© David Loftus
bruschetta, tomato and basil
A bruschetta is a kind of open sandwich and it's probably where the idea for cheese on toast originally came from. It's normally made from a large loaf of sourdough natural yeast bread, which is a dark gray color and has a higher water content than usual in the dough. It also has a thick crust, and because of this, moisture is retained in the bread, meaning it can be used up to a week after purchasing. Have a look around a farmers’ market or in a good supermarket and you should be able to find some. If you can't, a good-quality round country-style loaf will give you good results.
If you have a large loaf, cut it in half, then slice it crossways about a half-inch thick. Grill these slices on a grill or in a griddle pan until they are crisp on both sides, then lightly rub each piece a couple of times with a cut clove of garlic. Drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt. You can eat the toasted bread just like this, but make sure the oil is the best you can find, otherwise it will never taste good.
tomato and basil
Make sure your tomatoes are really ripe when making this topping. Give them a wash, remove their cores, then carefully squeeze out the seeds and discard them. Place the tomatoes in a bowl, tear in the basil, season with salt and pepper, then toss with a good glug of olive oil and a good swig of vinegar to balance the flavors to your taste. You can serve the tomatoes either chunky or finely chopped, or you can scrunch them between your fingers before putting them on your basic bruschette – really tasty.
• from Jamie's Italy
serves: 4 to 6
tomato and basil
• 2 handfuls of nice mixed ripe tomatoes
• a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper