Tomatoes Polonnaises

You know when recipes tell you to take advantage of the freshest produce of the season? And that if you don’t use just-picked whatever, you shouldn’t bother making the recipe at all?

You could say that about this recipe. Just a few ingredients, so every one of them should be the best quality possible and in this case, especially the tomato. Which would limit the making of this dish to the late summer and early fall.

In the past few years though, things changed. Heirloom tomatoes became available in the grocery stores. Now, instead of getting oddly textured, weird-tasting tomatoes, we can buy tomatoes that taste like they were taken from the field to the grocery store any time of the year.

What the heirloom tomatoes lack is a gene mutation that was deliberately bred into tomatoes to ensure that they were a consistent red when they were ripe. Sadly, the gene that was bred out of the tomatoes was integral in producing a tomato that tasted and smelled like a tomato. So, not a great idea really.

Heirloom tomatoes are more expensive than regular tomatoes, but so superior in flavour I think it’s worth the cost. And used in this dish, they were fantastic.

Here’s what happened.

Got the those tasty tomatoes and a shallot.

Tomatoes and a shallot.

Tomatoes and a shallot.

Minced the shallot.

Minced shallot.

Minced shallot.

Halved the tomatoes.

Halved tomatoes.

Halved tomatoes.

Got a fry pan and melted some butter in it.

Melt the butter.

Melt the butter.

Added the shallots and cooked them until they were tender.

Cooked shallots.

Cooked shallots.

Added the tomatoes, cut side down.

Add the tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes.

Cooked the tomatoes for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes of cooking.

After 5 minutes of cooking.

Poked the tomatoes with a knife.

Piercing tomatoes.

Piercing tomatoes.

Turned the tomatoes over.

Flipped.

Flipped.

Added the cream.

Add the cream.

Add the cream.

Cooked the tomatoes and cream a minute more, sprinkled with salt and pepper and served them.

Tomatoes Polonnaises.

Tomatoes Polonnaises.

Found this recipe in Sophie’s Table by Sophie Grigson.

Tomatoes Polonnaises
Serves 4 as a first course or side-dish

8 firm small tomatoes
30g. (1 oz.) butter
1 shallot or 1/2 red onion, chopped
5 tablespoons double cream
salt and pepper

Halve the tomatoes. Melt the butter in a wide frying pan and sauté the shallot or onion until tender. Add the tomatoes and cook gently for 4 minutes. Pierce the skins with a sharp knife and turn over. Cook for another 4 minutes. Spoon the cream around the tomatoes and add plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, simmer for 1 minute and serve.

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