My parents are more successful at growing tomatoes than I am. That, I would like to point out, is not because they are better gardeners. It’s because they have a better place to grow them. First, the climate in the Czech Republic is slightly less humid than in the Netherlands and the summers are a little sunnier. And tomatoes, they like the sun and don’t like the rain. If the plants get wet too often, they’ll succumb to blight in no time. And that’s exactly what happens in my garden every year, because wet summers are about the only kind we ever get here.
Second, my parents plant their tomatoes against the sunny wall of their holiday home, under the roof overhang, which means the plants don’t get wet much even when it does rain. And so they pick vine-ripened tomatoes till October, even though they frequently forget to pinch out the side-shoots, to manure, or to water. And my pampered and flawlessly cared for tomato plants start dying in July. Yes, I am a little bitter. Wouldn’t you be?
But because we visit my parents every summer for a few weeks, I can always pick some of their tomatoes. And make cherry tomato clafoutis that I ‘ve been meaning to make for….well, a long time.
While I ‘ve never been much charmed by its sweet cousin, the cherry clafoutis, I could totally see a point in making this savory version. Baked tomatoes and eggs is my mother’s comfort food, a dish she makes for herself at midnight when she can’t sleep, or for anybody else, anytime.
Apart from the time spent picking tomatoes and running to the scales inside to check whether we had the required 350 g already, the clafoutis was very fast and easy to put together. The original recipe called for goat’s cheese and chives, I used Parmesan and oregano, but that was totally because I had those.
We cut the clafoutis in squares and served it as a part of mezze board, but it would be great as a lunch or a light dinner, too.
Cherry tomato clafoutis
Adapted from Allrecipes
350g cherry tomatoes
6 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp snipped fresh chives
50 g Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer in the bottom of a lightly oiled, 23cm round ovenproof dish, that is about 5cm deep. (I used a rectangular baking dish 25 x 15 cm).
Place the eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk in the milk. Add the flour and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the herbs and grated cheese and season to taste. Pour this batter over the tomatoes.
Bake for 35–40 minutes until the top is golden and the pudding is almost set (it will carry on cooking once removed from the oven). Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving as the tomatoes will be very hot inside.