I think I’m in a Mediterranean state of mind, today. Is there such thing as a Mediterranean state of mind? I’m sure there must be. Waking up with the sun in my eyes was probably what did it, and I haven’t been able to shake that “holiday” feeling all day.
Firstly, I posted this over at Kitchenisms, which only fed the fire, and then I proceeded to buy two new bathing suits online for no good reason at all. (Well, that’s not strictly true: they were my favourite brand, hugely on sale, the last ones in my size, and I’m only planning on keeping one. So keep your hat on, Mum.) Anyway, the point is: I was in the mood to post something slightly festive on the old blog today.
I’ve only ever been on one holiday that could be described as Mediterranean when Andrew and I went to Cinque Terre last August. This recipe, while delicious, doesn’t have much to do with my memories from that trip, as I don’t recall eating anything quite like this. (I can’t quite remember clearly though, too busy was I worrying about being the whitest person on the beach. Honestly, until the third day when a redhead showed up and made me feel a bit better.) It is the kind of thing that I can imagine would go down well on some sun-soaked patio, though, enjoyed gazing over the olive groves toward the sea, sipping a glass of Pinot Grigio. Fresh-tasting and vibrant, it’s pure, unadulterated summer.
I have found that it’s very important to use, not only fresh but good tomatoes in this dish. The mealy out-of-season ones won’t do at all; all flavour will be lost, and the end effect will be more rubbish than Riviera.
Other than that small stipulation, though, this dish is also infinitely adaptable. By changing the herbs and cheese you use it can go from Greece to Spain, France and back to Italy. It’s delicious on its own, with some crusty bread for dipping, or over pasta.
Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp, Chili and Feta
serves 3 on its own or with bread, or 4 with pasta
- 6 small, ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into eighths
- 2 cloves finely slice garlic
- 1 small red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
- 2-3 Tbs. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs. chopped parsley, oregano, coriander or basil (optional)
- 200g peeled and deveined, medium shrimp
- 100g crumbled Feta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/425°F. 2. Place the tomatoes into the bottom of a dutch oven-type baking dish, and sprinkle over the garlic and chilli. Drizzle in the olive oil, add some salt (not too much, as the cheese will add salt later) and pepper, and give the dish a shake. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove dish from the oven and stir in the fresh herb, if using. Scatter the shrimp over the top of the dish, and sprinkle the feta cheese on top of that. Return to the oven and cook for 5-10 minutes, or just until the shrimp are cooked. Serve immediately, alone or with bread or pasta.