Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tomato-Blueberry Bruschetta & Carrot Miso Canapes

The two titans of the summer season; blueberries and tomatoes are in abundance at all the farmers markets right now. I wanted to make some bruschettas for a party I was having and did not want to do the usual tomato, garlic, onion thing. Blueberries were close by and I was up in Maine a few weeks ago, tasted the first of the season on a hiking trail, and decided to roll with it. The combination was delicious. Garlic and blueberries though? First I blanched a bulb of garlic. Then I roasted the hell out of it, used three cloves and saved the rest. It was the right balance. The Fleur de Sel lends a subtle enhancement to the herbs de provence.

Tomato-Blueberry Bruschetta

1 Baguette
2 Tomatoes
1 Pint Blueberries
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Garlic Cloves, Roasted
Fleur de Sel
Herbs de Provence
Extra Virgin Olive oil

1. Slice the baguette into thin slices. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup olive oil and a few generous pinches of the herbs de province together. Lay bread slices on a cookie sheet. With a cooking brush or spoon, drizzle the mixture over the toast points evenly. Toast in the oven until golden brown. Allow them to cool on the side.
2. Wrap up the 2 cloves of garlic into aluminum foil, sprinkle with olive oil and roast at 500F for 10-15 minutes.
3. Dice up the tomato into small cubes. Drain excess water.
4. Halve or coarsely chop (depending on time and how fancy you want the bruschetta to look) the blueberries.
5. When the garlic is finished, puree it with the lemon and some olive oil.
6. Mix all the ingredients together except for the Fleur de Sel and spread on the toast points. Sprinkle salt onto the bruschetta.

Carrot Miso Canapés with Diced Scallions

I recently went to a David Chang chef demonstration at FCI. The kitchen at Ko was painted as a chef’s dream where new flavors are created using a myriad of techniques spanning Asian, Spanish and French cuisine. He’s not too far off the mark given the uber-positive reviews of culinary heavyweights like Ruth Reichl. One of the flavor combinations Chang’s team uses at Ko for vegetables is an equal mixture of sherry vinegar, miso and butter. It’s one of those tastes that when you taste it is branded into your gustatory memory. The combination is simple and brilliant. For canapés though it is too strong. So to dilute the intensity of the flavors I added a pureed carrot and almond milk. It makes a great spread for anything. Even as a sauce for pasta.

1 Tbls Butter
1 Tbls Sherry Vinegar
1 Tbls Miso
1 Large Carrot or 2 small thin ones
3 Tbls Almond Milk

1. Bring water to a boil. Peel and trim the carrot. Boil until soft.
2. Slice baguette and toast. Reserve and set aside.
3. Dice the scallions thinly and on a bias.
4. Heat up butter and Miso. Whisk together. Once melted and combined whisk in sherry vinegar.
5. In a food processor add all the ingredients except for the baguette and scallions. Puree.
6. Spread the mixture on the toasted slices and garnish with the scallions.

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