The idea with this recipe is to cook the tomatoes aggressively so that they blister, shrivel, intensify and sweeten, but not for so long that they turn to a mush. The oloroso sherry adds a soft, rounded toffee sweetness to counter tomato’s natural acidity, and a dash of sherry vinegar at the end adds a different layer of sharpness. A couple of spoonfuls of these make an excellent hands-off side dish that adds a burst of interest to plainer foods like white fish or chicken, or cuts through rich flavours such as a chorizo sausage bake or a cheese-heavy sauce.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 600 g cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 50 ml oloroso sherry
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 230°C/Fan 210°C/Gas 8. Remove the tomatoes from their vine and/or pull off any green tops. (They may look pretty but they add nothing once you’re cooking and eating.) Put the tomatoes on a small baking tray and drizzle over the oil and a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix to ensure all the tomatoes have a good sheen, then bake for 12 minutes, or until they blister and darken in places.
- After 12 minutes, add the sherry to the roasting tin (be careful; it’ll bubble and spit) and give the tray a shake. Return to the oven and bake for 8–10 minutes more. The tomatoes will be close to collapsing but should still hold their own.
- When fresh from the oven, they’ll be hotter than the sun, so you’ve got a few minutes spare before eating. Spoon the tomatoes into a serving bowl, leaving any juices in the roasting tin. Add the sherry vinegar to the juices, stir to combine the liquids then pour over the tomatoes, leaving them for at least 5 minutes to cool and soak up the flavours.