Do you want to know a secret? Last night, while watering the garden, I spotted some red orbs glowing under a tangled sorrel plant. Turns out my neglected vege patch had been harbouring a couple of rogue tomato plants that had self-seeded from last year. The plants are small, but sturdy, and my laissez-faire attitude to their care and nourishment doesn’t seem to have hurt at all. I briefly thought about showing off this bounty, but that would involved turning off the hose and no small amount of running up and down stairs. So I stood in the garden and ate them as a post-dinner snack. I’m not going to tell anyone else that the plant’s there just in case they volunteer to do the late-night watering and steal the rest.
ROASTED TOMATOES AND WALNUTS WITH ROCKET AND BALSAMIC DRESSING
You don’t have to harvest your own tomatoes to make this simple and delicious dish (but you get extra points if you can). I could happily eat a big bowlful and call it dinner, but you may prefer it as a side salad, an entrée or a light lunch. You could even try it with a poached (or fried – oh, the decadence!) egg on top.
Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as a side salad
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 vine tomatoes, halved
¾ cup walnut halves
Salt and pepper
4 handfuls baby rocket leaves
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Heat the oven to 200C. Line a small baking dish with foil, then arrange the tomatoes and walnuts on top. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes (take the walnuts out if they are darkening) and set aside.
While you’re waiting, arrange the rocket leaves on a serving platter and mix the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil with the balsamic vinegar.
Just before serving, arrange the tomatoes and walnuts on the rocket, then drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and oil mix. Serve immediately.