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Bruschetta with tomato & 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 grey colour 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 round a farmers' market or in a good supermarket and you should be able to find some. If you can't, a good-quality round cottage-style loaf will give you good results.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)

Calories
189kcal
Carbs
18.4g
Sugar
1.9g
Fat
10.8g
Saturates
1.6g
Protein
3.7g

Serves 6   Approx time: 10   Difficulty: super easy

Ingredients

  • 2 handfuls nice mixed ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • good-quality white wine or herb vinegar
 

Method

The bread is best sliced 1cm thick and toasted on a barbecue, but it can also be done in a griddle pan for ease at home. After that it should be lightly rubbed a couple of times with a cut clove of garlic, then drizzled with some good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The toppings can be as humble or as luxurious as you like, from chopped herbs or a squashed tomato with basil, to marinated vegetables or beautiful cheeses, to lovely flaked crabmeat. The only rule is that whatever goes on top of a bruschetta should be nice and fresh and cooked with care.

Make sure your tomatoes are really ripe when making this topping. Give them a wash, remove their cores and carefully squeeze out the seeds. Place 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 flavours 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.

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