Friday, July 30, 2004

Using it up

Bruschetta my way

It’s the end of the week and it’s time to clear out the leftovers and make room in the fridge for weekend shopping. My goal this evening was to use up four very sad plum tomatoes and the rest of those Lapin cherries.

I peeled and seeded the plum tomatoes and then diced them fairly fine (about ¼ inch) without really having thought about how I would use them. I originally was thinking that I would cook them in some way, but after they were cut up they looked pretty good. I started thinking salsa or bruschetta, but I didn’t have the makings for salsa.

I’m not sure how you’re supposed to make bruschetta, but I’m pretty sure it’s not like this: cheese and chile bread anyone? That’s right – that’s what I had and that’s what I used. I added a little salt, olive oil and fresh basil to the tomatoes, and toasted the bread. I remembered seeing on a cooking show that you’re supposed to rub a cut clove of garlic on the toast, so I did that. It smelled wonderful as I was rubbing it on, but I think with cheese and chile bread, garlic was beside the point. Anyway, I thought my bruschetta tasted very good – even if it was a little untraditional.

After dinner, the next order of business was to use up those cherries. I wanted to use them all and I wanted to keep it simple, so I decided on a crisp. I based my recipe for the crisp topping on Deborah Madison’s in “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone”, but I cut it in half and swapped some almond meal for some of the flour. There’s not a lot of topping in proportion to the fruit, so you don’t get any big bites of the topping, but it’s still sweet and crisp…and you can feel just a little virtuous while you eat it.

Cherry Crisp

3 tbs canola oil
3/8 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs flour
3 tbs almond meal
¼ cup quick oats
pinch of salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ lbs sweet cherries
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
dash of almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix the oil, brown sugar, flour, almond meal, oats, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon together until well combined and crumbly.

Pit the cherries, cut them in half and toss together with the sugar, cornstarch, and almond extract. Put the cherry mixture in a shallow baking dish (mine was about 7x10 inches, but an 8 inch square dish would work as well) and sprinkle topping over the cherries. Bake for about 25 minutes until the topping is browned and the fruit is hot and bubbly. Serve with ice cream.

Cherry crisp

No comments: