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Bread & tomato Pappa al pomodoro
starter | serves 4
“I’ve turned a classic Italian thick soup into a more refined plate by making a crispy French toast-style dish. Sear tomato-soaked bread until it caramelises on the outside but is still soft on the inside, then top with a cherry tomato salad.”
1. If you have a gas oven, the night before you plan to serve the dish, arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet, place in the oven and leave there overnight. The bread will dry from the heat of the pilot light. Alternatively, toast the bread in a toaster oven, let the bread cool and stand overnight at room temperature until completely dried out. This step is important, or the bread will fall apart during cooking.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the heirloom tomatoes, garlic, basil, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and blitz until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a ceramic baking dish and submerge the bread slices in it. Let stand for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the cherry tomato salad. In a bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, basil and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the vinaigrette or red wine vinegar and toss to coat evenly.
4. Add the olive oil to a large non-stick sauté or frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, remove the bread slices from the purée and add to the pan. Cook until seared on the underside, about 3 minutes. Flip the bread over and do the same on the other side. Transfer to a warmed platter or divide between plates, arrange the tomato salad on top of the bread slices and serve.
Per serving 426 cals, 9.5g sugars, 30.2g fat (4.5g saturated), 6.6g protein, 29.5g carbs
Recipe Chris Cosentino
Photo Myles New
from Issue 39
ingredients• 4 slices coarse country bread or baguette slices, 2.5cm thick
• 8 very ripe red heirloom tomatoes, about 1kg, cut into chunks
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed
• 20g fresh basil leaves, plus an extra handful, torn, for the salad
• 125ml extra virgin olive oil
• 375g cherry tomatoes, in assorted colours, large ones cut in half
• 30g julienned red onion
• 1 tbsp zinfandel vinaigrette (or good quality red wine vinegar)