7-8 ripe plum or regular tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic or malt vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 baguette French bread stick or similar Italian bread
If you don’t want the skin on the tomatoes, parboil them first for a couple of minutes in boiling water. Drain and let them cool. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are too hot, you can protect your finger tips by rubbing them with an ice cube between tomatoes.) Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters. Also cut out and discard the stem area.
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180C/350F/Gas 4. Chop up the tomatoes coarsely. Put them with the garlic, onion, olive oil and vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.
Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Or make three score on the both sides of the slices. Rub some garlic and brush with oil. Then place them on a heated griddle. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.
Another way is to heat a frying pan and place the baguettes on the frying pan, toasting them for about 3 minutes on each side.
Align the bread on a serving platter. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.