You can whip up a platter of these delicious, fresh tasting bites with the minimum of effort.
- Yield: 16 toppings each
- 2 ciabatta, sliced and lightly toasted
Olive & Caper Topping
- 4 cups (500 g) pitted black olives
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 tablespoons capers, well rinsed
- 2 grated lemon zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon chilli/hot red pepper flakes
- pinch of sugar
- splash of extra virgin olive oil
- handful freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Tomato & Pepper Topping
- 2 red (bell) peppers, deseeded
- 14 oz (400 g) fresh plum tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
How to Make It
- To make the olive and caper topping, whizz the olives, garlic, capers, lemon zest, chilli/hot red pepper flakes, sugar, olive oil and parsley in a blender. It can either be slightly chunky or puréed, as you prefer. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt (if needed as olives can be very salty), pepper and an extra pinch of sugar if the olives have a particularly sour edge.
- For the tomato and pepper topping, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
- Halve the (bell) peppers and put them with the tomatoes, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with foil, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil, and put in the preheated oven. Remove the garlic when it is soft (after 10–15 minutes) and set aside. Remove the tomatoes after 20–25 minutes. Remove the peppers after 30 minutes, when their skins have coloured, and put them in a sealed plastic bag. Once the tomatoes are cool, remove the skins and put the flesh in a bowl. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the same bowl. Remove the cooled peppers from the plastic bag and peel away their skins. Roughly chop the peppers and tomatoes and put them back in the bowl. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- For the herb pesto topping, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and add half the lemon juice. Lightly pulse in a small blender and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve the assorted toppings on lightly toasted ciabatta slices. Assemble just before you are ready to serve.