- 1⁄2 day-old baguette, broken into chunks
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 6 colourful ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- Pitted olives of your choice
- garlic cloves, peeled and crushed to a paste with Maldon salt or fleur de sel
- 4 T red wine vinegar
- 1 large bunch basil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place the chunks of bread on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Toast under the grill to make “croutons”.
In a large salad bowl, mix the tomatoes, red onion, olives and toasted bread.
Mix the smashed garlic paste with the olive oil and red wine vinegar and season to taste. Pour over the bread and tomatoes and mix gently with your hands. Don’t leave this for too long before serving, or the bread will lose its crunch.
Just before serving, tear over the basil leaves, squeeze over the lemon juice and mix once more.
Cook’s note: You can add other ingredients like Ruth Rogers’ roasted peppers, capers and anchovies or salami and Parmesan.