Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

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Seasonal eating at its best, this is a fabulous way to enjoy your glut of tomatoes! Tomato and basil were created for one another, and when you combine them with a lovely Australian organic extra virgin olive oil it is a ‘naked food’ sensation.

serves 6
what you need
6 thick slices of crusty bread (see note)
1kg tomatoes
1 garlic clove, halved
handful basil leaves, torn
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to serve

what you do
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan forced). Arrange the bread slices onto an oven tray, and bake for 15 minutes each side, until crisp.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Use a small sharp knife to remove the core of each tomato and then score a small cross into the base on the other side. Prepare a large bowl of iced water.
3. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until you see the skins begin to come away. Lift out with a slotted spoon, drain, then place into the iced water. This stops the cooking process, so they don’t become mushy. Lift each tomato out, drain well, then the skins will peel away easily by hand.
4. Cut each tomato into quarters lengthways, and remove the seeds. Cut each quarter into long stripes (1.5cm wide) and then cut each strip on an angle to make a large diamond-shaped slice.
5. Remove the bread from the oven and rub each slice with the cut garlic clove while still warm. In a bowl combine the tomato, basil and oil, season with salt. Spoon onto the bread, and serve immediately, sprinkled with pepper.

Note: I use either an olive sourdough bread or a ciabatta, but you could use any hearty sourdough or Italian style bread.

GF option: Use gluten-free bread.

tomatoes are botanically a fruit, but in the culinary sense a vegetable. They are rich in vitamin A and C, and also have good amounts of calcium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus. A real benefit is that they are a rich source of the antioxidant lycopene, which is said to help prevent prostate cancer. Bright red fruit indicates that it is high in lycopene as well as beta-carotene (which converts to vitamin A in the body). Consuming olive oil or avocado with tomato aids in the absorption of these nutrients – and luckily they taste great together!

© Recipe - Naked Food - the way food was meant to be by Jane Grover