Montbrun Melange: Olive Bread with Basil, Marinated Tomatoes, and Anchovies

By • July 8, 2010 • 2 Comments

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Author Notes: Six years ago we rented a house in Provence, near Montbrun Les Bains. One of the joys of the visit was buying fresh vegetables and breads at the local market and using the herbs growing outside the front door. One day I invented this appetizer to go with our evening aperitif, using the ingredients we had on hand that day. I called this treat: Montbrun Melange. - JoanGJoanG

Food52 Review: This recipe couldn't be simpler and the ingredients are available all together at their freshest during summer months. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner or lunch and requires no oven or stove — perfect for hot days! The basil was not front and center but the flavors of the bread, the olives, the anchovies, the marinated tomatoes and the basil melt together perfectly. The flavors are rich without being heavy. This recipe could be added to or modified endlessly. I actually made it again with herb focaccia and an olive tapenade and it was great. I also tried adding fromage blanc in lieu of butter on another piece. All winners! This recipe is proof that a cook doesn't need much more than fresh ingredients to put together a satisfying meal. Bravo! - annaleaA&M

Serves 2

  • 2 slices good, dark olive bread or other crusty bread
  • 1 large tomato, cut in thick slices
  • 6 to 8 good-sized basil leaves, otrn in a few pieces
  • 1 tablespoon good, unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 pinch of coarse sea alt a grind of black pepper
  • 4 anchovies thathave been packed in olive oil, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. Mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
  2. Cut the tomato slices in half, and mix with the oil and vinegar mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Toast the bread and spread with butter. Top each silce with two criss-crossed anchovy fillets. Divide the torn basilleaves and place on top of the anchovies on each slice.
  4. Drain the tomatoes and mound them on top of the ahcovies.
  5. Take a bite of your Montbrun Melange, close your eyes, and imagine you are in Provence!
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over 4 years ago annalea

bravo! I tested this recipe tonight and I absolutely loved it. very versatile, very French and SO delicious! just in time for tomato season too.

Dscn2828

over 4 years ago JoanG

Andrea, thanks so much for your great review. I am so glad you liked it and thrilled to have en editor's pick!