Please don’t judge me too harshly on how basic this recipe is. I have been feeling less than enthusiastic about spending time in the kitchen this summer and this recipe shows just how lazy I’ve become over the past few months. I was going to hide behind the guise that this recipe is seasonal – tomatoes are in full swing here on the West Coast – and whilst that is part of the reason why I made this dish, the reality is that it took about 5 minutes from start to finish and that was the appeal.
If you are looking for a healthy, tasty snack or a light lunch, and you have some fresh tomatoes and a handful of assorted herbs, then give this recipe a go. Although it is extremely easy to make, this dish will only taste as good as your produce. If your tomatoes are out of season, then this dish will not pack the same punch as fresh off-the-vine tomatoes and herbs bursting with flavour. Get the best tomatoes you can and go nuts on the herbs!
I honestly hope to be a bit more thrilled about my return to the kitchen come fall, but for now, I’m going to continue enjoying the last breath of summer. Hope you are too!
Jamie Oliver’s Herb Salad on Tomato Bruschetta – Serves 4
3 or 4 ripe tomatoes, mixed colours, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and chopped (optional)
4 slices of ciabatta bread, about 1 inch thick
1 clove of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
Juice of half a lemon
A small handful of arugula, washed and spun dry
A few sprigs of fresh tarragon, leaves picked
A few sprigs of fresh herby fennel tops
A few sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
2 good handfuls of other interesting fresh herbs, such as sorrel, basil, parsley, dill, or chive flowers
If you have a griddle pan, put it on the heat and get it nice and hot. If you don’t have one, you’ll be using your toaster in a minute instead.
Put your chopped tomatoes into a bowl with a glug of extra virgin olive oil and a swig of balsamic vinegar. Mix together and sprinkle with a little salt. If you are using chilli, add it at this point.
Toast the ciabatta slices in your hot griddle pan or a toaster for a minute or so on each side. Once the bread is nicely golden, rub each piece lightly with the cut side of the garlic.
Make a dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, three times as much extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the arugula and herbs in the dressing.
Divide the ciabatta slices between four plates and top each one with a heap of chopped tomatoes. Press the tomatoes down into the bread and finish with a good pile of your herb and arugula salad.