We have said before that the Southern Italians can make what they have go a long way, and this dish is ideal for using up stale bread and slightly soft tomatoes.

Dawn: Just as we have the kitchen back up and running, here we have a no cook recipe.

Andrew: It is just ideal for the warmer weather, quite filling on its own, but excellent in a large bowl with a barbecue.

Dawn: And the longer you leave it before serving, the more the flavour develops.


Serves 4

100-200g day old bread, unsliced

300-400g tomatoes (any size or variety)

One red onion

2 tsp of capers

A handful of black olives

One tin of anchovies (optional)

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and black pepper to season


  • Roughly tear the bread into bite size pieces. No need for ceremony here, as this is a rustic dish where presentation isn’t the key issue.
  • Chop the tomatoes into different sized pieces. We have made this with a large beefsteak variety, some plum and vine tomatoes and a few cherry ones, for variety in colour and texture.
  • Place the bread and tomatoes in a salad bowl and mix well.
  • Add the capers, olives and anchovies to the bowl, then sprinkle on the vinegar and drizzle over the olive oil.
  • Mix well to allow the oil and vinegar to coat everything. They will moisten the bread, as will the juices from the tomatoes.
  • Season well, and serve when ready.

Andrew: There are no limits to this dish. A few cloves of roasted garlic, slices of roasted pepper and courgette can be added too.

Dawn: A few basil leaves, and a crumbly white cheese like feta might add to the colour and flavour too.

Andrew: Fantastic!

For more tips and recipes keep following our blog, Facebook and our Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK  for ideas and ways to make your food go further.

Aubergine and Hot Chicken Salad


Here is another of our salad stable! A great way to use up ingredients and keep healthy, too.

Andrew: There are similarities to the spicy chicken salad here.

Dawn: With a more Mediterranean touch, too.

Andrew: We have used the giant garlic croutons, again.

Dawn: Those would be excellent in a soup!


Serves 2

1 day old ciabatta roll (or any day old stale bread)

1 garlic clove

1 chicken breasts cut into 1 cm pieces

1 aubergine cut into 1 cm cubes

1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

A handful of spinach

1 fresh vine tomato

A few sun dried tomatoes, sliced

A handful of pitted black olives

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


  • First make your giant croutons. Slice the ciabatta into 1 cm slices, cut the garlic in half and rub the cut side on both sides of the bread.
  • Fry these gently in a little olive oil until golden on both sides, and set aside.
  • In the same pan fry the chicken and aubergines, with the chilli flakes, until thoroughly cooked. You may need to add a little more oil, or if you want a healthier option, a spoonful or two of water.
  • Allow the aubergine to turn golden and soften up.
  • In your salad bowl, arrange the spinach, croutons and olives, then give a good stir with your fingers to mix everything up.
  • Slice the fresh tomato, and lay slices alternately with pieces of sun dried tomato.
  • Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and if you wish drizzle some of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes as dressing.

Andrew: This was superb served fresh!

Dawn: And equally as tasty the next day in a lunchbox!

Andrew: The garlic really infuses into the bread and aubergine, and develops its flavour into the next day.

Dawn: Great for busy bees!

For more handy hints and tasty treats, and actual alliteration, keep following and our Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK and on Facebook  Lovefood Forfoodlovers where it would be great to get more likes!

Simple Rustic Tomato Sauce


This is one of the easiest and most economical dishes we know. It can be produced using store cupboard ingredients, and is incredibly flexible, served as a pasta sauce, on top of rice, as a pizza topping or as an alternative to ketchup with fish or steak.

Dawn: Is this another of your student specials?

Andrew: It is! By seeking out the discount ranges, a meal for four can be produced for about a pound! 

Dawn: A bargain!


Serves 2 as a pasta sauce

1 red or white onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tin of tomatoes

Olive oil for frying


  • Over a medium heat and in a little olive oil, cook the onion for 5 minutes until it turns translucent.
  • Add the garlic, chilli and basil and cook for a further minute.
  • Now pour in the tin of tomatoes and turn the heat to a low simmer.
  • Stirring occasionally, allow the sauce to thicken over half an hour or so. This will allow the flavours to develop and the sauce to turn a deep shade of red.
  • When cooked it can be served as warm with pasta, or allowed to cool it can be used as an accompaniment.

Dawn: Can we be flexible with the herbs and spices, too?

Andrew: We can. Whatever is to hand can be used. If we were Italian of course we would be using fresh ripe tomatoes!

Fabulous ideas abound at and the Twitter account @Love_Food_UK as well as our Facebook and Mumsnet links.