Ugly tomatoes taste so good

The tomatoes from our huerta will never win any beauty contests, but my do they taste good. The biggest and ugliest respond well to roasting, the heat of the oven softens and browns the edges and makes them look less nibbled where we’ve sliced off a patch of skin pecked by birds.
We loved this roast tomato dish of Nigel Slater’s at our first attempt, no amendments needed. We ate the whole thing for lunch with spelt bread from Hipercor, spelt so far an unknown luxury for us in rural Spain! plateful 23-8-13For the tomatoes:-
4 large ripe tomatoes
4 large bushy sprigs of thyme
6 whole cloves of garlic
A little olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cheese:-
The leaves from 3 bushy little sprigs of young thyme
200g soft goat’s cheese
A few thyme flowers slicing the goats cheese 23-8-13
Set the oven to 200C/gas 6. Wipe the tomatoes, cut out the stalks and cut in half [if you are using pretty supermarket tomatoes]. If however you are using ugly tomatoes like us, this is what we did. Skin the tomato in boiling water, cut out any not-so-nice bits. Cut in half or, if they are especially large tomatoes [and Spanish tomatoes can grow as big as grapefruit], cut them into thick slices.
Grease a roasting dish and place the tomatoes, cut side up, snugly in the dish. Season with salt and pepper, tuck the whole garlic cloves in among them. Trickle over a little olive oil, just enough to wet the surface. Bake for 30 minutes or so until the garlic cloves are soft inside. Remove the garlic, return the tomatoes to the oven. thyme 23-8-13Pop out the centres of the garlic cloves into a mixing bowl by squeezing them between your fingers: this is oddly satisfying. Add the thyme leaves, a little coarse sea salt, and pound the mixture together with a pestle or the back of a spoon. Spread a little on each tomato.
Cut the goats cheese into slices and put one slice on top of each tomato. Return to the oven, letting the cheese partially melt before putting the dish on the table. close-up of tomato 23-8-135 to remember
feo/fea – ugly/unflattering
picado/a – nibbled/pecked
el intento – attempt
espeso/a – bushy
el queso de cabra – goat’s cheese

3 thoughts on “Ugly tomatoes taste so good

  1. susanissima

    Sounds yummy. We have so many tomatoes here in the Pacific Northwest right now that we don’t know what to do with them. This will help! Do you think your recipe might work with ugly zucchini, as well?



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