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Bruschetta with Romanesco & Ansjovis

24 July 2022

A great little make-ahead appetizer which is put together within 15 minutes. What a tasty little dish! The earthy romanesco goes so well with the ansjovis, At first glance it might feel that that ansjovis will be overpowering, but it adds just the right amount of salty notes and blends in amazingly with the romanesco. Truly delicious.
I love going to the farmers market on Saturdays, I always come across (and buy) way too many things. But that taste is just so much better!

There’s a great little bread stall on the Noordermarkt in Amsterdam, I was looking for a baguette to make these bruschetta but then I this amazing focaccia caught my eye: shiny and crunch crust, studded with rosemary and salt flakes and amazingly puffy! So… no bruschetta from baguette tonight, but from toasted focaccia instead! But feel free to use the bread you like of course 😉

The recipe is from the cookbook Venice from the chef Russel Norman (owner of Polpo). I used Romanesco instead of Broccoli, but it will taste pretty much the same.

Toasted Focaccia with Romanesco & Ansjovis

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Starter, appetizer, fingerfood, snack, sidedish Italian
By Saffron & Russel Norman Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Cooking Time: 10 Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 8 slices fococcia, ± 2 cm thick or 1/2 baguette ± 1 cm thick (see notes)
  • 350 g romanesco or broccoli rosettes (not too much of the stems)
  • Salt flakes, amount to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can or jar of ansjovis, ± 50 g
  • 1/2 lemon



Slice the bread as required and toast them on a grill pan or under the grill until browning and nicely toasted, no need to add any oil.


Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the romanesco rosettes. Cook until just starting to go soft but still al dente, ± 6-8 minutes depending on the size of the rosettes. Check now and then with a fork.


Drain and rinse the rosettes under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.


Add a good pinch of salt flakes and some black pepper and mash the romanesco with a fork until it's a rough mash. If you like you can quickly pulse it 2 -3 times with a hand blender. Set aside.


Roughly chop half of the ansjovis and add these to the romanesco mix, mix well. Taste and season if needed.


Divide the romaneso mix over the 8 slices of bread and top off with a whole ansjovis filet on each of them.


Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top just before serving.

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