So, when the fabulous bakers at Bertinet Bakery shared their five favourite recipes that are certain to inject a bit of pizazz and creativity into recommendations for sourdough toppings that go beyond the usual offerings, I was all for it.
Bertinet Bakery is a local bakery in Bath renowned for using traditional methods and only few simple ingredients to create delicious bread. They don’t use anything artificial to synthetically boost shelf life or softness. Instead, they invest the time and discipline needed to create real, honest loaves that look, smell and taste amazing.
GARLIC, COTTAGE CHEESE AND HARISSA SOURDOUGH TOAST
2 heaped tbls low fat cottage cheese
1 small grated clove garlic
Squeeze lemon juice
1 tsp Harissa paste
Sprinkle of chilli flakes
Fresh basil leaves
Sea Salt & cracked black pepper
Drizzle of herb olive oil or plain
Mix the cottage cheese with the garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Spread on seeded sourdough toast and top with the harissa, chilli flakes, basil & oil.
CHESTNUT MUSHROOMS AND
POACHED EGGS ON SOURDOUGH TOAST
1 banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 box of mushrooms, sliced
Drizzle of olive oil
Knob of butter
100 ml sour cream
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Truffle (optional, of course)
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the shallot and cook over a low heat until softened. Crank up the temperature and throw in the mushrooms, give a quick stir, then leave. Resist the temptation to fiddle. Stir after a few minutes, by which time the mushrooms will have caramelised slightly. Leave for another minute or so. Season, stir in the sour cream, and sprinkle over the parsley. Layer onto toasted sliced seeded sourdough bread.
In the meantime, half fill a shallow pan with boiling water, add a slash of white wine vinegar and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the water to a VERY gentle simmer. Gently slide the eggs into the water and leave to poach for 4-5 mins, until perfectly cooked (move them gently with a spoon to see). Lift the eggs out and place on top of the mushrooms. Season, and shave over some truffle (if you're lucky enough to have some).
CAPRESE SALAD TOAST
Mozzarella cheese, in ball form
Virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Fresh ripe tomatoes
Fresh dill or basil
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella thickly and arrange over toasted green olive sourdough bread. Drizzle olive oil and Balsamic glaze, then sprinkle fresh dill or basil. Season and enjoy.
SARDINES ON TOAST
Quick pickled onion
200 ml cider vinegar
50 ml water
1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
4 black peppercorns
4 coriander seeds
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Leave the onion in cold water for 5-10 mins to mellow the flavour, then drain. Put everything (except the onion) in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then pour over the drained onion. Leave to marinate for at least 30 mins (the onions can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks once made). Butter toasted malted wheat sourdough bread, top with lamb’s lettuce (or similar), a few sweet, succulent Catrineta sardines in olive oil (tiny little ones), and the pickled onion. Add a sprinkle of cracked black pepper and a pinch of Aleppo pepper (pul biber) or chilli flakes, and squeeze over some fresh lemon juice.
Perfect lunch, full of flavour, texture and colour, and with a healthy dose of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
RICOTTA AND BLACKCURRANT TOAST
Half a lemon
Mix the ricotta with lemon zest and lemon juice. Spread on the toasted seeded sourdough bread.
Drizzle on the black currant jam and sprinkle flaked almonds for crunch.