"This wonderful dish encapsulates everything good about being stranded in a Tuscan farmhouse in late summer," says Ward. "No car, 40-degree heat and the nearest alimentari is over an hour away on foot. This is the sort of dish you could put together, paying tribute to the glory of leftovers. Overripe tomatoes still clinging to the vine, stale bread and staples from the larder come together to make magic happen."
- 5 very ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom ox heart
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 60 ml (¼ cup) red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste
- 2 red capsicum
- 500 gm day-old sourdough bread (about two-thirds of a loaf)
- 150 gm black olives, such as Gaeta or Ligurian
- 2 Lebanese cucumber, halved, seeds removed, thickly sliced
- ½ small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (loosely packed) basil
- 3 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp salted capers, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, rinsed under cold running water and drained
- 1Preheat oven to 220C. To make a tomato vinaigrette crush 2 tomatoes with your hands into a bowl. Crush half the garlic clove, add it to the tomato along with vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil, season to taste and set aside for flavours to meld (1 hour). Push liquid and pulp through a strainer using the back of a spoon. Set aside.
- 2Meanwhile, place capsicum on an oven tray, drizzle with 2 tsp oil and roast, turning occasionally, until charred and softened (30-40 minutes). Cool briefly, then peel and seed capsicum while still warm, cut into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl. Thinly slice remaining garlic and add to capsicum along with 2 tbsp olive oil. Season to taste and set aside until required.
- 3Reduce oven to 140C. Coarsely tear bread into rough 4cm-6cm pieces and place on a baking tray, drizzle with remaining olive oil, season to taste and roast until golden and crunchy (30-35 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- 4To serve, coarsely chop remaining tomatoes and combine with remaining ingredients in a large bowl, add tomato vinaigrette and bread, toss well to combine and serve.
Drink Suggestion: Azienda Agricola Buganza, Roero Arneis Riserva 2010, Piedmont. Drink suggestion by Nigel Ward
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