Apparently this has been the coolest UK summer since 1993 though, weren’t we lucky, even if it was wetter than 2010 it wasn’t as wet as 2007, 2008 or 2009…I am not yet in socks every day, nor is the heating on, but it feels very close. I like the autumn and usually I’d be looking forward to it, except it’s too d**m early! The summer seems so long ago already, now that it practically starts in April and ends in June, that I’m not sure what season we’re in right now. Sumtumn? Aummer?
So, the tomato glut which I bought a week or two ago has to go; I can’t face looking at it any more and salads, though still appealing last week, are now as attractive as wearing flip-flops in February. A London February that is, not a Cuban or Australian one. To get rid of the lot all in one go I used part of an Ottolenghi recipe: all 16 of the toms, a good few kilos, were chopped in half, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and muscovado sugar then roasted slowly for two hours. Whilst they were in the oven, I went and bought a ready-cooked chicken, made some couscous and combined all three (no, not all of the tomatoes…). Rather yummy if I say so myself. And warm.
For several portions of roasted tomatoes you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have):
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil, a couple of tablespoons
balsamic vinegar, a couple of tablespoons
tomatoes, 16 (if you make less, just reduce the amount of oil, vinegar and sugar)
light muscovado sugar, about 1½ tablespoons
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan-assisted/gas 2.
2. Wipe the tomatoes, cut out any dodgy bits (all mine were a tad too ripe in places) then cut in half lengthways.
3. Now, there are two ways of doing the rest of the prep. Ottolenghi’s way is to put the tomatoes, skin-side down (so cut-side up…) into a roasting tray and then drizzle them with oil and vinegar, sprinkle on the sugar and season. That’s what I did, this being the first time I’d used this recipe and trying to be faithful to it. Yet there was an awful lot of sugar that missed its target. So, next time, I’m going to put the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix it together and then either add the tomatoes to the same bowl and stir them very gently to cover them in the mixture or tip the mixture over them in the roasting tray. I think both of these methods will be a little less hit and miss, and time-consuming, than drizzling each ingredient over the tomatoes one by one. See what you think.
4. Roast the tomatoes for about two hours, until most of the moisture has dried out. Your kitchen will be full of the most incredibly delicious smell.
Not a fast one this I grant you, but if you make a lot they keep well in the fridge for a few days, or you can cover them in olive oil to make them last even longer.