Cheesy Tomato Hot-Honey Toasts
Excerpted from Cook It Wild by Chris Nuttal-Smith. Copyright © 2023 Chris Nuttal-Smith. Photography by Maya Visnyei and illustrations by Claire McCracken. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
I am a sucker for fire-grilled sourdough, smoky and golden and just slightly charry in places, brushed with a glimmer of olive oil. Set it out with high-season tomatoes, a bit of Scotch bonnet honey and chopped burrata—the chopping makes the cheese even more voluptuously creamy. It’s a simple platter, but wonderfully effective. Everyone’s drunk on goodness for the rest of the day.
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ cup mild honey (such as clover or wildflower)
- 1 Scotch bonnet chili, halved and seeded (see Note)
- 2 large ripe, flavorful tomatoes, sliced
- ½ pound burrata (excellent) or Stracciatella (burrata’s even sexier cousin) cheese
- Prepared hot honey (thawed)
- Kosher salt
- ½ baguette or country sourdough loaf, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons best-quality olive oil (thawed)
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredient Weight: 29 ounces
1. MIX THE HOT HONEY
Using a mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or a random heavy object, crush the coriander and fennel seeds into a coarse mixture. In a small saucepan or microwavable bowl, combine the crushed seeds and honey.
Add the chili—half of it if you’re spice-averse, or all if you like things very hot.
2. SIMMER, STEEP, AND PACK
Set the pan over medium-high heat or microwave the bowl on high power, bring the honey mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat. Let the mixture steep for 1 hour, then remove and discard the chili.
Transfer the mixture to a leakproof condiment bottle and refrigerate or freeze. (It will keep for 2 months, frozen.)
3. SET OUT THE FIXINGS
Prepare a platter with thick, sloppy slices of tomato, the cheese, hot honey, and a little dish of salt.
4. GRILL THE BREAD AND SERVE
Drizzle or brush both sides of the bread slices with the olive oil, then toast each side over a fire or in a pan, watching carefully so they don’t burn.
Transfer the bread to the platter and serve immediately.
The spice from Scotch bonnets lingers. For best results (and less capsicum-in-the-eyeball-induced hyperventilating), wear kitchen gloves while prepping the chili, and wash your board and knife well once you’re done.
The cheese, up to 4 days, kept cold; the hot honey, 2 weeks, unrefrigerated
Author Chris Nuttall-Smith