Roast plum tomatoes with goat's cheese

Serves 4 as a starter
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Roasting is a good way of using up an excess of tomatoes you have grown or cheap ones you have bought from the market. Once they are cooked you can preserve them in sterilized Kilner-type jars with a rubber seal (or an airtight container kept in the fridge) in olive oil with thyme, oregano or basil. Use them chopped or blended into pasta sauces.

This makes a good starter, antipasti dish or a side dish. As a starter you can serve it with a few leaves of rocket or a similar salad.

10 medium-sized plum tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2tbsp olive oil
2tsp chopped thyme leaves
1tsp sea salt
1¿2tsp sugar
Freshly ground black pepper

to serve

200g soft goat's cheese or goat's curd
30g black olives, stoned and chopped
30g green olives, stoned and chopped
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tbsp baby capers or large capers, chopped
A few rocket leaves, optional

Pre-heat the oven to 120ºC/250ºF/Gas mark 1¿2. Halve the tomatoes, cutting through the core. Lay them, cut-side up, on a baking tray lined with lightly oiled greaseproof paper. Mix the garlic, olive oil, thyme, sea salt, sugar and black pepper and brush or spoon over the tomatoes.

Cook in the oven for about 1 1¿2 -2 hours until the tomatoes have reduced in size by half and are lightly coloured and caramelised on top. Leave to cool a little.

Make the dressing by mixing together the chopped olives, oil and capers. To serve, spoon a little of the goat's cheese on to each tomato, place a few rocket leaves on to plates or a serving dish and arrange the tomatoes on top. Spoon the dressing over and around the tomatoes.

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