Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Bruschetta (bru-skett-ah, not brushettuh): a simple antipasto for which toppings are only limited by your imagination. I used sea urchin because I had some leftover fresh sea urchin from sushi-making, but usually I make it vegetarian with diced leftover roasted vegetables: potatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, or in the spring, even lightly crushed cooked peas. Get creative, you won't be disappointed!

You can also use cooked diced shrimp, diced sashimi grade tuna raw or lightly seared, or smoked trout or salmon. I've made it with all of the above, and it's simply fantastic!

I used whatever I had at hand, so get creative with the herbs and vegetables. Jicama instead of cucumber, cilantro instead of parsley, lime instead of lemon, onion or shallots instead of scallions, add a bit of diced capsicum or celery to the mix... so many ways to make these! 

On to the sea urchin. Although now most popularly associated with Japanese cuisine - sushi in particular - sea urchin is actually eaten in many coastal places including Chile, Italy, and Korea. Sea urchin roe is best as fresh as possible. A lot like oysters, it in fact, tastes incredible right when harvested from the ocean. If you're buying it from the store, check the packing date and use it within a day or two of the packing date.

These bruschette are quick to put together, and the lemony tang of the topping really complements the briny flavour of the roe. The quick 10 minutes of marinating with the lemon juice, tomatoes, and garlic also makes the roe velvety, almost melt-in-your-mouth. 

Bruschette with Sea Urchin
Makes: 4 large bruschette


- 1/2 cup sea urchin roe
- 1 Persian (or 1/2 English) cucumber, diced small
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced small
- 4-5 cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 3 tbsp. minced parsley
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, extra virgin


- 4 thick slices of sourdough / other rustic bread
- 2 tsp. olive oil, extra virgin
  1. In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix all the topping ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes. 
  2. Turn on the broiler. Brush 1/2 tsp. olive oil on each slice of bread and broil till the edges are browned, 2 - 3 minutes, depending on your oven.
  3. Top the broiled bread with the topping (including a bit of the topping juice) and serve.

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