Bruschetta can be topped with more than the most familiar option of fresh tomatoes and basil. Take this recipe, for example (and inspiration), which combines tender roasted pumpkin (seasoned with harissa paste, the North African fiery specialty) with cottage cheese. Fried sage leaves and shaved parmesan are the essential garnishes. Serve these on their own as a cocktail nibble, or with a salad as a first course for a dinner party.
- 8 slices ciabatta bread
- 1 garlic clove
- olive oil (to taste)
- 1 package cottage cheese
- 400 grams pumpkin (peeled, cubed)
- fresh thyme (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon harissa paste
- salt (to taste)
- 16 leaves fresh sage
- sunflower oil (for frying)
- parmesan (shavings to garnish)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place pumpkin cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with a little bit of olive oil, salt, thyme and the harissa paste.
- Bake until the pumpkin softens.
- In hot oil fry the sage leaves for a short time. Place on paper towels.
- Mash the cheese with a fork and set aside.
- Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the slices of bread. Sprinkle with a little olive oil. Place in a pan on the stove and toast on both sides.
- Spread the cheese on toast slices and top with roasted pumpkin pieces.
- Garnish with the sage leaves and parmesan shavings.
- Serve warm with an arugula, walnut salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.