I get an organic, mixed fruit and veg box delivered every fortnight. I occasionally feel guilty about this, as it seems decadent and foolish when there is a big Sainsbury’s around the corner packed with bargain food in plastic bags. But when I shop there I feel guilty about the obscene amounts of plastic packaging.
I use two companies (Abel & Cole, and Riverford), and like to pick and choose the better box depending on what they’re offering each week. This week, because of the ridiculous English heatwave (not ridiculous), I ordered an extra salad box from Riverford to keep me going through the warm weather, when hot food is offensive.
What they sent me included this scrumptious box of tomatoes.
My natural reaction was to immediately shove my nose in the box and get a good long sniff. I adore the smell of tomatoes, especially when they’re still on the vine like these bad boys. Reminds me of my Grandpa’s greenhouse.
Then I set to work making a simple, but glorious, lunch. It’s a kind of fake bruschetta. Bruschetta alla Bee? Something like that.
Here’s how it happened:
1) Grab two slices of thick sliced multigrain bread from the freezer
2) Throw large chunk of butter into a frying pan over low/medium heat.
3) Fry bread on both sides, adding more butter if needed, until golden, sizzling and smelling like heaven. Ensure butter has soaked into entire bread surface. Set aside to cool slightly.
4) Dice tomatoes into reasonably large chunks. Put in a bowl.
5) Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a glug of balsamic vinegar.
6) Add a good handful of torn basil – mine was frozen in olive oil in, which meant I snapped off a bit and let the oil melt into the tomatoes. If you have fresh basil, all the better, just add a glug of olive oil to the tomatoes along with the seasoning.
7) Pour juicy, crisp, fragrant tomatoes and the juice all over bread.
I then ate this a little too quickly, because it was so very, very good. You could add a little garlic if you wanted. I sometimes cheat and spread garlic and herb Boursin on the bread for a cheesy, garlicky, wonderful addition. But often I find the simple tomato, basil, butter combo is just right as it is.
This meal takes about ten minutes to throw together, and is also a really good way to use up bread that has gone a little stale, because the butter makes everything soft and wonderful.