Roasted Tomato Salad

If you are a tomato addict, like me, and you think that good bread dipped into fruity olive oil and tomato juices is the food of the gods, then roast the tomatoes first and you'll agree that the gods have excelled themselves.

Serves 4-6 as a starter

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection and Delia's Vegetarian Collection.

Roasted Tomato Salad
 12 large tomatoes
 2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 12 large fresh basil leaves
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the dressing:
 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
To garnish:
 fresh basil leaves
 24 black olives
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

You will also need a shallow roasting tin 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30 cm), oiled.


Skin the tomatoes first of all by pouring boiling water over them and leaving for 1 minute, then drain and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. (Protect your hands with a cloth if necessary.) Watch how to skin tomatoes here.

Now cut each tomato in half, around the middle rather than vertically, and place the halves in the roasting tin (cut side uppermost) and season with salt and freshly milled pepper.

After that, sprinkle on the chopped garlic, distributing it evenly between the tomatoes.

Follow this with a few droplets of olive oil on each one, then top each one with half a basil leaf, turning each piece of leaf over to get a coating of oil.

Now place the roasting tin in the top half of the oven and roast the tomatoes for 50-60 minutes or until the edges are slightly blackened. Then remove the tin from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool.

All this can be done several hours ahead.

To serve the tomatoes, transfer them to individual serving plates, then whisk the oil and balsamic vinegar together and drizzle this over the tomatoes.

Finally top each one with an olive and garnish with basil leaves.

Lots of crusty bread is an essential accompaniment to this.

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