Tomatoes on toast with aged Lancashire cheese

Serves 4
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A slice of hot buttered toast with ripe tomatoes is a simple, pleasurable snack, especially if you use one of the tasty heritage varieties, or a large juicy beefsteak tomato, such as Marmande or ox heart. Any ripe, tasty tomatoes will do though, and I'd recommend a sourdough loaf as a base to really set the dish off.

The Kirkhams up in Lancashire produce great Lancashire cheese ( and their mature cheese works a treat with sweet tomatoes, especially on toast like this.

4 large ripe tomatoes
1tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra to drizzle
4 slices of sourdough bread, cut about 1cm thick
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly crushed
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100-120g mature Lancashire cheese (preferably Kirkhams)
Wood sorrel leaves or chives, to garnish

Cut 4 slices from the centre of each tomato, about 5mm thick, and put to one side. Chop up the rest of the tomatoes and place in a saucepan with the rapeseed oil, garlic and thyme leaves.

Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, over a gentle heat for about 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes disintegrate into a pulp.

Toast the sourdough bread on both

sides, then spread the tomato mixture on top and arrange 4 slices of tomato on each slice of toast. With a swivel vegetable peeler or sharp knife, cut the cheese into shavings and arrange on the tomatoes. Drizzle with a little rapeseed oil and scatter with wood sorrel leaves or chives to serve.