I just got back from a couple of weeks with my husband in the UK visiting many friends and family, and right near the end of the trip we had an unexpected window of a half hour to kill in London. It happened to be mid afternoon, and we were peckish, but not starving. I looked across a street called Threadneedle Street , which is in the banking district, and shining like a beacon calling my name were the words Jamie’s Italian. Yes, Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant, opened in a gloriously beautiful old bank building just last fall. It was empty, due I guess to the fact it was between meal times; usually this place is tough to get a table at unless you book well in advance.
So, in we went–it had to be done, right? I have a few of Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks, and my favourite by far is Jamie’s Italy. His recipes just work so well. We ordered something light to share, a vegetable bruschetta for two. I took the accompanying photo of it before we tucked in. It was an absolute delight: Light on the bread, heavy on the fresh sweet potatoes and beets (that were first cooked, then cooled), vegetable chips, chopped & blanched Swiss chard, the freshest ricotta cheese I’ve ever tasted, a few sliced chili peppers and sprigs of Italian flat-leaf parsley, all topped with grated fresh Parmesan and a little olive oil and sea salt. There’s no detailed recipe for this… all you need to create it is the bruschetta photo at the top of this post. Enjoy.
One last note: Although this photo below, which I also took in Jamie’s restaurant, includes meat (prosciutto), it was such a great display along with the dried peppers and garlic bulbs that I couldn’t resist including it here.