This recipe is from Falastin: A Cookbook By Sami Tamimi And Tara Wigley. A soulful tour of Palestinian cooking today from the Ottolenghi restaurants’ executive chef and partner—120 recipes shaped by his personal story as well as the history of Palestine. I highly recommend checking out more recipes from Tamimi.
- 1¾ lb/800g plum tomatoes (8 or 9)
- 6 tbsp/90ml olive oil
- 1 green chile, halved lengthwise, then roughly chopped, seeds and all
- 8 garlic cloves: 2 crushed, 6 very thinly sliced lengthwise
- Salt and black pepper
- ½ tsp dried mint
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- ¼ cup/5g mint leaves, shredded
- ¼ cup/5g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Core the tomatoes and score the base with an “X”—this makes it easier to remove their skins. There are two ways to do this. The first is to bring a medium saucepan of water to a simmer over medium-high heat, and lower in the tomatoes. Cook for 1–2 minutes, or until the skins start to shrink back, then remove them with a slotted spoon. While the tomatoes are still warm, peel off and discard the skins. The second way is to place them in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 1–2 minutes, then drain. Again, while the tomatoes are still warm, peel off and discard the skins. Once peeled, slice each tomato into six wedges and set aside
Put 3 tbsp of oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, chile, crushed garlic, 1 tsp of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Cook for about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the dried mint and transfer to a serving platter. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, put the sliced garlic and remaining 3 tbsp of oil into a small frying pan and place over medium heat. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the garlic starts to become lightly golden. Add the pine nuts and cook for another 3 minutes, or until they have taken on some color. Pour the mixture, along with the oil, over the tomatoes and garnish with the mint and parsley leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Do ahead: The cooked tomatoes keep well in the fridge for up to four days. The garlic and pine nuts can also be prepared well ahead and kept at room temperature, ready to be spooned on when assembling the dish.