How are your tomato plants doing? Still pumping fruits by the bucket or finished because of blight, hornworms or early frost? Here the only tomato variety I have known to keep going outside past August is ‘Matt’s Wild Cherry’. Many years ago I ordered seed from Tomato Fest and it was the only supposedly blight resistant variety that indeed lived up to the seed company’s promises. The tomatoes are quite tiny and the plants unruly but the fruits taste good and they keep ripening well into October which for our part of the world is pretty amazing. I save some seed every year and share it with other gardeners who are desperately trying to grow tomatoes in our rainy climate.
But this year, thanks to our greenhouse, we’re also still picking the delicious and a little bigger cherry tomato ‘Black Cherry’ and the smaller but extremely prolific ‘Blondköpfchen’.
Which means I can still make this dish that we started making at the height of the tomato season and which all of us enjoy. I enjoy it even more than the rest of the family because it is so simple to make – just throwing a couple of ingredients into a baking dish and leaving them in the oven for a quarter of an hour. The cheese melts a little (though do not expect it to melt like cheddar and become stringy) and blends deliciously with the other flavours. I serve it with strips of pita bread which we use to scoop up it up.
As I understand it, ‘saganaki’ is the name of a small frying pan used for cooking in Greece and analogically also the name of any meal that you make in it. Following this logic, in my kitchen this meal should be called ‘tarte tatin’ since I make it in my beloved and well used tarte tatin baking dish. But that would be a little confusing, so let’s stick to Greek, which we do not understand anyway and let’s just enjoy this colourful, flavourful and super easy dish. (Or: you can wrap everything in a piece of tinfoil and cook it on the barbecue if the weather where you are is still conductive to cooking out – in which case: lucky you!).
400 g (6,75 ounces) feta cheese
About 20 cherry tomatoes, depending on size
10 olives, I prefer unpitted kalamata, my children prefer pitted green
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Few sprigs of fresh oregano of a bit of dried.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 F).
Crumble the feta into an ovenproof dish. Halve the tomatoes or leave them whole if they are very small. Add the tomatoes, capers and olives to the dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little red pepper flakes and fresh or dried oregano. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Serve with toasted pita bread.