½ sourdough loaf, crusts removed
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (15g) black garlic cloves
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons oregano leaves
600-800g (about 6) heirloom tomatoes
2 x 125g mozzarella balls, drained
½ cup basil leaves, torn

Pizza Margherita was reputedly invented by pizza maker Raffaele Esposito to commemorate a visit to Naples by Queen Margherita. Swathed in the colours of the Italian flag (red tomatoes, white mozzarella and green basil), it is one of the most popular pizza toppings worldwide.

Here, I make the most of all the wonderful tomatoes available in late summer in a salad with classic margherita ingredients and a rich, pizza-like tomato and black-garlic dressing. You can just use regular tomatoes for the dressing, as their flavour is enhanced by cooking, but use the best tomatoes you can for the salad.

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1.Heat the oven to 200°C fanbake. Tear the sourdough into small pieces and spread on a baking tray.
2.Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a little salt and mix well so all the bread is coated.
3.Bake for 10 minutes, stirring twice until the bread is evenly golden and crunchy. Set aside to cool.
4.Cut the 2 medium tomatoes into a small dice and put into a small saucepan with the 2 cloves garlic, salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
5.Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes until the tomatoes are broken down and mushy.
6.Strain through a sieve, pressing down with the back of a spoon. Discard the pulp. Cool the liquid.
7.Put the cooled liquid in a blender with the black garlic and balsamic vinegar and blend to a smooth dressing. Refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.
8.Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a small frying pan and fry the oregano leaves for about 30 seconds (be careful as they will spit).
9.Scoop out onto a paper towel and set aside to cool. Leave the oil in the pan to cool, too.
10.Spread the toasted bread over a large serving dish.
11.Cut up the heirloom tomatoes and arrange among the bread.
12.Tear or cut up the mozzarella and arrange with the tomatoes.
13.Grind over some black pepper, sprinkle with salt to taste and drizzle over the cooled oil.
14.Top with torn basil and fried oregano.
15.Serve with the dressing on the side for people to drizzle over.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles