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The lost art of breakfast II: Tomatoes on toast

This recipe was inspired by my housemate, who regularly has tomato on toast with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Apparently they regularly order this when in Spain, where the tavernas can prepare this for only a few euros.

It was this conversation which inspired this series; there’s something so great about quick and easy breakfasts that can kick start your day.

Indeed, it’s my favourite thing about holidays; when there’s nowhere else you need to be, it's lovely to sit out in the morning sun and enjoy a small spread.

This little series aims to recapture a bit of that holiday breakfast feeling, where there’s nowhere to rush off to and you can enjoy some good food with a coffee whilst listening to the radio or reading.

The following recipe fits perfectly within that schema, because it’s quick and easy with an elegant finish.

This simplicity offers a nice opportunity to put some TLC into the process of making food, so that your breakfast can be a nice relaxing way to start the day.

It’s also filling, whilst remaining light enough to not make you feel sluggish for an hour after eating, meaning you can get on with the rest of your day unencumbered.

I couldn’t help altering the original recipe slightly to add a bit of zest to the thing. Any purists are welcome to stick to the traditional bread, oil, tomato, salt and pepper.

However, the recipe I’ve put together will provide enough food for you to keep some in the fridge and make breakfast every day of the week quickly and easily.


  • Ciabatta

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • 1 red onion, diced

  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced

  • 1 box of cherry tomatoes (c. 400g)

  • The juice of 1 lime

  • Fresh basil

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Chop all the tomatoes in half and put them in a mixing bowl

  2. Dice the onion and squirt the lime juice all over it. The citric acid breaks down something in the onion to take the harshness away, leaving it sweet and flavourful

  3. Once you’ve given the onion a good soaking, add it to the mixing bowl, with the chilli, salt, pepper and basil

  4. Feel free to really go to town with the salt, it bounces off the tomatoes in such a great way, really lifting the flavour profile of the fruit.

  5. (Pro-tip: salt and acid are the greatest food pairing in the world and will boost the taste of more or less any dish as they provide such extreme contrast)

  6. Toast the ciabatta lightly until it is just turning brown (2 and half minutes in the toaster should do it)

  7. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the bread, add as much of the tomato mix as you wish

It’s really that simple!

I usually pair this with an espresso or coffee from my moka pot (I will share instructions on how to make good coffee with these soon); the acidity of the coffee works well with the intensity of the tomatoes, giving you a great flavour kick first thing in the morning.

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