Summer roast tomatoes / roast tomato pasta

Tomatoes to me just smell of summer

I love the smell of them growing, of the stalks, of the green and ripe tomatoes both (and I'm looking forward to next weekend and having tomatoes straight from my parents' garden). 

Add oregano - and they smell like a Mediterranean summer

And roasting tomatoes with oregano has got to be one of the most languid and evocative cooking smells ever. 

So easy to do - but as with nearly everything very simple to make that relies on flavour, using the best tomatoes you can find is going to make all the difference.  I admit to just getting mine at the supermarket but I did get the tomatoes on the vine that actually smell of the fruit. 

Halve the tomatoes, cutting out the stalk if it looks a bit tough, and place on a baking tray.  Drizzle over extra-virgin olive oil, some salt and black pepper, and some dried oregano.  

Then roast in a low oven (Gas 4 / 170 degrees) for an hour.  

Rachel Walder The Tiniest Thai roast tomatoes with oregano

About half an in to the cooking time, they started SINGING with the smell of tomatoes and oregano, making my whole flat smell amazing!  

And that's it.  

Rachel Walder The Tiniest Thai roast tomatoes with oregano
Rachel Walder The Tiniest Thai roast tomatoes with oregano

Once cooked, you can use them as part of an antipasta platter, or the base of a tomato sauce for pasta or pizza.  Put them in pastry.  Have them on toast.  Eat them in a salad. Or even put them in a jar and give them as a gift. 

What I did was make a really simple pasta dish for dinner

In a frying pan I softened some chopped onion and a clove of chopped garlic over a low heat in a little olive oil, then added the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon.  

No need to add extra seasoning as the tomatoes have so much flavour.  When they started to bubble I added some de-veined prawns, a few chilli flakes and some halved (and stoned) black olives.  

Right at the end, I threw in some fresh basil. 

When it was hot right through, I mixed it with pasta and served with a green salad and my favourite dressing of olive oil, vinegar and Dijon mustard. 

Rachel Walder The Tiniest Thai roast tomatoes with oregano

Tempted to make more today - they were so good!

Would love to hear what you make with roast tomatoes - do give them a try. 


Valentina's Sicilian Orange Salad

This is a really good and easy salad, another family recipe from my friend Valentina, and a traditional Sicilian dish. 

I think this would probably make enough for 4-6 people depending what you served it with.  I halved the quantities for two and it was perfect with grilled tuna steaks and my favourite tomato and onion salad.

You'll need:

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Sicilian orange salad

For the dressing -

4 tablepspoons extra vergin olive oil

the juice of 1/2 lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt and pepper to season

For the salad -

4 oranges

2 fennel bulbs

approx 60g black olives

1/2 white onion

Make the dressing first by mixing all the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper) in a bowl.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Sicilian orange salad

Even though I halved the salad quantities and the olive oil, I still put in this much lemon juice as I like it really lemon-y so do taste and adjust as you like. 

Set aside while you prepare the salad. 

Peel and segment the oranges, removing all pith then slice or halve as you prefer, but do cut them gently to try to keep the juice within the orange pieces rather than all over the bowl.

Slice the onion and fennel bulbs in very thin slices and add the olives.

Add the orange pieces and combine gently, then add the dressing and toss with clean hands so that everything is coated and thoroughly mixed.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Sicilian orange salad

It will keep in the fridge for a day or so, but is best eaten fresh.  It was deliciously summery with grilled tuna steaks and I'll be having it with steak soon too.

If you make this I'd love to know what you eat it with so do let me know in the comments below.