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- ½ ciabatta loaf torn into bite-size shards
- A generous few glugs of a neutral/ mild-tasting olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove chopped (optional)
- About 7 medium & small tomatoes (mixed heirlooms that are ripe) – If you use large then reduce the quantity by half to 3 – 4 very large (approx. 700gms)
- Approx. 40gms baby or regular capers drained of brine
- 2 tsp caper brine
- 1 small fennel bulb shaved on a mandolin
- A few fennel leaves, finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp)
- About 8 – 10 basil leaves finely shredded (and a few small ones to decorate)
- A splash of red wine vinegar
- Good olive oil to drizzle
- Maldon sea salt
- Black pepper
- About 10 – 12 white anchovy fillets (cut in half or left whole)
- Preheat the oven to 180C and toss the shards of ciabatta in olive oil until lightly coated. Spread this out on a small baking tray and toast for around 20 minutes until golden and crunchy.
- Add a chopped garlic clove to the pan (tossing it through the bread) about 3 – 4 minutes before the croutons are finished (this prevents them from burning and going acrid). The croutons can be made in advance. Store in a sealed container if you do.
- When you are ready to serve your salad, cut up the room temperature tomatoes into different shapes. This creates different textures and looks pretty. Place in a large bowl and add the drained capers, shaved fennel, fennel leaves & basil, a few splashes of red wine vinegar and a good drizzle of olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper and allow this to sit for a few minutes. This allows some of the juice from the tomatoes to be released which adds to the dressing. Add the croutons and toss everything together lightly. Toss once more and then spread the salad out on a flattish serving platter. Lay the anchovies over the top and serve.
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