LAWRENCE MURPHY: Make your plum tomatoes moreish
DRIED TOMATO SALADServes 4
The summer months bring an amazing amount of goodies to our tables including strawberries, raspberries and cherries. Salad leaf is at its best, runner beans are sweet and stringless and tomatoes have amazing smell and flavour.
Small vine tomatoes are as sweet as candy, plentiful and relatively cheap. There are some wonderful varieties grown on the Isle of Wight which we half dry to intensify the flavour and store in olive oil for later in the year – much like sun dried tomatoes you buy in the supermarket.
The semi-dried tomatoes are so moreish that I have to dry more as we use them before they go into storage.
A few dried tomatoes added to your bolognese or tomato sauce will give you a much deeper, richer flavour. I personally like to chop them finely and spread them over a cod fillet before baking in the oven or simply adding to a salad, as in this recipe.
16 baby plum tomatoes – or more if you want some for your store cupboard
Extra virgin olive oil
80g goats’ cheese
Mixed salad leaf
12 black olives
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1. Cut the tomatoes in half and put onto a baking tray, cut side facing up.
2. Pick the leaves from the thyme and sprinkle over the tomatoes along with a little sea salt.
3. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the tomatoes.
4. Place the tray in a pre heated oven (120C, gas 1) and cook for three hours until the tomatoes are semi-dried
5. Allow to cool. If you dry more tomatoes than you need, pack them into preserving jars and cover with olive oil before storing.
6. Puree the olives and mix with the mayonnaise.
7. Arrange the tomatoes onto four plates and add the black olive mayonnaise, salad leaf and goats’ cheese.
8. Drizzle on olive oil before serving.
Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives, Emsworth. Visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377 914.