February 06, 2011

Tapenade Bread and Fig Prosciutto Salad

Happy Sunday friends!

I feel like this past week has been all about surviving. Surviving in the heat of summer, that is. However, when the temperatures here in Sydney soared to over 40 degree Celsius, I gave up. Obviously I haven't acclimatised to the Australian weather even after so many years in the country!

For once I could not even think about baking, but the heat didn't completely melt my brain and stop me from thinking about food in general. I decided it was time for a light summer meal, using gorgeous in-season and summery ingredients.

Tapenade is such a nice and easy way to lift your piece of bread to the next level. I was generous with olives because we both love them. I've balanced the saltiness with lemon and walnut oil, and topped the bread with some soft and mild goat cheese. Brown Swiss mushrooms with rosemary adds another layer of flavours to this dish.

I can't get enough of figs, and I knew I couldn't go wrong combining them in a salad with some prosciutto, goat cheese and pine nuts. Pomegranate balsamic is such a gorgeous thing to use, I cannot tell you how much I love it in my salads!

So there, our summer meal was complete and I didn't have to put too much effort in to it. I do hope this heatwave goes away soon though, I cannot wait to start cooking stews and casseroles again!

Tapenade Bread & Rosemary Mushrooms
(Serves 2)

about 6 tbsp mixed olives (I used Kalamata and Manzanillo olives), stones removed
2 tbsp caper berries, rinsed
small bunch flat-leaf parsley
3-4 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp walnut oil
goat cheese, for serving
walnut oil, extra, for serving
bread of your choice, for serving

a handful of Swiss mushrooms, cut in half or quarters
1 tbsp olive oil
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
tiny pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place the olives, caper berries, parsley, pine nuts, lemon juice and walnut oil in a processor. Process until smooth but not too paste-like (i.e. can be a bit chunky). Serve with toasted or grilled bread and goat cheese and drizzle with extra walnut oil.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the rosemary and leave for a half a minute or so. Add the mushrooms and sauté for a further couple of minutes, season to your taste. Serve with the tapenade bread.

Fig and Prosciutto Salad
(Serves 2)

2 figs, quartered
5 slices of prosciutto
mixed salad leaves
20g goat cheese
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp pomegranate balsamic

Arrange the figs, prosciutto and salad leaves on a platter. Crumble the goat cheese on top, sprinkle with pine nuts and drizzle with pomegranate balsamic.

Happy Sunday!