Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tomatoes braised in olive oil

Hello everyone, I was lucky to have a gorgeous few days away this week in Port Douglas. I did very little, other than lie by the pool, voraciously consuming novels, and having the occasional swim and a delightful massage. Sad to say that the food wasn't a highlight, although I picked a winner on my last night there, having dinner at a fabulous Japanese restaurant, Zai. I had spanking fresh sashimi to start and followed that up with one of my guilty pleasures, pork belly, which was luscious. It really made me conscious of how lucky I am to live in Sydney with an abundance of good cafes and restaurants that have imaginative menus, loads of good fresh produce and reasonable prices.

This week's recipe is one of those relatively simple dishes to which you can add good bread, prosciutto or ham or jamon, some nice cheese and all of a sudden you have a fabulous meal! It is excellent for summer and comes from my SOS Summer cookbook.

Have a great week. Love from Jane xxx

Tomatoes braised in olive oil

Serves six

What you need:
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 peeled cloves of garlic
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 6 peeled medium, ripe but firm vine ripened tomatoes (retain the stem if you are able) (To peel, cut a cross in the base of each tomato, place in a heat proof dish and cover with boiling water for a minute, then plunge into cold water - the skins should slip off)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A pinch of caster sugar

What you do:
  1. Cook the oil, garlic, basil and thyme in a large, heavy pan over a low heat, until the garlic begins to soften.
  2. Add the tomatoes, stem side down, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar.
  3. Cover and cook very gently for ten minutes, then turn carefully, sprinkle again with salt, pepper and sugar, and cook, covered for a further twenty minutes, basting occasionally with the oil.
  4. When the tomatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, remove from the heat.
  5. Allow to cool and serve at room temperature with fresh basil leaves, the garlic cloves and a little of the olive oil in which the tomatoes were cooked spooned over, as well as some bread, cheese and other accompaniments.