Easy Appetizer in Minutes

When it comes to cooking at home, many people find they're just too pressed for time during the week. Long days at the office and obligations to friends and family make it difficult to pull off a home-cooked meal on a weeknight.

However, not all home-cooked meals require a major time commitment. Such is the case with the following recipe for "Braised Radicchio and Smoked Mozzarella Bruschetta" from Sophie Braimbridge's "Stylish Mediterranean in Minutes" (Kyle Books). Easily prepared and cooked in less than 30 minutes from start to finish, this recipe is sure to please even the busiest home chef.

Braised Radicchio and Smoked Mozzarella Bruschetta

Serves 6

1 large head radicchio (about 10 ounces)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 heaped teaspoon sugar

6 slices sourdough or country-style bread

1 garlic clove

1 small smoked mozzarella (about 5 ounces)

Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler to high. Quarter the radicchio and discard the tough heart. Shred each quarter into thin slices.

Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the radicchio and stir until it starts to wilt. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar, cover the pan and gently cook for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning; you want the radicchio softened and vinegar reduced. Remove the lid after about 5 minutes.

Toast the bread, and while the slices are still hot, rub with garlic. Keep warm on the pan.

Grate the mozzarella (or slice the gorgonzola if using). Divide the radicchio between the toast slices. Scatter the cheese over and broil on a high heat until the cheese has just melted, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bruschetta from the broiler and drizzle a little olive oil. Serve immediately.

Note: The dish can also be made with gorgonzola if smoked mozzarella cannot be found. However, if using gorgonzola, reduce the amount to 21/2 ounces as gorgonzola is much stronger in flavor than mozzarella.

HOME CELEBRATIONS DINING TIPS RECIPES ADVERTISERS
Dining, Entertaining & Celebrations Online Special Section