Ma Fille and I have started watching Rocco's Dinner Party. We love cuddling up together on the sofa in the heat of the afternoon and watching people cook and eat. Plus, Rocco's easy on the eyes.
The other day we watched the episode about French Cuisine where the idea was to cook a meal using Julia's Mastering masterpiece as a guide and Julie Powell, who became blog and movie famous for cooking every one of Julia's recipes was the special dinner guest. I was excited to see her and get an idea of what she was like, not the Amy Adams version but the true Texas girl done good version. She was funny and self-deprecating while throwing back some wine and doing some quick-witted sexy truffle talk. Like a good Texas girl ought to.
And so I got to thinking about the movie and that first dinner of tomato and basil bruschetta. And then I had to have some. I bought a big ol' ugly ripe and delicious tomato, cut it up and mixed it with a dose of olive oil, fat sea salt and basil and then I cut thick chunks of baguette and fried them in more olive oil (shamefully outrageous amounts) until crispy and toasted. Then I rubbed a cut garlic clove on one side of all the breads while they were still hot from the skillet. Spoonfuls of the tomato/basil mixture on top of the garlicky, toasted olive oil chunks and we were all in heaven; munching enough for a main course before dinner out on the terrace, elbowing the each other out of the way for another slice.
And so I got the idea to do it all again except this time with some marinated artichoke hearts and crumbled salty feta cheese to ladle on top of the devilishly fattening bread. It was too good not to share. A perfect nibble to go with your aperitif on a summer evening.
Marinated Artichoke Heart & Feta Bruschetta
1 fresh baguette, thickly and generously sliced (2 if you're serving more than 4 adults and then alter the other ingredients accordingly)
olive oil--loads but don't feel guilty, just enjoy it.
1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts, slightly drained you've got plenty of oil in the pan we don't want it to cross the line into gross
half a brick of feta cheese, crumbled
Slice your bread into nice big chunks.
Get a large skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil, lashings if you will, hot and then put your bread chunks on one side to toast. Turn and toast other side and remove as they're toasted.
Peel and cut one garlic clove down the middle. While the bread is still hot, rub one side with the garlic clove.
Rough chop the artichoke hearts and add in the feta cheese. Smush it with the back of a fork until just combined. This should be chunky, not overly blended so go easy with the mixing.
Spoon the mixture onto the prepared garlicky toasts and serve warm with a very cold beer or a glass of rosé, preferably outside with friends.