Monday, April 16, 2007

Baked tomatoes

The large, vine tomatoes -- mostly from Holland -- that are widely available in the shops round here are far less impressive in taste than in appearance. But they can be improved by slow baking. I cut them in half crossways, insert slivers of garlic in the pulpy bits, anoint them with olive oil, season them with salt and pepper, and bake them at gas mark S/130 C for about two hours. (Whether this is better than fast cooking at high heat, I am not sure; but it means that you do not have to worry about them.)

They were the only new items I bought yesterday for lunch. Cooking meals from leftovers is particularly satisfying: you're aware, of course, of the money you're saving, and of the waste you're avoiding; but also you can surprise yourself with the quality of a meal you might not, in a more extravagant mood, have enjoyed.

I had a Camembert, brought back from France and only tinkered with at a dinner party the night before. I laid slices of the cheese on top of the baked tomatoes, and put them back into the oven for just a couple of minutes. We ate the tomatoes with some marinated olives, also remaining from the party; with a third of a bottle of organic artichoke hearts; and with some chunky bread.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Just thanking you for your sensible 'recipes' and your New Statesman critique of Allegra McEvedy. I love using leftovers and don't need to be made to feel inadequate after 45 years of improvisation.