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Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (Spring Rolls)

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (Spring Rolls)

These fresh and healthy Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are accompanied by a sensational peanut dipping sauce that is totally addictive! Plus my two secret tips that makes rolling these up neatly super easy AND step by step photos!

Restaurant quality peanut dipping sauce and 2 secret tips to make rolling these up a breeze! #appetizer #summer #healthy #fresh

I think that Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are one of those things that people lovebut always assume are just too fiddly or too hard to make. To dispel of that myth, let me…

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Momofuku Marinated Beef Skirt Steak Ssam

Momofuku Marinated Beef Skirt Steak Ssam

In New York, a city that’s all about the latest and greatest, never has there been a chef that has caused such a buzz as David Chang. Founder and owner of Momofuku, David Chang is known for making unique, cheap, mesmerising fusion Asian food that has his patrons talking about it days, weeks, months, even years after dining at any of his restaurants. This is one of his creations which is…

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Lay out a bruschetta spread with bowls of toppings and piles of grilled bread and let your guests help themselves. This bruschetta with three different toppings will take you less than 15 minutes to put together. And did you know that the the grilled bread for bruschetta is actually best made ahead? So convenient for entertaining!

Tomato & Basil, Lemon Cannellini and a refreshing Celery Lime Bruschetta spread. Classic Italian toppings.

There are endless bruschetta recipes “out there”. Google “bruschetta recipes” and you’ll be returned with 19.4 million hits. And I’m betting that 98% of them aren’t authentic Italian ones! I don’t judge – I am all for putting your own spin on things, doing modern / western / fusion versions of traditional recipes. And I’ve eaten and made my fair share of non-authentic bruschetta (eg. ricotta with grilled peach drizzled with honey…oh my!). But you can’t beat the real deal, the way it’s made in Italy.

Today I’m sharing three bruschetta recipes, all done properly, learnt from reading cookbooks of Italian masters like Stefano Manfredi and Lidia Bastianich. Nothing fancy about them, just bruschetta done the way Italian Mamas make them every day. This spread will take you less than 15 minutes to put together. Truly, I timed it from start to finish (excluding the time I spent faffing around styling the food to photograph it).

1. Tomato and Basil (click for recipe) – by far the most well known topping, the key is to use juicy, ripe tomatoes. The proper Italian way to make the tomato and basil topping is to serve it just seasoned with salt and pepper with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. No garlic, no lemon, no red wine vinegar. The garlic flavour comes from rubbing the bread with garlic. This is real Italian Tomato and Basil Bruschetta.

Tomato & Basil, Lemon Cannellini and a refreshing Celery Lime Bruschetta spread. Classic Italian toppings.

2. Celery and Lime (click for recipe) – a unique topping, but I promise you, even celery haters will be converted once they try this. Pureed with lime, garlic, salt, pepper and plenty of extra virgin olive oil, this is incredibly light and fresh and doesn’t have that slight grassy flavour of raw celery that is off-putting for some people. The combination of celery and lime is a revelation.

Tomato & Basil, Lemon Cannellini and a refreshing Celery Lime Bruschetta spread. Classic Italian toppings.

3. Cannellini Beans with Lemon (click for recipe) -another topping that is not as well known but is as Italian as they come. It takes 2 minutes to make – you simply mash canned cannellini beans (any white beans will work), lemon rind and juice and a splash of olive oil. So creamy. SO GOOD.

Tomato & Basil, Lemon Cannellini and a refreshing Celery Lime Bruschetta spread. Classic Italian toppings.

To make a great bruschetta, there are 3 rules:

1. Use a great crusty bread - Proper bruschetta is made with slightly stale bread that is grilled over charcoal, preferably ciabatta or a crusty sourdough. The bread needs to toast well so it is crunchy but won’t disintegrate when you bite into it. I read a great tip somewhere to grill the bread the day before then leave it, uncovered, to let it become stale overnight then to reheat them in the oven just prior to serving. This is so convenient for feeding a crowd and makes the bread fantastically crunchy.

2. Rub the bread with garlic – It was a revelation to discover this tip that Italians have been doing for centuries. No more furious mixing of butter with minced garlic! Just lightly rub the toasted bread with a piece of garlic and be enthralled by how good it tastes when topped with a juicy fresh topping.

3. Fresh produce – it goes without saying so I’ll keep this short and sweet: crappy tomatoes = crappy mediocre bruschetta. (PS Still edible. But it just ain’t the same. Just sayin’). Sorry, no way around it. Same goes with any other bruschetta topping made with fresh produce.

