Incidentally, while talking of tomatoes, if you ever find yourself in Bulgaria you cant escape them, which is fantastic as they are some of the very best you will ever encounter. I don’t know what the Bulgarians do but their tomatoes rival the best from Italy or anywhere else.
These three bruschetta toppings utilise store cupboard staples, all of which are available from Italian specialists Artimondo. The trio of jars costs £8.46 as part of their Calabrian delicacies range. They are produced by Sirianni, a family business founded by Agostino Sirianni in 1999 and located in Cittanova, a small hamlet south of the Aspromonte mountains. The selection includes one jar of black olive paté, one of Spilinga ‘Nduja sausage spread and one jar of Tropea red onion jam.
The red onion jam – Confettura di Cipolle, has the most delightful and delicate colour – a pale rose hue. I’ve pictured it here spread on some crusty toast (obviously, this being bruschetta!) and top it with a little parmesan, and a drizzle of balsamic. I couldn’t miss out on tomatoes entirely, so have topped the Pate di Olive Nere with sliced tomatoes (almost blood red in appearance they are Natoora Baby Plum San Marzano Tomatoesm £1.93 from Ocado) but they would go equally well on top of the ‘Nduja, tempering the heat somewhat. I had a few slices of cold roast chicken to use up, so used them as a topping for the Spilinga ‘Nduja; a little crème fraiche crowning wouldn’t hurt either.
Also pictured is a superbly packaged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (£14.75) complete with traditional wax sealing. Cheese for dipping is a must!
Three Bruschetta Toppings
The black olive paté is a delicious topping for toasts, fresh bread, focaccia and pizza, an ideal condiment for your pasta dishes too. Spilinga ‘Nduja sausage spread features a more vigorous and spicy flavour and it can be enjoyed on bread and pasta as well, the key ingredient of several traditional Calabrian recipes, often served with pasta or beans. The characteristic bittersweet taste of our Tropea red onion jam is, on the other hand, the perfect match for grilled meats and mature cheeses such as pecorino, parmesan, provolone and any smoked cheese as it enhances the cheese flavour without overpowering its aroma.
The jars and balsamic were provided by Artimondo; everything else is by moi though. Artimondo offer a wide range of Italian products including furniture, clothes and jewellery.