I don’t know what you remember about the summer of 1993? A quick check on Wikipedia reveals that weapons inspectors were having problems in Iraq even then, Ireland won the Eurovision song contest with “In Your Eyes” (nope, hasn’t stuck in my memory either), Monica Seles was stabbed (I do remember that) and there’s one thing that isn’t on Wikipedia that I do remember: Delia Smith’s Summer Collection was first shown on the BBC. It was a phenomenon. I have the 1996 edition of the recipe book of the series and it was reprinted twelve times in 1993. That’s a lot, that’s an awful lot.
It’s been a while since I read the Summer Collection, but one of the recipes in it, I do use a lot: Roast Tomato Salad. I think I stick with is because it’s very easy to make and it’s far more delicious than the effort involved suggests. It’s also a salad where the leftovers are just as useful as the main meal. They can form a great base for a pasta sauce or for a light, summery soup. It’s best, of course, with the ripest of local tomatoes, but it will also perk up some of the more insipid offerings at other times of the year.
6-8 large ripe tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh basil, shredded
If you want to skin the tomatoes (and I don’t usually bother), put them in a bowl of just boiled water for a minute. The skins will then slip off reasonably easily.
Cut the tomatoes in half and place them, cut side up, in a shallow roasting tin.
Mix the garlic, oil and 1 tbsp of the basil together in a bowl and season well.
Spoon over the cut tomatoes so that each half gets a share of the oil, garlic and basil.
Put the roasting tin in a hot oven (220-200C) for 40-45 minutes, until the tomatoes are a little browned/blackened around the edges.
Leave to cool.
Serve with the juices spooned over and with the remainder of the basil sprinkled on top.
Serves 4 as a side salad