© David Loftus
slow-roasted balsamic tomatoes with baby leeks and basil
This is one of those recipes that, apart from being damn tasty, is kind of slapdash but so easy to make and consistently good. You can really get some mileage out of it. The key things are to get yourself some best-quality plum tomatoes and buy some cheap balsamic vinegar, as youll be using a lot of it.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Score the tops of the tomatoes with a cross. Take an earthenware
dish that the tomatoes will fit snugly into, and sprinkle the garlic and basil all over the bottom of it. Stand the tomatoes next to each other in the dish, on top of the garlic and basil, then push the bay leaves well into the scores in the tomatoes and season well. Lay the leeks on a board and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Using a rolling pin, press down on top of the leeks to really squeeze the seasoning into them. This will also loosen their texture. Weave the leeks in and around the tomatoes. Pour over the balsamic vinegar, drizzle over the olive oil, and bake in the preheated oven for an hour. Before serving, remove the bay leaves.
Try this: These tomatoes are great served as a vegetable dish, or as part of a warm salad. Also good as a base for soup, puréed to make a sauce or served over pasta.
12 plum tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 handful of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn up
12 fresh bay leaves
12 baby leeks, trimmed and washed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup plus
2 tablespoons cheap balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil