There was a moment at Berta this year when I became slightly obsessed with the flavour of caraway, the smell of it is so savoury and something about it always makes me hungry. As is my want, I tried it many ways with most things. This salt, however, became a firm favourite and its smoky and intense flavour brings out the umami characteristics of a roasted ripe tomato.
- 8 medium truss tomatoes (see Note)
- extra-virgin olive oil
- river salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp caraway seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp river salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the caraway salt, in a mortar and pestle, combine the caraway and salt and pound until fine. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 130°C. Place the tomatoes on a wire rack on a tray, drizzle liberally with the oil, season heavily with salt and pepper and scatter over the oregano. Roast for 3 hours. This long cooking time will result in tomatoes that are still perfectly formed yet tender with a delicious roasted flavour. Remove from the oven and serve on a large platter, drizzled with more oil and dusted with the caraway salt and some extra pepper.
• When buying tomatoes, choose the best and the ripest, especially for this recipe as it depends on the flavour of the tomatoes, which are the centrepiece with nowhere to hide.
Photographs by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd.