Friday, 20 July 2012

Tuscan Inspired Recipe

"I want to win a week in one of your Tuscany villas!"

This 'feel good' Tuscan inspired starter I have invented myself, is both super-stylish and sophisticated, and will leave your guests reminiscing of the sun-drenched climbs of Italy. It’s a dish you will be proud to serve.

Put together using 3 staple Tuscan ingredients; (olive oil, tomatoes and parmesan) - and a few others, I wanted this trinity to speak for itself, because although I have never had the privilege of visiting this Foodie hotspot, one thing I do know is that good quality ingredients don’t need fussing with – they simply speak for themselves!

Try not to scrimp on ingredients, buy the best tomatoes, olive oil and Parmesan you budget will allow.

 Tomato Consomm√© with Parmesan Croutons – serves 4

1 1/4 kg of overripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove of garlic peeled and chopped finely
½ tsp salt

50g finely grated Parmesan
¼ ciabatta cut into cubes
Drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of salt

Garnish with:
½ cucumber sliced, and slices cut in half
12 halved cherry tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
A handful of Parmesan shavings

Additional equipment:
Muslin cloth

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180oc
  • Put the cherry tomatoes, garlic and salt into a food processor and pulse them until the juices release.
  • Place a sieve over a large bowl and line the sieve with a piece of muslin cloth.  Pour the tomato mixture into the muslin and allow the juices to drain through.  This should take 30 minutes or so.  After this time gently squeeze the muslin to get a bit more out (not too tight as it’s nice to keep the soup clear).  Set the juices aside

  • Next, in a bowl toss the ciabatta cubes with a generous drizzle of olive oil, then sprinkle over the Parmesan, a pinch of salt and toss again.  Scatter onto a baking tray for about 5 minutes until golden.

  • To assemble – divide your cucumber and halved tomatoes into 4 bowls in an elegant fashion followed by your Parmesan croutons and shavings of Parmesan.  At this stage I think you have 2 options:  Either pour the consomm√© into 4 individual bowls drizzled with olive oil, allowing each guests to pour the consomm√© into their soup bowl at the table (this is visually the best option, and adds an element of fun), or carefully pour yourself into each soup bowl and drizzle with olive oil!

Buon Appetito!

If you love the look of this dish, PLEASE vote for it…just scroll to the bottom of this link:

I’d love to blog some more about my first ever trip to Italy and the gastronomic finds!
The Tuscan Trinity

**Top tip – Make this dish the day before, so it’s one less dish to do on the day. Store the soup in the fridge the croutons in an airtight container.


  1. That looks simple, stylish and scumptious!!

  2. I thought your dish was one of the ones that should have gone through