Cucumber, Fennel & Orange Salad Bruschetta

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Changes are coming, scary changes. Soon, I will be taking on something that scares the living daylights out of me. But my lips are sealed…I know, such a tease. All will be revealed soon I promise but right now, I’m still pinching myself while my stomach does a whole acrobatic routine before I go to sleep at night.

Unfortunately, this means I won’t be able to blog as often as I would like to as my time will be taken up with this new adventure, but I’m not going anywhere, heck no. You may see a few changes coming to The Petit Kitchen in a few months time and it’s all very exciting, and blah blah blah. I dare say any more otherwise I won’t be able to keep it in for much longer.

So let’s talk about food, baby. The best way to eat in these summer (and I use that word lightly on behalf of the UK) months is to indulge your taste buds in fresh, fruity flavours. Comfort food goes out the window for me and I like to eat light and fresh. Little plates of this and that paired with some nice crusty bread and a large glass of something cold and dry transports me from my flat in Cheltenham to somewhere Mediterranean looking over fields of vines and a neverending horizon.

“Like where Freddi?” I hear you ask…

Tuscany of course! And it just so happens that the lovely people at Tuscany Now have inspired us foodies to create some gorgeous recipes inspired by this beautiful place in our little world.

Click the link above or visit #TuscanyNowCookOff to have a look!

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Unlucky for me, I’ve never visited. The closest I’ve got to it is sharing the experience with Diane Lane in “Under The Tuscan Sun,”  It’s one of those places I can only dream of for now…which is why I brought Tuscany to me.

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You can have this as just a simple salad on it’s own or on some olive oil drizzled toasted ciabatta. It’s light, fresh, summery and is just how I imagine Tuscany tastes…

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Serves 3/4, easily doubled/halved

-1 large cucumber

- 1 fennel bulb

-1 packet of parma ham

- Segments of one/two clementines

- Zest and juice of 1 lemon

-Olive oil

-  A few basil leaves

-Optional salad leaves such as rocket/baby chard

For the Yoghurt dressing

- 1/2 cup/125ml greek yoghurt

- 1 tsp white wine vinegar

- Salt & Pepper

With a mandolin or a a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the cucumber into ribbons. Cut the stems of the fennel bulb and remove the tough core, slice finely and toss together with the cucumber in a shallow salad bowl. Tear the parma ham into large pieces and scatter them throughout along with the segments of orange. Squeeze a little lemon juice, a drizzling of olive oil and a seasoning of fresh black pepper and sea salt. Mix the yoghurt with a dash of white wine vinegar and  a little salt and pepper and toss through the salad.

(If serving as a salad, finish with a  grating the zest of the lemon and orange and a few basil leaves and extra salad leave if using scattered on top)

Meanwhile, put a griddle pan on a high heat. Slice the Ciabatta rolls in half and brush with a good lug of olive oil. Toast on the griddle pan until brown and crispy looking. You can also use the grill if you wish.

Assemble the salad on each toasted ciabatta slice with the yoghurt dressing a one last drizzle of olive oil and pepper.