Tomato Puddings

This is one of my favourite recipes for high summer, when tomatoes are most likely to be at their sweetest. I first read a description of it in Jennifer Paterson’s food column in The Spectator. It has evolved since then. Unlike summer pudding, the filling should not be cooked.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb / 1.35 kg ripe tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sherry vinegar
  • 12–15 slices firm white bread, crusts removed
  • herbs, to garnish

Method

Peel the tomatoes, and cut them in half. Scoop out the seeds, juice and pulp and put in a food processor with the skins. Process the pulp and skin mixture, then rub it through a sieve to extract maximum juice and flavour. Pour half the resulting liquid on to the chopped tomato flesh. Taste the mixture, and then add just enough salt and pepper to season and a generous splash of olive oil. Mix the remaining tomato liquid with a little sherry vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut the bread into wedges, dip it into the juice, and use it to line 10 small moulds as if making individual summer puddings. Spoon in the chopped tomato flesh, and cover with a round of bread. Cover the puddings, weight them down, and refrigerate for 6–8 hours or overnight. To serve, turn out each pudding on to a chilled plate, garnish with herbs, and serve with more juice. A large tomato pudding can be made in the same way.

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