This is a sort of winter version of one of my summer favourites – pan con tomate. At this time of year I want something warm to eat and the tomatoes in the shops can be in need of a little help to bring out the best in them.
Normally I shy away from anything sweet and sour; too many dodgy takeaways making it synonymous with gloopy luminous red sauce covering unidentifiable fried things and random chunks of pineapple. But a splash of sherry vinegar and a spoonful of sugar over some squashed fried tomatoes creates a delicious sticky glaze that will seep satisfyingly into a chewy slice of thick toast.
Toast a nice chunky slice of sourdough or similar bread and keep warm.
Pop a good knob of butter into a small frying pan with a whole clove of garlic and bring to a sizzle. Chop around 100-150g tomatoes into chunks – I only had cherry tomatoes in so I just halved them. Add to the pan and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When they begin to soften, give them a good squish with a fork then add a couple of teaspoons of sherry or balsamic vinegar and a couple of teaspoons of soft brown sugar. Allow to bubble away until thick and reduced.
Fish out the clove of garlic and discard. Add a little salt and pepper then pour over the bread. Sprinkle over a little thyme and eat.
Serves 1 as a light lunch. A poached egg on top would turn this into an excellent brunch too. Takes 10 minutes.
Around 150g tomatoes
A good chunky slice of bread
A knob of butter
1 clove garlic
2tsp sherry or balsamic vinegar
2tsp light brown sugar
a few thyme leaves