This dish is so good I can't imagine summer without it. The important thing to remember for this recipe is to grill the livin' daylights out of the tomato. It should be on the verge of falling through the grill and into the fire. It takes on a smoky character as the water evaporates from the tomato, concentrating the sweet fruity flavor. It is fine if the skin burns a little. It adds to the character. It is like smoky tomato jam on toast…mmmm! There are a number of delicious ways to garnish it. Read on!
2-3 medium sized tomatoes, Early Girls are pictured
¼ C. extra virgin olive oil, the best you have
¼ C. fresh basil leaves
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 spring onion, about four-inch piece.
¼ tsp. red wine vinegar
3-4 slices of rustic bread, levain, etc.
ANCHOVY FILLETS!!! Talatta brand pictured, …delicious!!
Olives, pitted and coarsely chopped, could add a little grated lemon rind and olive oil
Parmigiano shards-use vegetable peeler
Vary mixture of herbs, doesn't have to be basil
Start barbeque, using mesquite charcoal if possible. Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and generously salt the cut surface. Drizzle some olive oil on the bread slices. Coarsely chop the basil and 2 cloves of garlic. Reserve the final garlic clove to rub on the grilled bread. Place in a small bowl and cover immediately with the best extra virgin olive oil you have. Finely dice spring onion and add to bowl. Add a healthy pinch of salt and the red wine vinegar.
When the fire is ready, brush the grill and wipe it with an oiled paper towel. If the tomatoes are really juicy squeeze off some of the excess water. Spread a small amount of oil on the cut surface before laying it face (cut side) down on the grill. Place the tomatoes around the edges of the fire, not directly over the hot spots. Cook about 8-10 minutes. You may smell a little burning, but not to worry. Using a metal spatula/pancake turner carefully scrape the tomato off the grill and flip. The skin side is now over the fire and will act as a cup, to hold the tomato as it cooks. It should be boiling/steaming around the edges. The liquid will evaporate, which is good. Cook for another 10 minutes without touching.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking grill the bread. Brown well on the oiled side first. When nicely browned rub generously with a clove of garlic. Then, brown the other side.
When done, the tomato should be practically falling through the grates into the fire. You will want to use another spatula or a soup spoon to move it. Place it directly onto a piece of grilled bread. With a knife, cut/smoosh it over the entire piece of bread. Add a generous spoonful of the basil/oil mixture. Cut into serving sized pieces and add your topping of choice. If you don't like anchovies, you must try the Talatta brand! I'll go out on a limb and offer to pay for the jar if you don't like them.
Serve immediately with some rosé or light red…or white! There's not much of summer left. Get these on your bbq this weekend!
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