Summer is the season of tomato gluts. Beautiful, sharply-flavoured fruit at give-away prices, sometimes literally free when your keen gardener friends suddenly have more tomatoes than they can deal with. This recipe assumes that you will use the tomatoes within a few days, storing them in the fridge, as it does not involve covering the fruit with oil to make it airtight and sterilising the jars. Use for bruschetta, pasta sauces or as part of a summer salad with pulses. Leave the skins on while cooking and remove them before serving. Very large tomatoes can be halved. If you do this, cook them cut side up.
Tip of the day: don’t waste your best quality olive oil on this recipe. A cheap everyday version works just as well.
Enough tomatoes to fit snugly as a single layer into a small roasting tin
150ml olive oil (see above)
2 peeled and bashed garlic cloves still in one piece
2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary
100ml thick balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Put the tomatoes in the roasting tin. Pierce each tomato carefully just once with the point of a sharp knife. Add all the other ingredients, lightly mixing them so that the tomatoes are well coated. Put them in the oven at 110 degrees c. Leave them for 2-3 hours or until the skins have just started to burst. Turn them, handling very gently, half way through the cooking. Put them in a glass jar with all their juices and store in the fridge.
Use within 3 days.