In the week, if I’m home, I aim for two things for dinner: use as little kit as possible, so one-pot, or do as little shopping as possible, so using storecupboard ingredients, or both. It’s partly a question of time, partly that I don’t want to do loads of washing up and partly I want to use up stuff, rather than waste it. And this tomato and Parmesan clafoutis is a marvel on all counts.
Clafoutis is usually a dessert, with some kind of stone fruit (e.g. cherries, plums or apricots) baked in a batter, so I was intrigued when I found a savoury version in this book, which happens to be the one I have just translated and am, er, publishing next year. (More of that anon.) What a brilliant idea to make one with vegetables and cheese, instead of fruit and sugar. A bit like baked eggs, I think this would be endlessly versatile (I wouldn’t mind testing a fennel version) but, for now, try this. It is really straightforward, works brilliantly on its own for an easy dinner (all it needs is some bread and/or a vegetable/salad) but would also make a great starter or side. And, erm, it’s not bad for brunch either.
Tomato and Parmesan clafoutis
Makes enough for 2 for dinner, or 4 as a side
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
olive oil, 2 tbsp plus a little for the ramekins
finely ground sea salt and black pepper
basil, a few sprigs
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C/gas 4 and grease either two small ovenproof dishes or four ramekins.
2. Heat a dessertspoonful of oil in a saucepan over a gentle heat, finely slice the tomatoes then add to the oil with a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Cook the tomatoes gently for about 5 minutes, stirring now and again. Put to one side.
4. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, add the milk and basil leaves, mix together and season.
5. Add the tomatoes, grate in the cheese then pour into the dishes/ramekins and bake for about 30 minutes until golden. Leave to cool a little before serving.