Sunday, May 8, 2011

Zucchini Bruschetta, Greek style.

When I announce I'm making things like Skordalia with feta and parsley for dinner, I expect my family to be just a teeny bit impressed. Definitely annoys me when they appear apprehensive, exchange looks and double-check to see if there's bread and jam in the refrigerator as a back-up plan. But that's mostly because mum goes and announces to the world I'm making Cornella (really, how the heck does she come up with these things?)

Skordalia is one more Greek thing that I'm positive I've tasted before, unaware of its identity and history. One hungry day (a.k.a dosai-for-dinner day), I typed a bunch of things that were languishing in the refrigerator into the Google search box to cook myself a merry little dinner, and a very promising website popped up. Souvlaki for the soul. Poetic or what? Souvlaki, for me, embodies soul food... the grilled chicken and salty fries wrapped with tzatziki in a fluffy pita... Life doesn't get simpler than that.

So I immediately opened up the website, and eye-feasted on Greek recipes I know I'll be trying very soon. The zucchini bruschetta was what I finally decided I had to eat ASAP... took me less than an hour from starting to photographing to eating. Just what one needs after a hard day's work. Pink grapefruit shower-gel, bruschetta, Dexter on TV. I'm happy.

The skordalia is a spread similar to Muhammara. Bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil and walnuts are blitzed to a smooth paste in a food processor. This can be stored in the refrigerator for a bit. Zucchini gets grilled, feta gets sprinkled on, and baguette slices (brushed with Extra Virgin olive oil) broil in the oven. All of this together forms a cohesively delicious appetizer/dinner.

And I hope this post appeases all the health-food fanatics who complain that all my recipes consist purely of butter and sugar and little else. This one is for you. You've no choice but to make it now and let me know how it turns out.

Zucchini Bruschetta:


For the bruschetta:

1 zucchini, cut into batons.
Extra virgin olive oil, for grilling.
1 baguette or french loaf.
1 small bunch parsley (or mint), chopped.
A few chunks of Feta
Salt and pepper to taste.
1/2 a batch of skordalia(recipe follows)

For the Skordalia:

1 cup of walnuts
1 cup of cut-up stale bread pieces
6 cloves of crushed garlic
2-3 tablespoons of vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


For the skordalia:

Dry roast the walnuts over medium heat for five minutes. Let it cool and set aside.

Soak the bread in water for a couple of seconds, then squeeze out the water and set aside.

In a food processor or mixie, blitz together the walnuts, bread, vinegar and garlic, until it resembles coarse sand. Then add in the olive oil, little at time, until a paste forms. Taste it, add salt and pepper to taste.

Needs way more olive oil than in the photo!

Scoop it out and stash it in the refrigerator, wrapped with cling film until you need it.

For the bruschetta:

Saw the bread into diagonal slices. Spread a teeny bit of olive oil and broil/bake/grill until crisp. Keep it aside.

Mix the zucchini strips with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill or pan-fry then. I used my panini press for convenience's sake.

Spread the skordalia over the toasted baguette slices.

Top with grilled zucchini. Sprinkle over some feta and chopped parsley. Serve.

These would make awesome appetizers or canapes. Or like I said, you can eat half a loaf for dinner.

As always, healthy food can also be loaded with calories (albeit nutritious calories) in form of nuts and olive oil. It is the only way you'll get your Omega 3s and 6s. Unless you can spend loads on Absolut 3G capsules (interesting name, huh? Like vodka they'd serve in a space shuttle). That was totally not a prescription. So now you have two options to avoid the fate of being a stick with no hair and toad skin.

But then again, who says food has to always about nutrition or hunger, anyway?

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