Thursday 30 April 2009

Roasted Tomato Salad with Herby Crumbs

Do you ever see a recipe and instantly think ‘I have to make that!’ Well, this happened to me when I came across this delicious recipe for baked tomatoes on Karina’s Kitchen. Karina is – by her own admission, a gluten free goddess. Seriously, if you ever thought gluten free food meant cutting back on appetizing meals then head over to her site and take a look. The minute I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it and a few days later I got the perfect opportunity when the family were hankering after a light summery lunch to enjoy in the sunshine. ‘Ah-har!’ I said ‘I’ve got just the thing.’ And by lunch time we were all tucking into these yummy baked tomatoes, licking the juices off our fingers.

I adapted the recipe slightly to fit what I had on hand. I replaced the cornbread crumbs with regular breadcrumbs and used fresh basil and lemon thyme to make a herby oil to coat them in. I had never baked with lemon thyme before, which is a milder version of regular thyme but with a lemony zesty overtone, it went wonderfully with the tomatoes.

The aroma as the dish baked in the oven was fantastic. As with most things, baking caused the tomatoes to intensify in flavour. It is the herby crumbs and garlic that take this dish to another level and when squished into fresh chewy bread with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a few torn basil leaves you are good to go. Half way through eating I added little blobs of mozzarella which made it the perfect Italian style lunch. When it gets a bit warmer, why not take a box of this along on a picnic to squish into fresh bread – much more interesting than sarnies.

Roasted Tomato Salad with Herby Crumbs
(Recipe adapted from Karina’s Kitchen blog)
For the tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
200g cherry or plum tomatoes
3 tbsp bread crumbs
10 fresh basil leaves
3 springs lemon thyme
1 tsp rock salt

To serve
Fresh crusty bread
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 200C.Cut the tomatoes in half, some horizontally, some vertically to create a different look. Place them in the bottom of a large ovenproof dish, cut side up.
Slice the garlic into small chunks and place in a pestle and mortar along with the fresh herbs and rock salt. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and crush everything together until you have a green herby oil. Add the final tbsp oil and mix well.
Add the breadcrumbs into the flavoured oil and mix well, ensuring all the crumbs are coated.
Sprinkle the herby breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the tomatoes.
Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and bubbling and the crumbs a light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
To serve, cut a thick slice of a good crusty loaf – sourdough or ciabatta work well. Top with a generous spoonful of the baked tomatoes and crush them gently, to make the tomatoes spill their delicious juices, which are then caught and absorbed by the bread.
Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and a few torn basil leaves.
Eat with your fingers and enjoy. Makes a great summary starter or top with some sliced olives and a little crumbled feta or mozzarella for a more substantial meal.
Serves 4 – 6 depending on occasion.
Tastes great cold with cous cous, salad or yummy as a pizza topping.


Snooky doodle said...

oh this must be delicious :)

Sam said...

I can see why you just had to make this, it looks fantastic and very summery.

KJ said...

This sounds ridiculously good. I am definitely saving this recipe.

K Allrich said...

Glad you liked the recipe. It was inspired by Lydia from the Perfect Pantry. If you can find yellow heirloom tomatoes, they're wonderful in this dish.

Simones Kitchen said...

This looks perfect! Thanks for posting this and it is now bookmarked!

Elle said...

What great picnic food...or at home food for that matter. Light and tangy and garlic-y. Wait until those tomato plants I just planted start bearing ripe fruit later this year!

Elyse said...

Oh my goodness!! This is totally a see-it-want-to-make-it recipe! I reaaaally want to make this after seeing it on your blog. Man oh man, looks fabulous!

Cate O'Malley said...

That looks delicious, especially on top of the crusty bread.

Jude said...

From seeing the first post, I thought that this would be so good on toast. Glad to see you agree :)

thepassionatecook said...

ah this looks wonderful! great summer flavours - i love the idea of the breadcrumbs!