Budino di Pomodorini
Our kitchen garden is bursting with produce and because we are now harvesting the first of our tomatoes, I am offering you a recipe we ate at my friend Rose Lloyd’s house in Provence – a delectably cool summer starter, perfect to serve in hot weather, which pays homage to the glorious flavour and simplicity of ripe tomatoes.
Serves 6 as a starter
|2¼ lb (1 kg) cherry tomatoes|
|a few basil leaves|
|a few sprigs of thyme|
|2 cloves of garlic, cut in half|
|4 leaves of gelatine|
|30 tiny cherry tomatoes (or 15 larger ones, halved)|
|6 bocconcini (small rounds of buffalo mozzarella), sliced|
|a handful of basil leaves|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F, 180°C.|
|Need help with conversions?|
You will also need 6 ramekins.
Start off by placing the tomatoes in one layer in a roasting tin, tuck the herbs and garlic in amongst them and season with salt and pepper (note: there is no oil used for this).
Roast them for about 25-30 minutes until they are starting to burst. Next discard the herbs and garlic, then you can either put the roasted tomatoes through the medium disc of a mouli-légumes or (as I did) put them in a blender and whizz to a purée. If you use the blender you now need to press them through a fine sieve into a bowl.
Now soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of water for 5 minutes, and place the tomato mixture in a pan and heat gently (but do not boil). Squeeze the gelatine leaves, add them to the pan and stir until they have dissolved.
Then divide the mixture among 6 ramekins and pop them in the fridge to set.
To serve, dip the base of each ramekin in a bowl of very hot water, run a knife round the inside and turn out.
Decorate with tiny cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and either small slices of mozzarella or (if you can get them) some boconcini.
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Eat these hot or cold: with plenty of Mediterranean flavours - cinnamon, pine nuts, thyme - these wonderful summery stuffed tomatoes are a good way of using up a glut from the garden and will please vegetarians no end.
A spicy low-fat soup that has a lovely kick of Tabasco and balsamic to complement the tomatoes. You can even add a shot of vodka if you've a mind to!
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