The trick is using really good tomatoes - fresh, ripe ones that smell like heaven - and to cook them on a high heat to ensure they blister and don’t break down and become watery.
- 1 loaf of good-quality ciabatta or Turkish bread
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Blistered Tomato Topping
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 750 g (1 lb 11 oz) mixed heirloom or cherry tomatoes (a mixture of colours is lovely)
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 heaped tbsp capers
- 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) pitted olives, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp chopped thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ bunch basil, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes 15-20 pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- To make the topping, heat a large frying pan until very hot. Add the olive oil and onion and cook over high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring only every 30 seconds or so to allow the onion to brown quickly.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, capers and olives. Cook over high heat for 5–10 minutes, stirring infrequently, until the tomatoes are blistered. Add the thyme and most of the basil, reserving some basil for garnishing. Season well.
- Meanwhile, cut the bread into slices about 1 cm (½ inch) thick. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. Brush the garlic oil over the bread slices, place on a baking tray and bake until toasted.
- Top each piece of garlic toast with a spoonful of tomato topping and garnish with reserved basil. Drizzle each piece with some more olive oil and add any extra toppings you fancy.
Recipe and images from The Shared Table by Clare Scrine, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99