Marinated Sheep's Milk Feta with Roasted Tomatoes

2:04 am on 1 August 2009

(Serves 4 as a starter)

Ingredients

  • 8 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and caster sugar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp creamy Dijonnaise mustard (Maille brand)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 250g sheep's milk feta
  • 3 cups, tightly packed, trimmed rocket leaves (or 1 bag wild rocket leaves)
  • 1 cup fresh mint

Method

1. Halve the tomatoes and put them in a shallow ovenproof tray (I use a non-stick Swiss roll tin) lined with baking paper, cut side up. Distribute a little salt, pepper and sugar over the cut surfaces and drizzle with a little oil. Bake in an oven preheated to 140C (regular bake) for about one and a half hours, or until the tomatoes have collapsed and the juices are syrupy.

2. Mix three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and add mustard, pepper to taste and lemon juice. Whisk until thick.

3. Cut the feta into eight slices. Put the rocket and mint in a bowl, rewhisk the dressing and pour half of it over the salad. Toss well and put some on each plate along with the asparagus if using (see below), feta and tomatoes. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over. Serve with crusty bread.

When asparagus are in season, buy 750-900g plump asparagus. Trim the asparagus and put them in a shallow ovenproof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes in a hot oven until they have coloured on the stems and caramelized on the tips. If serving with asparagus, the salad will serve 6 as a starter, or 4 as a light lunch dish.

The tomatoes are so good, that you might like to make a large tray of them; they will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (use in salads, with cheese, or toss through hot pasta with fresh rocket, garlic and extra virgin olive oil).

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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