I’m sure I don’t need to tell you it’s party time, as you possibly sit there recovering from three consecutive Christmas parties in the one night, belly still digesting too many “gourmet” sausage rolls and glasses of sparkling wine topped up by over-eager waitstaff and brain filled with remorse at inappropriate things you may have said to your boss, trying to recover in time to make it to yet another Christmas party today or possibly a birthday picnic for that annoying friend that had to be born so close to Christmas.
This party is a little different though. It’s another International Incident Party, and this time the theme is Colour!
One rainbow cake per month is my limit, so I thought I’d get into the festive spirit with some Christmas colours – red and green.
Green for the colour you turn as you find that you’ve left all your Christmas shopping too late and have to hit the shopping centres on the last weekend before Christmas.
Red for your face as you realise you’re singing along to Feliz Navidad at the supermarket as you fill your trolley with all those last minute necessities like extra bags of Mallow Santas and a few boxes of Cadbury Favourites for anyone you forgot to buy a present for but you may turn up with something for you.
…and then green for your face as you open up just one of the Favourites boxes that night, to have a couple of treats after dinner and then find yourself in a sea of little foil wrappers and shame.
Red for the paint that has been transferred to your previously silver car by a fellow shopper in their attempt to open their car door whilst clutching 6 rolls of wrapping paper and a Christmas ham.
Green for what you feel like smoking after finally struggling through the front door with your purchases and realising you forgot to buy sticky tape.
Ah, but you can forget about the sticky tape for now, as you sit down with a big bowl of the cherries that you didn’t forget to buy despite the red face inducing price per kilo. I could happily sit down with a bowl of cherries and eat until I turned green in the face and my foolishly worn white shirt was stained with the evidence.
I was recently challenged by Annette of Wellness WA to come up with a cherry recipe that was a little more sophisticated than requiring a bowl, a couch and some Napisan. Annette had recently been alerted to the health benefits of eating cherries, which I in turn discovered include slowing/inhibiting the progression of cancer, ageing, neurological diseases, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory conditions such as gout, pancreatitis, or prostitis and allergic conditions such as hay fever, eczema and hives.
They can also apparently aid in the detoxification of foreign substances. Foreign substances such as gourmet sausage rolls, too many champagnes and post-Christmas Party guilt, perhaps.
I love a good challenge, so I got thinking and came up with what I thought would be a nice picnicy use of cherries – a cherry bruschetta. The resulting dish was an absolute hit at my recent book club picnic, and I didn’t want to change a single thing about it. I can very happily recommend this recipe, even if you’re not a gout riddled sneezing old chap.
Merry Cherry Bruschetta
Makes ~16 bruschettini
- Bread – I used a mini ciabatta
- 75 g goat cheese
- 1/4 clove garlic, minced
- rind and juice of 1/4 lemon
- 200 g cherries (about 30)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 10 mL olive oil
- 1 spring onion (scallion, green shallot)
- 1 small red capsicum (pepper)
- 1.5 tsp fine chopped mint
- Combine the goat cheese, garlic, and rind/juice of 1/4 lemon. Stir well and set aside.
- Deseed the cherries and slice each one into quarters. Finely slice the green part of the spring onion (we don’t use the white part in this recipe). Diced the red capsicum.
- Combine the cherries, 2 tsp lemon juice, olive oil, spring onion, capsicum, mint in another bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir well to combine.
- Slice the bread into ~1.5 cm slices. I used 16 slices, about 5 x 10 cm in dimension.
- Spread a layer of the goat cheese mixture over each slice of bread. Don’t use too much, as the cheese can overpower the cherry flavours.
- Add a nice dollop of the cherry mixture on top of the cheese, making sure everyone gets a bit of everything.
- Best served soon after preparing, as the cherries can bleed a little onto the cheese and not look quite so pretty, but if you’re not too precious about this then feel free to make earlier. I had a couple of leftovers the following day and they were still good.
As always, big thanks to Penny for hosting the party again, and please go check out the colourful (or possibly colorful) creations of my fellow partiers.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good bite.