Cherry tomato and feta bake with pesto.

This tomato feta bake is a recipe that’s been going around for a few years. I’m a bit late on the wagon, but here it is, with a twist. In summer we devour tomatoes. We are accustomed to picking our own tomatoes from the potager for the last 10 years, but here in Provence we don’t have a potager yet, having moved here only January this year. It is in the pipeline for next season, but in the meantime we rely on the Provencal markets of which there is one in a town each day of the week. So no excuse not to have fresh local tomatoes in the bowl!

We serve this tomato dish with just about everything as a side or on its own with crusty, rustic country bread. It makes a delicious sauce which all goes to waste if you don’t mop it up with bread. Originally on the internet and on TikTok it is served over pasta. It can be lunch or dinner or apero. I serve it here with baked salmon and I can’t tell how well they match together. You have to try it for yourself.

The ingredients are very simple and available. And of course you can play around with herbs and onions, omit the onions if you wish, or even change the feta cheese for goats cheese.

Recipe

  • A handfull of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • half a red onion
  • block of feta cheese
  • several branches of fresh thyme
  • Fesh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Clean the tomatoes and add to an ovenproff dish.
  2. Add the block of feta cheese and press it inbetween the tomatoes.
  3. Clean and finely slice the onion, add to the tomatoes and feta.
  4. Chope the garlic and sprinkle over the tomao feta.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and drizzle finally with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  6. Season with salt and freshly milled pepper.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 210 degr C for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are shrivled.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve with pesto and fresh basil.

Serves 4

A pinch of salt

  1. Use goats cheese instead of feta cheese
  2. Use any other fresh herb of your choice.
  3. Add some drizzled freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  4. Sprinkle grated lemon peel over the feta
  5. Use shallots instead of red onion.
  6. Use a mix of grape and cherry tomatoes.
  7. Bake at a higher temperature for a shorter time, until the tomatoes are charred.

A bientôt!

Ronell

Tomato pasta

Everybody knows how to make a tomato pasta. And everybody has their own way of making it. Here is mine. Or one version of it, because of course there are several different ways of eating tomatoes or tomato sauce on pasta. Im not giving a formal recipe, it all comes down to taste and preference.

  • Start by making the sauce: Peel and slice 1 large onion. Fry in some olive oil until caramelized. Add one 400 g can of peeled tomatoes. Add one 200 g can of tomato coulis. Add two TBSP of balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice.. Season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes to reduce the sauce until thick.
  • Boil fresh or a packet of spaghetti for 4 people according to the instructions. Fresh pasta takes two minutes to be al dente. Drain and pour into a large serving bowl.
  • Pour the sauce ove the pasta. Shred a handful of basil leaves onto the pasta and drizzle with some olive oil.
  • Serve with freshly grated parmesan.

Serves 4 people

Suggestions

  • I prefer to serve the tomato sauce with either fresh spaghetti or fresh linguine.
  • Add a tsp of sugar if you prefer a slightly sweeter sauce.
  • If you use fresh tomatoes, peel the tomatoes first and make the cooking time a bit longer.
  • You can also add some tomato paste to the sauce for a deeper tomato taste.

Winter in Provence.

Saint Saturnin les Apt. This is our town and here are a few images of it in winter. Provence is quiet in winter with most places closed. But that doesn’t take away from its beauty.

Village house

Village house in St Saturnin les apt

Joseph Talon, the father of Trufficulture

la mairie de St Saturnin les Apt