Before summer finally disappears here's a brilliant way to make use of the last of the season's tomatoes from chef Florence Knight's lovely first book 'One'. Good tip about skinning garlic cloves too!
Serves four to six
550g mixed heritage tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1 bunch of thyme
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
a pinch of salt
about 250ml extra virgin olive oil
These tomatoes are swimming, or even drowned, in olive oil, which accentuates their sweetness and depth. Especially pleasing through crisp salad leaves, toppled over a soft poached egg on toast or even steamed with clams. You can use any variety of tomato to make this recipe, from golden cherry to sweet baby plum, but I find that heritage work particularly well.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas 5.
Run the tomatoes under cold water and pick out any stalks.
Place the garlic cloves in warm water for a couple of minutes – this helps to loosen the skin. Pop them out of their skins.
Slice the tomatoes in half and gently lodge them cut-side down in a pan or casserole dish that can go in the oven. Thinly slice the garlic and scatter it over the tomatoes. Drop over the thyme and bay leaves, and sprinkle with the sugar and salt. Pour over the olive oil until the tomatoes are sitting in about half a centimetre of it.
Bake for about forty-five minutes until the tomatoes are soft, a little wrinkly and blistered and have absorbed most of the olive oil.
These will keep for a few days in a jar or airtight container stored in a cool place or, if cooled first and kept under a layer of olive oil, up to a week in the fridge.
What to drink: It's hard to recommend a match without knowing what way you're going to use these but you should be pretty safe drinking Italian - Chianti if you fancy a red or almost any kind of dry Italian white like a Verdicchio or Vermentino.
Recipe extracted from ONE: A Cook and her Cupboard by Florence Knight, out now published by Saltyard Books, £26. © Florence Knight 2013. Photography © Jason Lowe.
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