July 21, 2006

Say Hey! Hay! It's Donna Day - Brilliant Bruschetta

A little bit of internet research reveals that Donna Hay is Australia and New Zealand's answer to Martha Stewart, sans controversy. With bits of Jamie Oliver and Alton Brown tossed in for good measure.

One of my new favorite bloggers is hosting Hay, Hay, It's Donna Day #4. The theme: Bruschetta and Crostini. The photos: exquisite.

I'm no Donna Hay. And I'm certainly no Bron Marshall. But I had to give it a shot.

The timing of this challenge is perfect. In case you've missed the weather report for hell, let me enlighten you. It's hot in this part of the hemisphere. H-O-T hot. So until I can keep my hovel in the comfortable 70-to-80 degree range without assistance from the A/C, low and no-cook meals really appeal. Anything that involves the 'big' oven is out for now.

Toaster oven bruschetta was exactly the low-heat, low-effort weeknight dinner I was looking for. After some deliberation, I decided to center my contribution around a sushi theme.

My first selection was a smoked salmon, meyer lemon creme fraiche and avocado bruschetta. i sliced the bread about an inch thick, and dredged one side in Stonehouse Persian Lime Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Tossed the slices oil-side-up on the cookie sheet that comes with my toaster oven and set it to broil. Meanwhile, I grated the zest of a meyer lemon into about 2 tablespoons of Cowgirl Creamery Creme Fraiche. Added a squeeze of the lemon juice for good measure. Topped the toasted bread with sliced cold smoked salmon, the creme fraiche and a wedge of avocado.

Selection #2: spicy tuna sashimi salad, creme fraiche and ikura bruschetta. I prepared the toasts as above, using the Mandarin Orange infused olive oil in place of the Persian Lime. I diced some sashim-grade tuna and mixed in about 2 tablespoons of some Asian sweet-chili sauce. Topped each toast with a tablespoon of my makeshift spicy tuna, a dollop of plain creme fraiche, and garnished with ikura.

I may not have Bron's photography skills, but I'm pretty pleased with the results of my effort. I knew the flavors would work well together -- this is the stuff with which great sushi is made. My bruscetta also struck a pleasant textural balance -- crispy toast, savory seafood, smooth and soft creamy toppings. With a quick arrugula salad, and a fun, fruity glass of rose on the side, my "sushi bruschetta" served as the centerpiece of a light if not low calorie weeknight dinner. *Without* turning on the oven!

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Bron said...

YUM! That looks and sounds amazing! I'm totally drooling here, as I simply adore tuna and salmon, sashimi, sushi the lot!
I'm also glad the theme has suited with the heat-wave in your part of the world, thanks so much for entering and for your lovely kind words!!

peabody said...

Mmmm...avocado and salmon. Looks good.

Tanna said...

That looks totally deliscious and cool, and cool is what we all seem to be wanting these day.
Your photos are beautiful.

Barbara said...

Dolores I really like your idea of cool food for hot weather. Thanks for participating in this round.