Oh wait, I have one more rule:

4. Be generous with the Olive Oil and Seasoning. Now is not the time to count calories. Bruschetta with a teeny drizzle of olive oil is like a sausage roll with a drop of tomato sauce. Just sad. And salt brings out the sweetness of tomatoes as well as drawing out the juice so it can transform an ordinary tomato into a good tomato, and a great tomato into a stellar tomato!

Here are the recipes. I ended up posting them separately to make it easier to find them later.

Hope you enjoy them! They are so incredibly fast to make – each of the toppings only take a few minutes. They are great entertaining staples to pop into your RecipeTin app!

Trio of Bruschetta Spread Lay out a bruschetta spread with bowls of toppings and piles of grilled bread and let your guests help themselves.
Trio of Bruschetta: Lemon Cannellini Bean Bruschetta

Trio of Bruschetta: Lemon Cannellini Bean Bruschetta

Transform a humble can of cannellini beans into a bruschetta topping with just a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parsley. Good value, creamy and so tasty, this is one of three bruschettas for the Trio of Bruschetta Spread.

Transform a humble can of cannellini beans into something amazing. One of 3 bruschetta toppings for a Trio of Bruschetta Spread. #Italian #appetizer #starter

I always have a can of Cannellini Beans in my pantry. It really amazes me how many uses I find for it – in salads, as a quick mash (check out…

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Trio of Bruschetta: Real Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Trio of Bruschetta: Real Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta is by far the most popular and well known bruschetta in the world. Simply prepared, using plump juicy tomatoes, it will make your tastebuds sing. This recipe is real Tomato & Basil Bruschetta, the way Italians make it. Super simple. The way it should be! This is one of three bruschettas for a Trio of Bruschetta Spread.

Made the proper way Italians make it. One of 3 bruschetta toppings for a Trio of Bruschetta Spread. #Italian #appetizer #starter

There are gazillions of Tomato and Basil…

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Trio of Bruschetta: Celery and Lime Bruschetta

Trio of Bruschetta: Celery and Lime Bruschetta

Something a little different, the freshness of this bruschetta topping will knock your socks off! You will be surprised how different celery tastes when pureed with lemon juice and olive oil – it removes the “grassiness” of celery, making it incredibly light and refreshing. This is one of three bruschettas for a Trio of Bruschetta Spread.

Incredibly refreshing super fast to make and a great way to consume a lot of nutrition without even realising it! #Italian #appetizer #starter

This Celery and Lime Bruschetta topping remains…

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Spicy Thai Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) (Drunken Noodles)

Spicy Thai Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) (Drunken Noodles)

The literal translation of Pad Kee Mao is “Drunken Noodles” because the theory is that these spicy noodles are perfectly accompanied with an ice cold beer and also that they are a great cure for hangover. I can confirm both cases to be true!

Authentic recipe for this popular Thai street food, made with everyday ingredients. #thai #stir_fry #noodles #fast

Get these noodles from the streets of Thailand and unless you have an exceptional spice-o-meter, you’ll be chugging down the beer in an attempt to cool the…

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S’mores French Toast

S’mores French Toast

Most of the recipes on my blog are pretty sensible meals. But occasionally I have a brain implosion and I can’t help experimenting with some outrageously indulgent creations. This is one such creation! For breakfast or dessert, this is dangerously easy to make. It’s simply a a sandwich with Nutella and marshmallows, dipped in ordinary french toast egg mixture then pan fried until golden. Toppings…

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Pulled Pork Enchiladas (Pork Carnitas)

Pulled Pork Enchiladas (Pork Carnitas)

This post is part of a series of meals made using Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork) that I posted last week. It freezes so well and defrosts quickly, making it great to have on hand for fast meals – like Enchiladas. However this recipe can be made using any pre cooked meat – shredded chicken in particular would be fantastic. It takes a mere 15 minutes to assemble (if that),…

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Grilled Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant

Grilled Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant

This is a great example of how simple modern Asian cooking can be. I’ve simply taken a traditional Japanese recipe, thickened the sauce to use it as a glaze and cooked on the outdoor grill. It is so simple and fast, but the flavours will knock your socks off. Miso and eggplant is a gorgeous combination of flavours, and by caramelising the glaze it really takes this to another level.

Melt-in-your-mouth eggplant with an incredible caramelised miso glazed. So simple and fast to make. #grilling #BBQ #barbecue #vegan #vegetarian

It always…

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