I bought some gorgeous Italian pane yesterday, and we ate some of it mopping up the sauce on the veal that P made last night and then again for breakfast today. I let P sleep in of course and kept the children quiet, while I juiced about 20 cold oranges.
I then prepared a saute of fresh tomato and shallot and fried up some crispy bacon and made a herb omelette and filled it with rocket and chilli feta and served it with the toasted pane. I made P a nice flat white and woke him at 9am and let the children give him his gift and then lead him to the table which was set and had the paper ready for his perusal.
After breakfast I cleaned up and took the children shopping while P took some time to finish the paper on the lounge in the sun on the deck. When I returned I made the self-frosting cupcakes below. After that I thought, I have to use this marvellous pane again for lunch. I have made this bruschetta once a long time ago, but I have always remembered how much I enjoyed it. Before there was Nigella, there was Jamie and before there was Jamie there was the River Cafe girls, Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers. This recipe is from the Green book ( I also have yellow and blue and use them for inspiration when planning special dinners) which has many, many fantastic recipes for vegetables. The recipe actually calls for prosciutto and I tell you if I had remembered to buy some while I was out earlier I would have made it that way, but ham had to do and it was still very tasty, and the photograph doesn't do the zucchini, lemon and herb mixture justice at all.
Here is the recipe:
1.5 kg small firm zucchini, trimmed 3 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsely leaves 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves 1 thick-skinned lemon, washed 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 garlic cloves, peeled, 2 finely chopped Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 slices sourdough bread extra virgin olive oil 18 slices prosciutto di parma or ham
Cut the zucchini in half lengthways and then in half again. Slice across into rough dice. Chop the herbs together. Peel the lemon, remove any white pith, then finely chop the peel ( or zest with a microplane if you have one).
Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the chopped garlic and a few seconds later the zucchini. Stir to combine, keeping the heat up high. When the zucchini are beginning to brown, add half the herbs and salt. Put on the lid, lower the heat slightly, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave for a further 10 minutes with the lid on.
Add the remaining herbs and half the lemon peel to the zucchini mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Grill the bread on both sides, rub with the whole garlic clove on one side only and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Spoon over the zucchini, sprinkle with the remaining lemon peel and serve with the prosciuto.