Eating out of doors is probably the greatest pleasure of summer, whether it’s a quick lunch under the sunshade or a lingering dinner when the day is cooling. Everthing tastes better but this dish is I think distinctive enough to carry one away in imagination even when the weather isn’t as good as it might be.
Roast tomatoes with goats’ cheese
This is such a simple lunch dish and yet it evokes all the flavours of the Mediterranean and suddenly you can imagine yourself in Provence in a shady square with a tumbler of rosé.
● 2 firm large beef tomatoes, continental type
● sugar to dust
● Freshly ground black pepper
● 2 tbsp olive oil
● 1 small onion, skinned and very finely chopped
● 1 garlic cloves, skinned and crushed
● 6 anchovy fillets, drained
● 8 basil leaves
● freshly grated parmesan
● 2 tbsp capers
● ½ goat’s cheese log
Cut the tomatoes across in half and arrange them in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with a little sugar and black pepper and leave while attending to the other ingredients.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently for a couple of minutes to soften slightly.
Remove from the heat and stir in the basil, with pepper to taste. (Do not add salt because the anchovies are salty enough.)
Divide this mixture equally onto the tomato halves, Arrange anchovy filets and capers and a slice of goat’s cheese onto each and then sprinkle with the parmesan.
Bake the tomatoes in the oven at 220C/fan oven 200C/425F/Gas 7 for 10-15 minutes or until just tender and sizzling. Serve hot.
This was photographed on the Olympus EP-1 which, with its standard 14-42 close focusing lens is ideal for quickly taking a food picture without delaying the meal!