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Olive Bread With Tomato Tartare

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The moment I decided to really start exploring plant-based cooking, I knew I wasn’t going to bend over backwards to make mushrooms taste like grilled steak or pumpkin like shellfish – not when there’s such a wonderful spectrum of flavour to explore in the vegetable world. I’d rather enjoy vegetables for what they are than try to force them to be something they’re not… with the exception of this tomato tartare! But I’m proud to say that there’s nothing adulterated about this fully plant-based delight – no unnecessary flavourants – just tomato instead of steak. The omission of steak means this tartare is deliciously light, which makes for the perfect starter, along with a freshly baked olive bread. I know what I’m making (again) this weekend.

Olive Bread With Tomato Tartare

TIME: for the bread, 3 hours for the tomato tartare | SERVES: 4 – 6

INGREDIENTS

for the olive bread

500 g (895 ml) white bread flour

1 x 10 g instant yeast

10 ml salt

15 ml sugar

375 ml warm water

100 g Italian black pitted olives

100 g green pitted olives

375 ml warm water

corn flour, for dusting

 

for the tomato tartare

8 large Roma tomatoes

olive oil

30 ml finely chopped fresh coriander

1 finely chopped shallot

30 ml finely chopped capers

10 ml chopped fresh thyme leaves

5 ml white balsamic vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper

fresh basil leaves

plant powered dairy free hard cheese (vegan cheese), shavings

extra olive oil

METHOD

for the olive bread

Place the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and the olives in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. You don’t have to chop the olives, as they will break automatically when the dough gets mixed. Mix the ingredients together before you start adding the water. With the machine running, add the water. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Rub a clean bowl with a little olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover and let the dough double in size. Dust a breadbasket with corn flour. Once the dough has doubled in size, knock down the dough and shape into a round shape. Place the dough in the basket. Cover with a cloth and leave to double in size again. Heat the oven to 200 °C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Once the bread has doubled in size, turn the bread out onto the tray. Use a very sharp blade to make a slit on top of the bread. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. To make sure your bread is baked – give a knock on top and if it makes a hollow sound, it’s baked!

for the tomato tartare

Heat the oven to 180 °C. Halve the tomatoes and scoop out the pips. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out and let the tomatoes cool. Remove the skins and cube the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and add the coriander, shallots, capers, thyme and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Use a round plating ring and place it on your serving plate. Spoon the tomatoes into the ring. Remove the ring and garnish with fresh basil leaves and cheese shavings. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve with the olive bread.

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