Sorry to boast, but something delicious just happened in my oven.
Albeit not something particularly photogenic.
• Tomatoes that are a bit squidgy and past their best – I had around 8-10.
• Garlic, finely chopped – I used three cloves, because I love garlic.
• Capers, the little ones – a dessertspoonful.
• Black olives, stoned and halved, around 15 – I favour the dry, wrinkly ones you can get from Mediterranean or Middle Eastern groceries.
• Olive oil – you know, olive oil.
(• If you want to go for the full puttanesca flavour, you could add anchovies and chilli as well.)
• Vinegar – I used a splash each of balsamic and red wine vinegars, but one kind will suffice.
If you can be bothered:
• In a frying pan which can go into your oven without melting, gently fry the garlic in a dessertspoonful of olive oil. While that’s happening, thinly slice the tomatoes.
• Scoop the garlic out of the pan onto a plate. Then layer the tomatoes, capers and olives in the pan, sprinkling each stratum with garlic. Make sure the top layer is totally tomato so the olives and capers don’t get burnt.
• Splash the vinegar over the top and keep the pan over a medium heat until the tomatoes are collapsing a little and liquid is bubbling around them.
• Drizzle (ugh what a horrible term) olive oil over the top, then put the pan in the oven and bake until the tomatoes are withered and dense. In my case, this took around 30 minutes at 200c, then I turned the oven off and left the tomatoes in there while it went cold.
If you can’t be bothered:
• Get an oven dish and layer all the ingredients in it. Oil and vinegar over the top, then bake for a few minutes longer than as above.
Now what do I do with it?
Smear it on bread.
Plonk a piece of grilled mackerel on top.
Cover the top in pastry, bake till golden, then turn out like a tarte Tatin.
Liquidise it and use as a sauce on pasta or pizza.
Pour some beaten eggs over it then bake till they’ve solidified.
Use it as the filling for stromboli.
Use it as the filling for a Victoria Sponge if you want to ruin the WI tea party.
If you think of any other ingenius uses for this foodstuff, let me know in the comments.