This classic starter is an absolute crowd pleaser, and it is also great as canapes for parties.
Pre-heat the oven to 200'C.
Slice the the ciabatta into generous slices: 1.5 to 2cm should be thick enough. Lay out on a baking tray, and drizzle with olive oil. Toast the ciabatta slices until golden.
Remove the root end of the garlic clove, and peel. Set aside.
Once the bread had cooled slightly, scrape the clove of garlic onto each slice. Set aside until needed.
Quarter each plum tomato, and remove the seeds. Cut the resulting tomato petals into strips, then chop into a fine dice.
Top and tail the red onion, cut in half, and peel. Slice each half onion from top to bottom into very thin slivers. Soak the onion slices in cold water to make less pungent.
Pick the leaves from the basil stalks. Stack the leaves, and shred the basil into a coarse chiffonade.
Remove the green top of the chilli, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the rib and seeds. Cut into fine slivers.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove strips of the lemon's zest. Cut into strips, then dice finely. Alternatively, use a zester to grate the lemon, but the diced peel gives great bursts of flavour.
Pick the leaves from the parsley, stack them and finely slice them in a chiffonade.
Drain the onion, and pat dry with some paper towel. Mix all the ingredients for the salsa, except for the parsley leaves. The mix should be glossy with olive oil: if it looks dry, add an extra drizzle.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Pile each slice of ciabatta generously with the tomato salsa, then sprinkle with the parsley leaves.
«Use a day old ciabatta as it will be easier to slice. Instead of toasting the sliced ciabatta in the oven, try grilling it on a hot griddle or on the barbecue for a smokey hit. For extra flourish, add some parmesan shaving on top before serving.»