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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Broccoli and anchovy bruschetta

Adapted from The River Café Cook Book, officially one of the best books of all time ever.

Sorry that I haven’t written in a while, I’ve been very busy starting a new job and moving into a new flat. Its been an intense few weeks, but I’m feeling absolutely brilliant, and happier than I have felt in a long while. I started out with this blog because I was feeling terribly unfulfilled, and that is certainly not the case now. That definitely doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop blogging now that other aspects of my life are getting better. I feel like my capacity is just getting bigger. Does that make sense?

This little recipe is the first part of a two-parter, otherwise known as ‘nice things on toast, the mini-series.’ Possibly with more nice things on toast to come, because they are always brilliant.

Bruschetta makes an excellent starter or light meal. I love the messiness of it. The unstructured, loose topping and crunchy toast means that you have to use your fingers, with luscious olive oil dribbling down to your elbow. This is especially rewarding when serving it to guests.

This quantity makes approximately 6 pieces of bruschetta – obviously depending on how big your slices of bread are.


About half a large-ish broccoli. Separate into florets and cut each one in half. You could also use tenderstem or purple-sprouting broccoli, which I suppose would be a bit more summery.
20ml olive oil
A large clove of garlic (or two if you like it super garlicky), peeled and thinly sliced
6 anchovy fillets (in oil)
Juice of ½ a lemon (cut the other half of the lemon into wedges for serving)
Freshly ground black pepper

For the bruschetta:
6 slices of ciabatta, or similar lovely Italian bread
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Really good quality extra virgin olive oil


Blanch the broccoli pieces in salted boiling water for a minute or two, until slightly softened but still bright green. Drain well.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan low-ish heat and fry the garlic until it just starts to colour. Add the anchovies and stir until they melt. Add the broccoli and a small amount of boiling water (roughly 1 tbsp). Season well with black pepper, stir and cook for five or so minutes, until the broccoli is soft. Add the lemon juice.

Toast the bread on both sides, and then rub with garlic (I rub one side only).

To serve, pile the broccoli mixture onto the bruschetta and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and serve with lemon wedges.