Warm colors, fresh flavors: flower bruschetta, and blackberry cheesecake
September this year, has brought with itself the new season. In this last week as August left its place to September, the sky has changed, the air has changed, the feeling in the air, also has changed. Summer is fading away, slowly gently to greet the new season with its fresh cool breeze, the chilly nights and brisk mornings. The glittering morning dew sits on the grass early in the morning to announce the new day, a new beginning full of opportunities, just like the mist embraces the fields at night like a blanket to lull the world to sleep.
As I opened the window this morning I could see by the color of the sky that we could expect rain, and so it was. As the rain started pouring, letting out that earthy smell so typical of stormy end of summer days, I opened the window wide and enjoyed the rain in the relaxing silence of the early morning. The whole field in front of our house turned to a more brilliant green, and the flowers lifted their beautifully colored heads, relieved to receive a good shower after months of drought.
I patiently waited by the window, sipping a warm cup of tea, while reading a good book until the rain stopped. As soon as the weather allowed it, I pulled up my rain boots and walked to the garden to harvest the goodies for lunch. I must confess that the rain had been a great muse this morning and inspired me to some really yummy lunch ideas, which I decided to turn into a meal and actually make them: zucchini flower crostini, and, since the blackberries are still hanging in copious quantity on the vine, I decided to make a blackberry, lemon cheesecake.
After my abundant harvest I proudly got to work, pulled my hair up, put on my apron, and started getting the veggies ready for my creative new bruschetta: the ingredients needed are some bread, olive oil, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, zucchini flowers, and salt and pepper. I love it when inspirations hits me, I just look at something and that triggers something, and there the spark goes, it’s done, a new idea was born. This is what happened with this new recipe that I am about to share: Zucchini Flower Bruschetta.
Zucchini Flower Bruschetta
Ingredients for five bruschettas
5 slices of home-made bread
5 Zucchini flowers
1/2 garlic clove (optional)
1 ball of mozzarella cheese
5 leaves of basil
Pecorino cheese shavings (sheep cheese)
Salt and pepper
Slice the bread in 5 rather thin slices, when I think of bread I think of sourdough bread, it is my absolute favorite, in taste and consistency. I am a baker and love making my own home-made bread, soon I’ll share my “secret” recipe with you all.
After you prepared and cut up all the ingredients, turn on the oven to medium high heat and let it warm up.
In the meantime, If you wish, you can take the half garlic clove and rub it lightly on each bread slice, just so that the bread delicately takes up the flavor. Sprinkle with some olive oil. After you cut up the tomatoes set the slices on the bread, and layer up with a slice of the cup up mozzarella; Set a basil leaf on top and cover it with the zucchini flower. To clean the flowers, remove the pistil, and rinse it off. Sprinkle the flowers with some more olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste. Decorate with the pecorino cheese shavings.
Place the layered bread slices on a pan and put them in the oven, let them bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is half melted on top. Take the crostini out of the oven and serve while still warm.
This is quite a yummy dish which will impress your guests, since it looks and tastes quite fabulous! I usually serve it with some sliced avocado and cucumber and a slice of prosciutto on bread as I show in photo below.
Once your palate is satisfied with the savory taste of the crostini you are ready to switch to a sweeter flavor. This blackberry cheesecake I am about to share will be the perfect way to end a quick and simple lunch. Two fairly simple and quick recipes that will make you feel very proud and happy of yourself as a cook. I can guarantee that you will receive endless compliments from your guests and family!
Blackberry Lemon Cake
1¼ cups sweet biscuit crumbs
80g butter, melted
500g PHILADELPHIA Block Light Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
200g organic lemon yoghurt
1 tablespoon gelatine dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
Blackberries, for decorating,
COMBINE the biscuit crumbs and butter then press into the base of a greased and lined 20cm round springform pan. Chill.
BEAT the PHILLY and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the yoghurt and gelatine and mix until smooth. Add some lemon juice if you like.
POUR the filling over the prepared base. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Decorate with the blackberries, slice and serve.
What a perfect way to spend a gloomy day! Cooking is the kind of thing that makes the sun come back to shine no matter what the weather looks like outside the window! Stay tuned for more yummy, and creative dishes to savor! Enjoy.