It was with something of a heavy heart that I went out to pick the last remaining tomatoes from the garden this morning. They have provided us with such beautiful and bountiful fruit right the way through summer and autumn, however the time has finally come to clear the beds and tidy up before winter hits… and from the forecast I’ve just seen, it appears that winter will rear it’s frosty head tomorrow. Give me a day or two and I promise that my melancholic mood will give way to much eagerness for all the delicious soups, roasts, casseroles and heart-warming puddings yet to come… however today shall be dedicated purely to the tomato.
Back in very late October I nestled our six little tomato seedlings into their rather large pots and commenced tending to them as if they were my own children. Often questioning whether they were hungry or thirsty, getting enough warmth and light from the sun and making sure their ever-growing limbs were supported and nurtured in the right directions. Our season hopefuls included two Romas, two Cherries, a Green Zebra and a Black Russian – an attractive mix of colours, sizes and flavours to adorn the salad bowls of summer.
The following simple idea for an appetiser brings together five of my all-time favourite ingredients, into one luxurious mouthful. Perfect as they are, accompanied with an aperitif, or perhaps as part of an antipasto platter; I hope you’ll agree that the flavours intermingle superbly and leave you craving for more.
Appetiser - Summer Tomatoes | Gather and Graze
- 8-10 vine-ripened Cherry Tomatoes (medium sized)
- Boursin Cheese (80g will fill approx 16-20 halved tomatoes)
- 16-20 Fresh Basil Leaves (small to medium sized)
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
Using a sharp knife, slice the cherry tomatoes in half and gently scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Scoop a little Boursin onto the tomato halves and top with a basil leaf. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Consider doubling the quantity… these are very moreish!
- Use a good quality EV Olive Oil and if possible an aged Balsamic Vinegar – they really make a difference when used to dress a dish such as this one.
- Perfect served with a chilled white wine on a sunny day.
- I have categorised these under ‘Italian’, as although the cheese is decidedly French, I feel they ooze ‘italiano’ with their mix of tomato, basil, olive oil and balsamic…