TOMATOES AND GARLIC - A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN!

We all know that tomatoes and garlic are a match made in heaven, and this recipe from our friends at The Tomato Stall is no exception. Combining colourful and delicious Isle of Wight Tomatoes with hot garlic breads and fresh pesto, it’s a simple and tasty lunch or starter perfect for summer.

Speciality Isle of Wight Tomatoes on hot garlic bread with pesto

Speciality Isle of Wight Tomatoes on hot garlic bread with pesto

Try to use a selection of tomatoes so that you get a variety of colour, size and flavour.

Makes 6 toasts

  • 1 loaf of French bread or similar [we used Island Bakers’ and required two loaves of bread with some left over for another meal]
  • 100g soft semi-salted butter
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g speciality tomatoes
  • ½ ripe but firm Hass avocado
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 burratta or buffalo mozzarella cheese, drained well
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves, to garnish

For the pesto:

  • 20g fresh basil leaves
  • 15g untoasted pine nuts
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 tbsp good extra virgin olive oil
  • 15g finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt

Speciality Isle of Wight Tomatoes on hot garlic bread with pesto

Preheat the grill to high.

For the pesto, put 20g basil leaves, pine nuts, 1 clove crushed garlic and 4 tbsp olive oil into a food processor and blitz into a paste. Scoop into a bowl and stir in the Parmesan and some salt to taste.

Cut the loaf of French bread across into 3 evenly sized pieces, then each piece in half, horizontally. Mix the soft butter with the remaining crushed garlic and some sea salt flakes to taste.

Thinly slice the tomatoes, discarding the top and the bottom slices, lay them out on a board and season with salt and pepper. Halve the avocado, remove the stone, and peel. Cut across into thin slices.

Place the pieces of French bread on a baking tray and grill on both sides until golden. Remove from the grill and spread the cut face of each piece with some of the garlic butter. Slide them back under the grill briefly, until the butter has melted into the bread. Quickly remove the garlic bread from under the grill and top with the slices of tomato, avocado and red onions. Using a teaspoon, scoop small bits of the burrata or mozzarella onto the top of the toasts. Drizzle over some of the pesto, garnish with the basil leaves and serve while the garlic bread is still hot.

TIP Burrata is a special type of mozzarella cheese, which has been filled with cream. If you can’t get hold of this, small pieces of any good quality mozzarella, such as buffalo, would do.

Isle of Wight Tomatoes are available from a wide range of farm shops and Southern Cooperatives across the Island, stockists nationwide and online at www.thetomatostall.co.uk

Photography: Holly Joliffe

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