Roasted vine tomato and pesto bruschetta

This is one of my favourite starters. It’s worth making just to fill your kitchen with the aroma of cherry tomatoes on the vine, roasting in olive oil. As an added bonus, it tastes as good as it smells.

For the pesto, I wouldn’t bother making your own or spending a lot of money on luxury stuff from a deli. There’s a brand called Sacla, which seems to be available everywhere, and not only is it the cheapest, it also has the strongest, tangiest flavour and works brilliantly in this particular dish.
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Greek yoghurt, honey, saffron and pistachios

Greek-style yoghurt has already been strained to remove some of the liquid content, but you might be surprised at just how much juice you can still squeeze out of it – there’s a good cupful of flavourless water in every 500g tub. After you’ve got rid of that stuff, the yoghurt takes on a completely different texture, becoming richer, thicker and creamier.

This recipe replaces the unwanted liquid with with honey and a saffron infusion. Much nicer.
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King oyster mushroom bruschetta

Posh mushrooms on toast, basically. The bloke at the Bath farmers’ market mushroom stall almost put me off these rather lovely fungi by telling me they taste like chicken, but fortunately they taste exactly like mushrooms with a firmer texture. They do cost about twice as much as most other types, though, and I’m not sure the extra expense is entirely justified. Any lesser shroom will do the job but none will look quite as impressive as a proper king oyster.
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