Old Times of Pure Comfort…
For me, nothing is more delighting than a simple home cooked meal that’s deliberately, slowly, consumed in the garden, during a low-profile gathering with my very loved ones. It is this kind of comfort that I long to during this time of the year.
One of my ultimate home made recipes, roasted tomato and beef tartines, is one that was devised out of my passion for home-grown veggies and our family’s olive oil.
This simple recipe easily beats all ready-made dishes and sandwiches I had to become accustomed to while living on my own here in Beirut. Here are the ingredients needed to make 3 tartines:
- 1 large tomato or 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 200 g of thinly sliced beef steak, previously sautéed in vinegar and black pepper
- 3 thick slices of country bread
- 1/2 avocado, peeled and sliced thin
- 1/2 large burrata ball (gruyere would work fine as well)
- 4 large leaves of fresh basil
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C.
2. Cut the large tomato in thin slices. Lay on a tray and drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with the salt. If you are using the cherry tomatoes, simply toss them with the olive oil and salt and lay them in a single layer.
3. Roast for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until they’re wrinkly and deeply caramelized in parts. The cherry tomatoes will sweet and shrink, and some of the juices will burn in places. This is the goodness.
4. When the tomatoes have roasted, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.
5. In a large skillet over medium heat add the butter to melt. Place the pieces of beef in the pan and cook until they’re well done (my preference, but you can have them medium-rare), about 5-7 minutes each side.
6. Do the same to the bread, cooking them in the same pan where they absorb all the remaining juices, until they’re partially crisp and golden in parts, about 3-4 minutes per side. Add more butter if needed.
7. Once cool, assemble the tartines. Avocado and beef slices line the bottom, then cut off a piece of the burrata taking care to get parts of the creamy interior. Lick your fingers when no one is looking ;)
8. Add a small pile of roasted tomatoes on top. Then finish with some torn leaves of basil and a squeeze of lemon. Feel free to add a nice flaky salt on top. Oh, some olive oil too… & Voila!
– Caution: This meal is meant to be consumed in the garden! If you don’t have one, plant one!