Toasted sfilatino with aromatic tomatoes

This is a great way to keep hunger pangs at bay while you wait for the main course. As soon as the barbecue is ready, simply grill the sliced bread, heap on the sauce and drizzle over plenty of good extra virgin olive oil. To accompany, put out little bowls of pine nuts, lightly toasted in a pan over the barbecue
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Toasted sfilatino with aromatic tomatoes
Lightly toasted pine nuts make a great accompaniment to sfilatino
Serves 6


* 2 sfilatino (Italian bread sticks), sliced lengthways into 3 pieces
* 1 garlic clove, cut in half
* leaves from 4 fresh oregano sprigs
* 18 Kalamata olives, slivered off their stones
* extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
* ground black pepper

For the aromatic tomatoes

* 800g ripe plum tomatoes
* 2 tbsp extra virgin
* olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt
* 1 small piece of dried chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped


1. Prepare the barbecue. Plunge the tomatoes into boiling
water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water.

2. Peel away the skins, remove the seeds and core and roughly chop the flesh. Mix the oil and crushed garlic in a large frying pan. Place on the stove over a high heat.

3. Once the garlic starts to sizzle, add the tomatoes and the chilli; do not let the garlic burn. Cook for two minutes. The aim is to evaporate the liquid rather than pulp the tomatoes, which should keep their shape.

4. Once the flames have died down, position a lightly oiled grill rack over the hot coals to heat. When the coals are medium-hot, or with a moderate coating of ash, toast the bread on both sides.

5. Generously rub each slice with the cut side of a piece of garlic. Roughly chop all but a few of the oregano leaves and mix them into the tomato sauce.

6. Pile the mixture on to the toasted sfilatino. Scatter over the whole oregano leaves and the olive slivers. Sprinkle with plenty of pepper, drizzle with lots of olive oil and serve at once.
Grill by Linda Tubby

Cook's tip

The bread can also be toasted on a hot ridged griddle. Press it down with a spatula to produce the attractive stripes.

More recipes from Grill

Seared mixed onion salad with parsley and balsamic dressing
Salted and grilled sardines

Grill by Linda Tubby, published by Aquamarine, £8.

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