I love Italy for so many reasons (I wrote about it here) but one of the main reasons is the food. It's where I first fell in love with cooking, where I learnt to ramp of my cooking, to appreciate flavours and textures and most importantly to respect ingredients. If you have a piece of fish fresh from the boat cook it simply with the gentlest of seasoning, if you have a piece of fresh bread rub it with a juicy fresh garlic and a drizzle of local olive oil, ripe peaches are amazing if you grill them and serve with a drizzle of honey... you catch my drift. Simplicity is the key to beautiful Italian cooking and having a glut of tomatoes growing in the garden I used them to make this simple, traditional Italian starter which is done so badly throughout the UK in fake Italian restaurants. This is how it should be done.
400g cherry tomatoes, roughly diced - I used red and yellow
1/4 red onion, very finely diced
good quality olive oil
Ciabatta loaf (or any other stone baked white loaf), cut into thin slices and toasted
clove of garlic
take the tomatoes and onion and mix together with a small dash of balsamic vinegar and a good glug of olive oil. season well and then leave to rest at room temperature for at least half an hour so flavours can develop. Take the toasted bread and rub one side of each piece with the garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. when ready to serve, add a spoonful of bruschetta onto each toast and a couple of the really small leaves of basil for decoration. This is a great canape or starter and goes very well with a chilled glass of prosecco