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Tomato bruschetta with blue cheese and confit chilli

Sweet, salty, sharp and punchy - this recipe has it all. You'll need very ripe tomatoes, preferably on the large size: Brandywine, Black Krim, and San Marzano, are ideal. For the cheese, Stilton is good, although Dorset Blue Vinny is worth seeking out. The intensely flavoured confit chilli oil is particularly special and you 'll be glad that the quantities here make more than you need for this recipe. Keep the rest in a sealed bottle in the fridge and use to add zing to salad dressings and marinades.


To make the confit chilli oil, slice the chillies open from tip to tail, then remove the seeds with a spoon and discard. Slice the chilli into strips and place them in a small saucepan with the olive oil, a few thyme leaves and the unpeeled garlic clove. Heat slowly until the oil is simmering very gently and cook the chillies until soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the oil to cool.

For the bruschetta, preheat the grill to high. Drizzle or brush a little of the confit chilli oil over the bread slices. Toast on both sides until golden, then rub them all over with the garlic clove.

Place the tomato slices on to the bruschetta, crumble over plenty of blue cheese and flash them under the grill until bubbling. Place on warm plates and season with pepper (the cheese will probably provide enough saltiness). Spoon over a little more of the confit chilli oil and serve immediately.

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  • 4 slices of good, rustic white bread
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 200g blue cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the confit chilli oil:

  • 6 mildish chillies, such as Poblano
  • 250ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove (unpeeled)

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Veg Patch Handbook