A couple months ago I was reading through Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? cookbook and came across an appetizer recipe that I had to try during the summer months. Bread drizzled with olive oil and grilled, then rubbed with raw garlic and topped with prosciutto and smoked mozzarella, then given a quick turn back on the grill to melt the cheese. It sounded like a perfect start to any meal. Heck, it sounded like a meal in and of itself – especially when I’m alone and cheese, bread, and charcuterie is all I need.
I made this exactly as Ina instructs. However my grocery store didn’t have any smoked mozzarella, and I wasn’t going to race around town for one ingredient. Luckily smoked Gouda was in the deli, so I picked up a wedge and breathed in the smokey scent – it would work just fine. The bruschetta-esque starter was served before a family meal of beautifully crimson red salmon fresh from BC. The fish traveled all the way from Vancouver Island along with Kyle’s mom and step-dad who were visiting us while in town for a sailing race (that lasted over 2 days!). This recipe is a must for feeding hungry mouths, on the brink of starvation and barely containing themselves before dinner. One piece suffices to quell the growling stomachs … however, no one would say “no” to another. You can find the recipe online here. On the Food Network site, the title of the recipe is slightly altered, so if you’re looking for it in your copy of How Easy is That? it’s called “grilled bread with prosciutto.”
I was inspired after eating this recipe to try some more ingredients on top of garlicky grilled bread. One night there was a basic snack, where garlic was rubbed on the grilled bread, followed by rubbing a cut tomato on the rough toasty surface, leaving the juices and seeds to be devoured. That was delicious – I suggest you make a quick version of this right now: toast some bread, drizzle with olive oil, rub with garlic, rub with cut tomato, eat. Now thank me.
I then utilized the leftovers from the aforementioned salmon meal to make a quick dinner-for-one that I devoured greedily – Sorry Kyle, you missed out! The coral salmon was reheated in our handy-dandy toaster oven and piled onto a few grilled bread slices, then topped with creamy green avocados. It was divine and I as so consumed by the flavour party in my mouth that I forgot I was eating alone. What are some of your favourite toppings for grilled bread?
Grilled Bread with Salmon & Avocado
You can serve this with cold or warm/hot salmon. Whichever your preference may be. I served mine slightly hot.
2 thick slices good Italian or French bread (preferably from a boule)
extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
4 – 6 oz salmon, cooked
1/2 avocado, sliced
salt and pepper
fresh chives, chopped
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Drizzle the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, until slightly charred. Remove from grill and rub one side vigorously with garlic. Top both slices evenly with the salmon (place salmon on garlic-rubbed side). Top salmon with slices of avocado. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and shower your dinner with the freshly chopped chives.