Monday, September 6, 2010

Reverse Bruschetta

Recently, at a bridal shower, I had the pleasure of enjoying one of these delightful mouthfuls (you don't have to eat it in one bite, as a matter of fact that would probably be the least preferred mode of enjoyment but, I was just uncouth enough to devour one of these as if it were a deviled egg).

A friend of mine is getting married.  Woohoo!  That's always fun and good cause for food and celebration.  This friend, her name's Amanda, is very generous with her friendships and connections… by that I mean, she does not hoard her awesome friends all for herself.  Maybe you've experienced what I'm talking about, maybe you haven't.  Regardless, she is one of those wonderful people who truly believes, "The More, The Merrier," and so, on several occasions, though few of us knew each other, my friend has orchestrated gatherings where seemingly random people have all been brought together and, as a result, formed new friendships.

One such spawned friendship is that between myself and the wonderfully talented and endlessly fascinating Chef, Luke Cypher, who I first had the pleasure of meeting at my friends rooftop birthday party held several months back.

Luke is an absolutely PHE-NOM-I-NAL chef and is one of the head chefs at a local hot spot for delicious diversions.

As a gift to our dear Amanda, Luke agreed to create a table of delicious hours-d'oeuvres, pair each with a complimentary wine, and then give a presentation, which he does so well, explaining how the flavors of both the wine and the food complimented and connected with one another.

The presentation was educational and the food, extraordinary.  I'm so NOT exaggerating either… it was E-X-T-RA-ordinary!  An explosion of textures and flavors in every bite.

With his permission, I have chosen to highlight this dish, Reverse Bruschetta, as I found it's appearance beautifully simple and it's taste delightfully complex.

The following instructions were provided by the chef himself:
8 roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
salt and pepper, as needed

1 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, small dice
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp Grana Padano, grated*
8 basil leaves

Salt and pepper roma halves then line on a sheet tray. Roast at 375 for 20 minutes until skins begin to blacken slighltly. 
Remove romas from the oven and peel off the skins. Discard.
While romas are roasting heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and carmalize for 20-30 minutrs until goldne brown in color.
Combine caramelized onions with bread crumbs and cheese to make filling. 
Stuff each roma half with a spoonful of filling and top with a basil leaf. 
Can be served chilled or warm with a nice crisp Pinot Grigio.
Is your mouth watering yet?  Make this at an upcoming dinner party and I promise both you and your friends will be blown away by your culinary skills.

Thanks Luke!

*This recipe does include cheese which, is not part of a strict, whole-foods, plant based diet.  I am certain that, were you to leave out the cheese, this dish would still be absolutely delicious but, if you are not restrained by health reasons, I would encourage you to try it as is.  The flavors together just sing, "La La La La La!!!  I'm so yummy!"

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