Tomato and basil bruschetta recipe | Nigel Slater

Bread destined for bruschetta should be grilled quickly, otherwise it dries out in the centre. Get the grill heat high so the bread colours in seconds and the crusts blacken enticingly. Golden bread that is crisp outside and moist in the centre, with sweet-sour roast tomatoes, is a wonderful combination.

Makes 4 small toasts

olive oil 6 tbsp
basil 20g
cherry tomatoes on the vine 4 sprigs
crusty white bread 4 small slices
marinated artichokes 4 small

Get an overhead grill hot. Pour the oil into a blender. Tear up the basil and add it to the oil, then blitz to a smooth green puree. Place the sprigs of tomatoes, still on the vine if you wish, on a baking sheet and grill till the skins just start to blacken and burst here and there.

Place the slices of bread on the baking sheet and pour over the basil oil. Season with salt and black pepper, then place under the grill for a couple of minutes, till the edges are crisp.

Place a sprig of cooked tomatoes on each and tuck in the artichokes, halved or sliced. Serve immediately, while the toast is still hot and crisp.

Nigel's new book, Kitchen Diaries II, is published by Fourth Estate at £30. To order a copy for £19.99 (including free UK mainland p&p), go to or call 0330 333 6846.

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