This week is National Vegetarian Week.  Whilst I often use meat in my cooking, there are many vegetarian recipes that I enjoy equally.  As it turns out, this week I encountered a mental challenge when eating the following delicious and incredibly flavoursome vegetarian recipe from Gino D’Acampo.  

Bruschette with Roast Pepper and Cannellini Puree and Black Olive Relish

Roasted pepper and cannellini puree on bruschetta


  • 8 tablespoons extra Virgin Oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 400g tinned cannellini beans
  • 2 roasted peppers (from a jar)
  • 50g pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 baguette cut into thick slices
  • 40g Rocket Leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan and fry the onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the smoked paprika and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Place the onion mixture, beans, roasted peppers and 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil into a food processer and blend until smooth.  Season and allow to cool slightly.
  • To make the black olive relish place the olives and parsley in a bowl, pour over the remaining olive oil and lemon juice.  Season and stir well.
  • Place the bread slices on a hot griddle pan and cook for 2 minutes each side until lightly charred.
  • To serve spread some of the cannellini and roast pepper puree over each warm bruschetta and spoon on a little of the olive relish.  Top with a few rocket leaves and drizzle with a touch more olive oil.

Of course, I make a few tweaks to ensure the dish was suitable for myself as an oesophageal cancer sufferer.  Although I used peppers as to the recipe from a jar, next time I would roast a couple in the oven and skin them.  Although, in the end, it didn’t cause any problems with the eating of the dish, I like to avoid anything with skin when at all possible.  Secondly I chopped the rocket really fine as leaf also can present a problem.  Thirdly I used a baguette cut diagonally, I decreased the thickness of slices to 10 mm and fried them in olive oil which I find helps food past the obstruction.

My mental challenge came from the jarred peppers.  I just put up a barrier which I believe ensured that I blocked up.  As I said, the peppers were as to recipe, from a jar and blitzed.  I tried the purée prior to constructing the bruschette but I’d already talked myself into the fact that there were skins in the blitzed purée and therefore it would be a problem, hence first mouthful blocked.  This is something I have come up against previously.  So…I got unblocked, told myself I can eat the Bruchette, which we have talked about in the post about bread.  I went on to successfully eat the dish and even made a second batch which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

It just goes to show that we can be self-destructive from within our own minds.  We must tell ourselves that we have tweaked a recipe so as it works, which I find means the chances are high that it will work.  It’s never going to be easy, however I feel that I’m doing quite well.   

I have to say, whilst a terminal diagnosis of oesophageal cancer could be viewed with a negative attitude, I’ve to date found this journey most interesting.  Life is what you make it and I am making it everything that I possibly can.