Off work this week; have spent day one thinking mainly about cooking. Braised a lone endive this morning according to Hopkinson: first in butter on stove, add lemon juice, 170 degree oven for two hours. Came out caramelised and smelling delicious. Saved for later. Half 6 and thoughts turned to dinner (anything to avoid thinking about The Future) and decided something sweet and creamy would be good with it. Turned again to Mr H and found a recipe for tomates a la creme – tomatoes+cream on toast – for which I had all the ingredients (love it when that happens). Prepared, put it in the oven, and, while farting around on the internet for 25 mins waiting for cream to thicken and tomatoes to blister, came across 2003 Guardian column by Julian Barnes on the joys of Edouard de Pomiane – whose recipe tomates a la creme turned out to be. Fate. But more importantly, delicious.
Edouard de Pomiane’s Tomates a la Creme
4 medium-size ripe tomatoes
A large knob of butter
Salt and pepper
3 heaped tbsp crème fraîche or double cream
A few fresh mint and basil leaves, chopped
Cut the tomatoes in half widthways. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, melt the butter in it, then add the tomatoes, cut side down. Cook for 5 minutes, puncturing the rounded sides, here and there, with the sharp point of a knife.
Turn the tomatoes with a palette knife and cook for a further 10 minutes. Turn again; then, after a couple of minutes, when the juices have started to run, turn them back so that the cut sides are facing upwards. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the cream between the tomatoes, add the mint or basil, then mix lightly with the juices. As soon as the cream bubbles, slip the tomatoes and the sauce onto hot plates. Serve immediately.