Courgette, Olive & Ricotta Salata Bruschette

The best bread for bruschette is pagnotta, a Puglian sourdough-type bread made using 100% fine semolina flour. It’s easy to find in delis these days – look out for Crosta & Mollica Pane Pugliese. If you live near Wimbledon, visit La Bottega del Pane – the best Italian bakery in England. Their pagnotta is as good as any in Puglia’s Altamura and the shop is full of everything you wish you had brought back from Italy.

Serves

4 as a snack

Total Time

20 Minutes

Ingredients

4 tbsp of olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced, plus 1 clove, halved, for rubbing the toast
4 courgettes (zucchini), halved lengthways, then cut into 1cm half-moons
6 basil leaves
4 large slices of pagnotta semolina bread or good sourdough, toasted
100g of Taggiasca olives, pitted and finely chopped
Juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
30g of wild rocket (arugula), mixed with 1 tsp of good olive oil
50g of ricotta salata
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method

Step 1

Heat half the olive oil in a saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid over a medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and courgettes and ½ tsp of salt. Stir, increase the heat to full and leave for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2

Place the lid on the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, until the courgettes are caramelized and a bit mushy. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Step 3

Tear half the basil leaves into rough pieces and stir them into the courgettes. Check the seasoning, adding black pepper as needed. Set aside. Take the four slices of toast and rub with the halved garlic clove. Place the toast on a serving plate.

Step 4

Place the chopped olives in a bowl. Finely chop the remaining basil leaves and stir them through the olives with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil, to form a paste. Spread the paste equally over the slices of toast and divide the cooked courgettes on top. Scatter over the dressed rocket leaves and finish with shavings of ricotta salata.

Recipe Courtesy Of The Italian Deli Cookbook By Theo Randall | Photography: Lizzie Mayson

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