Don’t be fooled by that innocuous description. I think these could be life-changing tomatoes on toast, the sort of tomatoes that turn ‘on toast’ from the bridesmaid to the bride. What is it with these Antipodeans and their ability to completely upend the expected? I think if I was ever going to train in a cookery school I might be tempted to go to one in Australia or New Zealand because the recipes that come out of those countries are just unforgettable.
There I was coming home, in an ‘on toast’ sort of mood: you know the sort of mood, one where breakfast is required for dinner, where boiled eggs and soldiers or a bacon sandwich are absolutely de rigueur. Nursery food some might call it, but since I never had a nursery then I wouldn’t know. And, having decided on this, I absentmindedly started browsing in Peter Gordon’s Cook at Home and there they were: fresh tomatoes cooked with butter (so far so normal), herbs (no real surprise except I wouldn’t usually include coriander) and Thai fish sauce (er, right…) served on toast. Simple, as an ‘on toast’ should be, but bloody gorgeous with it which is more of a surprise. He suggests having them with some bacon or sausage and, apparently, they’re a great hangover cure; I’m going to make them again at the weekend to test that theory…
For two tea-time-sized portions you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
freshly ground black pepper (the fish sauce is quite salty so you probably won’t need any salt)
bread, for toasting
red onion, 1
fresh red chilli, 1 (bet you could use dried as well)
large ripe red tomatoes, 3
thai fish sauce, ½ teaspoon
fresh basil, small handful
fresh coriander, small handful
1. Peel and slice the onion. De-stalk the chilli and chop finely and, if the herbs are very stalky, pull the basil and coriander leaves off the stalks. Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
2. Heat the butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat and once melted but not coloured tip in the onion and chilli (I wanted to type garlic then; I am so used to putting them together in butter).
3. Turn the heat up quite high and fry the onion and chilli for two minutes, stirring now and again.
4. Add the tomatoes and fish sauce and stir well.
5. Fry everything for a couple more minutes (putting your toast on about now would be a good idea) until the tomato juice starts to run and create a sauce.
6. Stir in the herbs, take off the heat and add some fresh black pepper.
7. Serve on toast. Really, just really yummy and simple.