Tomato and Basil Bruschetta with Garlic Butter Prawns

“That chef looks way too enthusiastic about rubbing garlic on a piece of toast”

I grew up watching many cookery shows and of course have been impressed by what they demonstrate but any time a chef made bruschetta I was always perplexed by why they seemed even more enthusiastic than usual. Bruschetta is an Italian dish of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. From where I was sitting, I believed the garlic rubbing would have a much lower effect than the enthusiasm the chefs always seem to demonstrate during those moments.

However, when it became a dish where I worked it was then that I appreciated the element of toasted bread becoming essentially a grater for the garlic and then the hot air around the bread catches the garlic aroma and fills the room. If you like garlic it really is something to be happy about. I had dismissed such a simple, lovely dish all that time so for me it was very much a “don’t knock it till you try it” moment.

I first made this particular dish when I was visiting my girlfriend’s place in London where I had to plan how to get the most of the limited fridge space in her three-person flat share. But of course this is a dish inspired also by my past naivety as explained above so I have replaced the garlic rubbing found in a traditional bruschetta instead with cooking the prawns in garlic butter so that it would soak into the bread.

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There really isn’t many ingredients and please feel free to use your particular tomato and bread variety of choice. I believe it is important to make a recipe suit the cook rather than the other way around.

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This is where it begins: the classic combination of tomato and basil. When I combine them, I  gently fold them together so as not to separate the seeded center from the flesh, allowing every bite of the tomato to burst with liquid.

Those with a keen eye may also notice the excessive amount prepared in comparison to that listed in the ingredients list but this is where forward planning comes in as I personally find this to be a versatile base for many dishes (which will hopefully be demonstrated in the next recipe…).

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The only other element in the dish is to simply pan fry the prawns in garlic butter and toast some bread (ironically the most stressful part for me as I do not currently have a toaster).

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Ingredients                                               Costings

100g Cherry Tomatoes – Quartered      £0.21
Handful of Basil – Finely Chopped        £0.35
20g Butter                                                  £0.13
1 Clove of Garlic – Crushed                    £0.03
165g Prawns                                              £3.00
Salt & Black Pepper                                  ~
2 Slices of Bread                                       £0.20

Total Cost for 2 Servings ~ £3.92

Method

  1. Combine the quartered tomatoes with the chopped basil and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan on a medium heat then add the garlic.
  3. Add the prawns to the pan and cook on each side for approximately a minute on each side until coloured. Use this time to start toasting/grilling the bread.
  4. Spoon two tablespoons of the tomato/basil onto each slice of toast followed by the prawns.
  5. *optional* Top with chopped parsley
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