Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our Kitchenless Adventure: Insalata Caprese Crostini

So far, our summer kitchen has worked out well; in fact, it has been so much fun trying to come up with recipes that are a) tasty, b) easy and don't require a big prep space, and c) can be grilled quickly (given that the evening temperatures are often over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and I don't feel like standing out there cooking something, even under an umbrella), that I have taken to calling the whole enterprise "Our Kitchenless Adventure."

Last night, for example, I made an insalata caprese crostini:
Walu is in Chicago for a few days on a family emergency, so I'm cooking for one. This is the sort of recipe, however, that easily expands or contracts according to need.

For the crostini I used slices of a French country loaf that Market Street sells. It has a tiny bit of sourness to it that I really like--not quite as intense as sourdough, but it is there nonetheless. I dipped both sides in olive oil and freshly ground black pepper, then placed the pieces on the grill, directly over a burner for about 3-4 minutes.

After they were browned on one side, I took them off the grill, flipped the toasted sides up, topped with freshly grated parmesan, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and chopped basil that I am growing in a pot right next to our boffo summer kitchen sink:
(It turns out that picking sweet basil, washing it in a patio sink, and immediately throwing it onto something that is cooking on the grill creates some kind of culinary miracle. I'm not sure which part of that process is responsible, but something certainly is going on that doesn't happen with ordinary from-the-store-basil.) (Probably it is the patio sink part.)

Back on the grill with the crostinis, but this time off to one side of the burner to use indirect heat so that the cheese can melt before the untoasted side of the bread burns.

I was supposed to drizzle balsamic vinegar over it, but I forgot. It turned out that it didn't matter, though, as it was stunningly good even without it. A side salad, and I was good to go. In fact, my only mistake was that I should have made five pieces instead of three.

If this keeps up, I may never move back into my inside kitchen.


  1. Looks delicious. So much better on the grill.

  2. This post reminded me of a book- The Everlasting Meal, cooking with Economy and Grace. If you haven't read it already, I think you'd love it! :)

  3. I love cooking over a open flame or coals. Made a mistake of picking a jalapeƱo pepper off of the vine tossing it on the grill after a few moments over the coals I turned it for a few minutes more. Than I took a big bite and found out that with the natural oils heated up that tasty as the pepper was atomic. It felt like my mouth was on fire. Next time I will remove the seeds first before cooking.


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