A red post for a red letter day!
The Artist’s birthday is on the 28th August, which if on a weekend, generally falls on a bank holiday in the UK. Here in Provence it is often the last hot weekend of the summer and we usually celebrate with a lunch or dinner outside. This year our friends Papou and Fabrice very kindly hosted a barbecue lunch at their lovely house in Paradou. All we had to do was invite our friends and bring the food; the location, pool, garden and everything else they provided. What more could you want for a lovely late summer’s day in the sunshine?
There is a glut of tomatoes in the markets at this time of year and the stall holders are practically giving them away. I bought a huge bag of them, at least 2 kilos, I just couldn’t resist, (well there aren’t many shoe shops round where we live). I then had to decide what to do with them and had to make up my mind quickly as they would otherwise have soon become mush!
Usually when in doubt I roast them in the oven to become soup or a pizza topping, which can be frozen for later in the year when fresh tomatoes are tasteless and out of season. This time I decided to make a chilli salsa with them instead, to accompany the butterflied leg of lamb we would be serving at the barbecue.
Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Chilli Salsa
- 1 kilo very ripe tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 onion cut into quarters
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 chillis
- As spicy or as mild as you prefer
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1/2 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- A few grinds of the pepper mill
- A handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
Preheat the oven to 200℃. Cut the tomatoes into 8. Core and de-seed the red pepper and cut into pieces about 5cms square Cut the onion into quarters. Put all into a roasting dish, adding the chilli peppers and garlic cloves, unpeeled. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seed in a frying pan for a minute or so until toasted and sprinkle along with the salt and pepper over the tomatoes. Pour over the olive oil. Put the dish into the oven and roast for approximately 40 mins or until the skins on the tomatoes are starting to blacken. Remove from the oven.
Leave to cool, then take out a ladle of the tomatoes and peppers and set aside. Remove the garlic peel (the garlic should pop out of the peel when squeezed) and put everything into a food processor and liquefy. Meanwhile chop the reserved tomato and peppers roughly by hand and add to the salsa for a bit of texture. Chop the coriander and scatter on top and serve with lamb, chicken or roasted vegetables and couscous and savour the last tastes of summer.
It is also lovely as a dip, eaten with some home made bread and served with France’s favourite drink of the day, l’apero!
Don’t forget to leave a comment, they are always welcome.