Donal Skehan’s taste of summer
While the weather may always leave us with a lot to be desired, summer’s bounty is plentiful and now is the time to savour it. I often recommend that even the most dire tomatoes to be found in the depths of winter can be transformed into sweet little gems by roasting them in the oven.
Just as the method can transform little red bullets, you can imagine the results using some of the summer’s finest fare – perfect for the tartine recipe provided here.
If I’m honest, with the right tomatoes, the process of roasting them may not even be necessary; in fact, diced and served with cool, creamy ricotta, they can be a simple treat.
However, the process of roasting will only intensify their sweetness, as the sugars caramelise in the oven, leaving you with tender tomatoes ready to be eaten as they are, or turned into the most glorious and rich tomato sauce or soup you could ever dream up.
The versatility of the tomatoes that emerge from the oven is key and I often cite them as one of my core make- ahead ingredients. Once stored in extra virgin olive oil, they keep for weeks and can be added to pastas, used as sandwich fillings or blitzed into a smooth roast tomato pesto.
In this recipe, though, they are the star and sit proudly atop a summer tartine that relies solely on simplicity.
Many of my favourite summer dishes, especially those cooked over an open flame, rely on punchy sauces and marinades.
The pleasures of piri piri sauce, a Portuguese classic, go far beyond the realms of fast- food chicken joints – the homemade variety provides the kick required to amplify the smokey tastes of the barbecue seafood platter here. Make a decent batch and it will last quite happily in the fridge until your next edible outdoor adventure.