Some things go together so well that you just have to conclude they are a marriage made in heaven. Tomato and basil, put together, make a pure taste of summer that is just celestial. Bruschetta is the ideal vehicle for this magic mix. The bruschetta, strictly speaking, is only the seasoned toast which could be the base for almost any topping (authentic Italian is best) but the pure harmony of tomato and basil is our firm favourite.

• Ingredients
- Loaf of natural yeast sourdough bread or country-style Italian bread
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- 2 – 4 ripe tomatoes
- One bunch of fresh basil
- A dash of balsamic vinegar, seasoning to taste

• Method
1.Cut the loaf in halves and then slice crossways into slices about 1cm thick. Grill the slices in a barbecue or griddle pan until they are crisp on both sides.
2.Peel and slice two garlic cloves and rub the cut edge over the surface of the toast. 3.Then lightly drizzle the garlicky toast with olive oil. 
4.Blanche and peel and chop the tomatoes. Tip into a bowl. 
5. Reserve half a dozen basil leaves and chop the rest of the bunch finely; mix with the tomatoes. 
6.Add seasoning to taste, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and spread the mixture on the warm toast.
7. Serve topped with the whole basil leaves. 
This is the basic bruschetta which is perfect as a starter or as finger party food. 
Try other toppings with the same toast base – try gorgonzola dolce topped with golden sultanas for an unusual taste treat!