pick a few up at the market yesterday. Oh well! It was great anyway - you should be able to tell by the way I'd eaten half of it before I remembered to take a picture! And remember - always use organic if you can find it - it may cost a little (or sometimes a lot) more, but it's worth it in the end.
small loaf of french bread
1-2 tomatoes, sliced or chopped depending on your preference
fresh basil, whole of ripped into pieces
mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced thinly
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. I use a demi baguette and slice it in half horizontally and then vertically so there are four pieces - just enough for two people (well, if you're a pig like me!). But if you prefer, you can cut the bread into rounds. Place the bread on a baking sheet and place in the oven for a few minutes until lighted toasted. Remove from the oven and rub the toast with the garlic cloves.
Drizzle the bread liberally with olive oil. Top with the tomatoes and the basil. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese. Season again with salt and pepper (don't go overboard, you just want to bring out the flavors). Place in the oven for about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melty and bubbly.
1 can chickpeas
Few leaves chopped lettuce (I use red leaf)
1-2 tablespoons diced onion
1 tablespoon Capers
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/3 cup mayo
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 clove garlic, diced finely
dash cayenne or red pepper flakes (if you like a little kick)
salt & pepper
Throw the first five ingredients into a medium sized bowl. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients to create the dressing, making sure to taste for seasoning. Pour over the salad (be careful, depending on the amount of lettuce/personal preference you may not need it all). If you're not in a gigantic hurry (like I was today), let the salad sit for a few hours or overnight - it will be a million times tastier. I usually sprinkle with a dusting of freshly grated parm and some fresh parsley right before serving. Yum!