Makes enough for 4 people as a starter. You will need to double the quantity if you want to serve this for lunch
Bruschetta (pronounced “broosketta”) was originally invented as a good way of using up stale bread by toasting it and adding a range of toppings. The simplest one is made with juicy tomatoes, but you could also try toppings such as mozzarella cheese, basil, ham or roasted vegetables.
1 small rustic loaf or 1 small baguette
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
8 ripe plum tomatoes
1 clove garlic
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)
1.Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Cut the bread diagonally into 8 oval-shaped slices.
2. Lay the bread flat on a baking tray. Using a spoon, drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over all the slices – it won’t cover the bread, just drip over it in places.
3. Wearing your oven gloves, put the tray into the oven. After 10 minutes, take the tray out, turn the bread over and put back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
4. The bread should now be a light golden colour and crisp. Take it out of the oven and rest the tray on a wire rack. Let it cool slightly.
5. For the topping, slice a tomato in half lengthways using the bridge technique. Put the halves on the chopping board with flat side facing down.
6. Using the Bridge technique, cut the tomato half into thin strips, then move your fingers into the claw position and cut the strips into little square pieces. This is called dicing, it doesn’t matter if they are different sizes – they will still taste great!
7. Peel the papery skin away from the garlic clove. Pick up a slice of toasted bread and rub both sides with the garlic. Do the same with the other slices of toasted bread.
8. Put the toasted bread on a big plate, divide the tomatoes among the slices, then drizzle with the remaining olive oil. If you like, you could sprinkle some black pepper over the top, too, or some fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces.
Adapted from The Silver Spoon For Children by Amanda Grant (Phaidon, £12.95).