Winter comfort food

This concoction was born the day after a dinner, via the combination of a stale baguette, leftover bruschetta topping and a bag of grated gruyere. It brought the baguette back to life and has become a regular Sunday afternoon thing.

It’s serious comfort food.

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What to use – serves 2 (fairly greedy) people

  • 200g cherry / small heritage tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 3 table spoons of olive oil
  • a big pinch of sea salt
  • a bunch of fresh basil
  • approx 170g grated gruyere
  • 2 part-cooked baguettes (250g in total)

How to use it

Set the oven to 200C fan and when hot, put the baguettes on a baking tray into the oven. They take 10 mins to bake fully so set a timer for 8 minutes so they’re a bit underdone.

Put the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic (cut into chunks), salt and basil leaves into a blender. Pulse the mixture a few times until it’s broken down but not blended.

When the 8 minutes are up, take the baguettes out and slice in half vertically, and then in half horizontally – carefully so as not to squash the bread. I do this wearing oven gloves.

Lay the baguette on the baking tray cut side up, and spoon over the tomato mix, spreading it out to the edges. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to taste.

Pile on the gruyere and don’t be stingy – a big heap will shrink down to nothing.

Put the bread and topping back in the oven and bake for another 8 minutes.

As tempting as it will be, try to wait for a few minutes before biting into it. . .

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