fig, pancetta and basil oil bruschetta

i adore bruschetta and regularly choose it as a “nibbles with drinks” option if i’m cooking for friends. it’s particularly useful if you think you might need to take the edge of everyone’s appetite before you eat – either because you’re running behind schedule or because someone unexpected has turned up!

this is an old favourite which, as we approach the festive season, is worth bearing in mind as it takes a bit more effort than usual and is, i think, a bit special.

the sliced and toasted bread (i use ciabatta) is topped with a soft blue or goats cheese, pieces of fig (i cut each fig into six wedges so the bruschetta is easy to eat without cutlery) which is then topped with crispy pieces of pancetta, basil oil* and some black pepper. very easy and very delicious.

* to make basil oil, blitz together fresh basil, good olive oil, a little garlic and some salt & pepper. it will last in the fridge 7-10 days.