This is one of those recipes that, apart from being damn tasty, is kind of slapdash but so easy to make and consistently good. You can really get some mileage out of it. The key things are to get yourself some best-quality plum tomatoes and buy some cheap balsamic vinegar, as you’ll be using a lot of it.
- 12 plum tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 handful of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn up
- 12 fresh bay leaves
- 12 baby leeks, trimmed and washed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 200ml/7fl oz cheap balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3.
Score the tops of the tomatoes with a cross. Take an earthenware dish that the tomatoes will fit snugly into, and sprinkle the garlic and basil all over the bottom of it. Stand the tomatoes next to each other in the tray, on top of the garlic and basil, then push the bay leaves well into the scores in the tomatoes and season well. Lay the leeks on a board and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Using a rolling pin, press down on top of the leeks to really squeeze the seasoning into them. This will also loosen their texture. Weave the leeks in and around the tomatoes. Pour over the balsamic vinegar, drizzle over the olive oil, and bake in the preheated oven for an hour. Before serving, remove the bay leaves.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.