by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall counts the ways to enjoy this classic Italian treat. Use tomatoes at the peak of ripeness.

Starters & nibbles


Ciabatta is best eaten on the day of purchase but it does keep for a couple of days in a bread bin. When still fresh, it can be frozen for a couple of months.


Slice ciabatta at an angle and serve with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper for dipping. Or make sandwiches filled with Italian meats, cheese and tomatoes. Ciabatta bread also works well in toasted or grilled sandwiches (known as 'panini' in Britain).