Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Bavarian Smoked Ham, Egg and Beetroot Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta

Bruschetta is an incredibly simple Italian creation, intended as a starter or appetizer. Bruschetta is frequently served with a wide variety of accompaniments but perhaps less often as part of a main course. I thought that as we in the Northern Hemisphere move towards summer and many people start thinking of simple summer salads for dinner at night, it may be worth including here a quick, easy and delicious idea for incorporating bruschetta as a part of a simple and tasty salad meal.

Ingredients per Serving

3 or 4 wafer thin slices of Bavarian smoked ham or similar
3 lettuce leaves
1/2 small white onion
3 small slices crusty bread
1 egg
1 garlic clove
1 small cooked beetroot
3 slices of tomato
3 slices of soft buffalo mozzarella
2 fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Please note that it is imperative that you do not attempt to boil your egg straight from the refrigerator. Whatever way you are cooking eggs, for best results, the eggs should always be removed from the refrigerator a couple of hours before cooking in order that they may reach room temperature. This is particularly important when boiling eggs. Click here for some useful tips on boiling eggs which may help you achieve top results every time.

Put the egg in to a small pot and add enough cold water to comfortably cover it. Put it on to a high heat until the water begins to boil. Reduce the heat to achieve a simmer for six minutes.

While the egg is boiling, wash and roughly shred the lettuce leaves. Finely slice the onion half. Season with salt and pepper, mix together and place as a bed on one side of the serving plate. The Bavarian smoked ham slices should be rolled up and laid on top of the lettuce and onion.

When the egg has been simmering for six minutes, put the pot in to the sink and run cold water in to it for around thirty seconds. Lift the egg out with your hand and crack the shell all around by gently tapping it on a hard surface. Carefully peel the egg under running cold water and discard the shell. Put the egg in a bowl of cold water to cool it quickly while the bruschetta is prepared. Cooling the egg quickly in this fashion will prevent the edges of the yolk from turning that distasteful bluish/black colour.

Bruschetta could not really be much simpler to make. The first step is to toast the slices of bread on both sides, under an overhead grill, until golden. While the bread is toasting, peel and lightly crush the garlic clove. Remove the toasted bread from under the grill and carefully rub each slice on top with the peeled garlic clove. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and plate.

Place a slice of mozzarella on top of each piece of bruschetta, followed by a slice of tomato. You may have to half the tomato slices, depending upon how big they are. Scatter with torn basil leaves.

Remove the egg from the cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Half it carefully and plate. The beetroot should only at this last minute be diced and arranged on the plate, to prevent its juices colouring other ingredients and affecting presentation.

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