Tomatoes with thyme and bacon

Tomatoes with thyme and bacon

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
2
Photographer
Patricia Niven

During my time living in southern Spain, I developed a great love of pan con tomate (tomatoes squashed onto grilled bread). Although this is an Anglicized version, it still uses the tried-and-tested Spanish method of grating the tomatoes, which makes the whole prep thing much easier. These herby tomatoes go brilliantly with a fried egg, and would also work well with a bowl of pasta or rice instead of toast.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
5 large plum tomatoes, halved
a generous splash extra virgin olive oil
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
few sprigs of thyme, (lemon thyme is extra nice with tomatoes)
20g butter
sea salt
black pepper
2 thick slices toast of your choice, to serve

Method

  1. Working over a bowl to catch all the juices, grate the tomato halves on the coarse side of a grater, keeping hold of the skin – and being careful of your fingers! Discard the tomato skins.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Using scissors, snip the bacon into chunky lardon-like pieces straight into the hot oil, then let it sizzle and release its fat. Once the bacon is cooked and a bit crispy, or however you like it, lift it out using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the grated tomato and thyme to the bacon fat in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and let it cook down to a lovely soft mass infused with the flavour of the thyme – this will take about 5–10 minutes at a good simmer. Add the butter and let it cook into the tomatoes for a minute, then return the bacon to the pan. Fish out the thyme sprigs and spoon this deliciousness onto hot toast.
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