Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I miss cooking. I used to have weekly parties, very informal, in which everyone I new who had nothing else to do would show up at my place on a saturday night, because they knew that if they brough a random ingredient, I would add it to whatever meal I was cooking, and we would all end up with a gourmet, definitely better than any college kid ever eats, kind of a dinner. Then we would play a ridiculous party game and laugh until 2 am. The thing is, cooking is no fun if you don't have people to cook for, so the rest of the week I would eat ramen and cold cereal, always looking forward to the saturday night party, that nobody ever planned, and it was better for it. Undoubtedly, someone would call satuday afternoon and ask to come over, and I would say "bring some baguettes!" From there, anyone who came by, called, or who we felt inspired to call, would get the invite and be told to "bring something to eat, or an ingredient for something to eat. We'll figure it out when you get here." That is how you make bruscetta. It is also the best way to eat it.

There are, however, a few basics you need.

Olive Oil (all mormons have it on hand.)
Vinegar (prefferably flavored, i prefer balsamic, but apple or otherwise fruity works)
Fresh tomatoes.

Now for the variables.

Spices. (salt, sugar, rubbed sage, mustard powder, lemon pepper, herbes de provence, basil, any seasing blends you have laying around, and garlic.)

Cheese chunks
onion (whatever kind)
artichoke hearts
tofu chunks
water chestnuts
palm hearts
hot dog chunks (it sounds gross, but if you chop them up enough, you don't get the texture, just the flavor.)

This list can continue to include anything you might want in a salad that will absorb the flavor of the vinegar, but it all must be cubed or chopped. little chunks people, so they can blend together and be spooned onto bread.

use a 2:1 ratio on the Oil:vinegar. If you have good mustard (not the yellow american stuff, but maybe grey poupon, with the seeds in it even) blend a couple of tablespoons of that in too. Then pur it over all of the stuff you have chopped up, and mix it so you have a salsa like consistency (chunky, fresh salsa.) Then season to taste. If you think it needs more salt, add a little sugar first to see if that helps. Mom puts a little extra sugar in more things than we know. A teaspoon here and there makes everything taste more like home.

My favorite blend ever was tomatoes, chives, white onions, avacado, mozerella, and a mustard vinaigrette with rubbed sage and lemon pepper. Two of my roommates got engaged over that particular batch of bruschetta.