Saturday, March 23, 2024

Sumac, Tomato & Garlic Ciabatta Toasts

As a variation on Italian bruschetta my Sumac, Tomato & Garlic Ciabatta Toasts are bursting with flavor and a middle eastern flair.  Serve them as a starter or eat several of them as a light lunch.

Sumac, Tomato & Garlic Ciabatta Toasts

I've always loved fresh tomatoes on toast whether it's Italian bruschetta or Spanish pan con tomate. I can eat them all the time and my husband is simply obsessed.  Today's version brings in some middle eastern flavor to the mix.  The use of sumac gives the tomatoes a citrusy note and fresh cilantro (coriander) gives it another level of fragrant citrusy notes.  With the additional flavors of red onion, garlic, olive oil, and a dollop of Greek yogurt these are very addicting and you will probably want to eat more than one slice.  For the base I used Ciabatta rolls that I sliced in half, and pan grilled with butter and garlic.  Feel free to use a good French, Italian, or even sourdough as your base.

These will be perfect during the summer months when vine ripe tomatoes are at their peak but you can make this all throughout the year.  Use the freshest and most ripe tomatoes you can find.  Cherry, grape, and Campari tomatoes are usually tasty all year round and would be good to use when vine ripened tomatoes are not at their best.  These are very easy to make and yet simply delicious!


(Sorry I forgot to add the cilantro!)

What Ingredients do I need?

  • ciabatta rolls - or ciabatta bread
  • butter
  • garlic cloves
  • ripe tomatoes
  • red onion
  • sumac
  • fresh cilantro
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Greek yogurt (such as Fage) or labneh

Substitutions and Variations

  • Bread - can't find ciabatta try a crusty French or Italian loaf, or even sourdough bread.
  • Onion - choose yellow, white, a milder shallot, or chives.  Or leave it out if you choose.
  • Yogurt topping - This dollop of thick yogurt give the dish a creaminess.  You could also use labneh, a soft middle eastern cheese made from strained yogurt.  You can also try ricotta cheese.
  • Cilantro - can't stand cilantro?  Use parsley instead.

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Prep your ingredients first, such as chopping the vegetables so you can pull this together quickly.
  • Dicing Vegetables - I use this wonderful chopper by Mueller to quickly chop my tomatoes and onions.  It has 8 different cutting templates and can accommodate small or large dice as well as julienne, grater, and slicers.  Plus it's part of Amazon's Big Spring Deal and is 50% off!
  • Grilling indoors - I use this indoor grill pan by Cuisinart.  I've had it many years and it had held up beautifully.  It heats evenly and make great grill marks on your food.
  • In season tomatoes - depending upon where you live in the US tomatoes are in season from May - October.  You can find tomatoes year round at the grocery store but their flavors are best during the summer months. During off the off season I would choose a cherry, grape, or cocktail (sold as Campari) tomato as these are usually sweet all year round.  During the summer go for a nice plum (Roma) tomato, heirloom, or juicy on the vine tomato.

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Sumac, Tomato & Garlic Ciabatta Toasts

serves 6

3 ciabatta rolls, cut in half
2 tablespoons of butter softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 vine ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1/3 red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sumac, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped , extra for garnish
extra virgin olive oil
thick Greek yogurt (such as Fage) or labneh
kosher salt & black pepper

In a small bowl mix together the softened butter and the minced garlic.  Spread the butter mixture on each of the ciabatta halves/slices.  Using a grill pan or griddle over medium-high heat grill the bread until toasted and golden.  

In a medium bold mix together the tomatoes, onion, sumac, and cilantro.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Mix to combine.

Divide the tomato mixture among each slice of toast applying it across the surface of each piece.  Top each with a teaspoon of yogurt and garnish with a pinch of sumac and reserved cilantro.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Serve immediately.

Source:  adapted from Bazaar


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