A light and filling Italian bruchetta inspired by cool mornings al fresco in a little Italian cafe in a little area tucked just outside the city. (TIP: Use Masterfoods' Mixed Herbs as an alternative to all the dried herbs. Also, If you don't savour the taste of coriander, omit and use freshly chopped basil & mint instead.)
- 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 -4 sprigs fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 pinch dried marjoram
- 1 pinch dried sage
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1⁄2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 2 slices focaccia bread, thick (or white rustic bread.)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch cracked black pepper
- In a large grill pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- When oil is hot, press slices of bread or foccacia firmly against the grill. Turn the flame on high until the bread has become slightly and pleasantly streaked with char lines.
- Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat, and add crushed garlic.
- Tilt the pan upwards so that the oil collects near the end and 'deep-fries' the garlic until golden brown, on medium to high heat. (this ensures a more wholesome garlic infusion in the oil as you're using a grill pan).
- Set golden brown garlic aside.
- In a small bowl, mix all the herbs together.
- Put in tomato slices in the grill pan and sprinkle the mixed herbs liberally and all over the tomatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper. If you have a cover for the grill pan, do so and let grill on a soft flame for 5 minutes or so. If not, leave to grill for about 7 minutes.
- When the tomatoes are soft, but still retaining their shape - or the time has elapsed, add the grated mozzarella cheese.
- Leave for another 5 - 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and is bubbling.
- Quickly (before the melted cheese hardens), scoop the cheese covered tomatoes out, and place side by side, slightly overlapped, on the grilled bread. (I find using a fork and a spoon helps to scoop the tomatoes out without breaking them.).
- Season with more salt and pepper, and add chopped fresh coriander herb on the bruchetta.
- Serve immediately.