In the tradition of Tuscany, this grilled bread is eaten with a knife and fork as a rustic beginning to the meal.
Place thick slices of bread on a grill (or under a broiler) and toast until golden on both sides. Remove from the grill, rub with a cut clove of garlic, place on a plate and pour over olive oil, sprinkle with a few grains of salt. Serve immediately.
Wash the tomatoes and slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Place the tomato slices on a serving plate and pour over the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt. Just before serving, shred the basil leaves and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes. (You can serve the tomato salad as it is or layer it with 1/4-inch slices of fresh white Mozzarella cheese.)
Grill or toast the bread as above remove from the heat and rub with a cut clove of garlic. Place the bread on plates, drizzle over a little olive oil, cover with the tomato and basil mixture and serve with knives and forks.
Note: In Southern Italy the cook simply rubs the toasted bread with a cut tomato—the tomatoes are very dense.
Copyright © Mary S. Risley