Article in brief: A simple and easy recipe for bruschetta that is always a winner and some thoughts on what makes life that little bit happier and more special.
The best things in life are always those that we can’t quantify; moments. With most of us having incredibly fast-paced lifestyles, simple things such as an indulgent, leisurely lunch or a spontaneous stroll by the beach become special treats. The key to a happy life is to get as many of these small little pleasures as possible. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than cooking up a delicious meal for those you care about and chatting over the table for hours on end.
All of life’s little moments should be made as special as possible. Why should you only set the table beautifully when you have guests over? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to sit down to a meal at home every day- even if it was something as simple as soup and toast- while using your best china? Life’s too short to pull out all the stops only once in a while.
As a new writer at Sail eMagazine, I’d like to introduce you to my column and its inaugural post. I believe that the small little details make all the difference, and so in this column I hope to share things that brighten up everyday life, such as a quick delicious recipe, an easy but beautiful arts and crafts project, or a creative and simple way to set your table or arrange some flowers.
For my first post, I’d like to share with you a recipe I always make whenever I have good friends over for a special evening. I love bite-sized treats and finger food- they’re dainty, delicate, and make it easy for people to chat and mingle casually. There’s nothing as wonderful as an elegant piece of food that’s crafted in such a way to be eaten in just a couple of (or even one) bites. They are a delight to the eye and look dazzling when arranged in platters. They work great as party food because they’re quick to make, easy to eat, and provide a lovely variety for guests to choose from.
Bruschetta with pumpkin and sage
- 1 French baguette, cut into 15 2cm thick slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 300g butternut pumpkin, cut into 1cm cubes
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 2 tbsp shredded sage leaves
- 3 tbsp crumbled feta cheese, optional
- Basil leaves, to garnish
- On a heated grill pan, lightly toast the baguette slices for 1-2 minutes on each side or until crisp.
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and then add the onion. Stir to coat in the oil and continue stirring on medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions have become translucent.
- Reduce the heat and cover the pan with the lid for 10 minutes, checking often and giving the mixture a stir so that it browns evenly. Halfway through, stir in the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
- Once the onion mixture has caramelized add the butternut pumpkin and the chili flakes and stir to coat it with the onion. Slightly increase the heat and continue stirring for five minutes. Place the lid on the pan and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
- Next, remove the lid and add the chopped sage leaves, stirring thoroughly. Continue stirring for about five more minutes or until the pumpkin has cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add in the feta cheese now if using. Then, take heaped teaspoons of the onion/pumpkin mixture and spread over each baguette slice. Garnish with a basil leaf.
Sidiqa is 25 years old and is half-Emirati and half-Pakistani. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the American University of Sharjah and a Master’s degree in Conflict Prevention, Sustainable Peace, and Security from the University of Durham in the UK. Sidiqa owns and manages the boutique-café concept store “Spontiphoria” in Wasl Square, Jumeirah.