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A fresh lunchtime snack on toast

  This is a great alternative to plain old salad on a summer's day. There's no reason chopped cooked meat, or small cubes of cheese couldn't be added; but I just used the ingredients below. Even these can be changed to suit individual tastes, so it is very versatile.

2 medium tomatoes - cored, seeded & coarsely chopped
1 small green capsicum - seeded & coarsely chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced across the stem
½ cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped small
1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves - torn small (not chopped!)
1 level tsp minced garlic
2 tsps red wine vinegar
4 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp caster or granulated white sugar
salt & black pepper to taste
6 slices Vienna loaf or similar - sliced about 1 cm thick (large slices are good, oval-shaped look better).

In a dish, mix the minced garlic with the olive oil. Lightly brush the bread on each side with this and set aside on some baking paper while preparing the topping. There should be some left for the salad dressing.

Toss the tomato, capsicum, spring onion, cucumber and basil together in a bowl. This can be prepared in advance, then the bowl covered with cling-wrap and refrigerated until needed. Add the red wine vinegar and sugar to the remaining oil/garlic and stir well to combine. Cover and set aside until just prior to serving.

When ready, fry the slices of bread on a griddle, barbecue, or in a frypan. Do this on a reasonably high heat to quickly brown the surface and avoid drying it out inside - not too high for non-stick surfaces!

Now simply pour the oil/garlic/vinegar combo over the mixed ingredients in the bowl and toss lightly. Arrange the toast on plates, then divide the mixture between the slices and serve.

Five words of advice: napkin, knife, fork, dustpan & brush. If you mound the toast up like I did, you'll need them!

Click this Click for PDF file image to view or print recipe.

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