Provencal aasparagus and tomato
This is a very quick and easy side dish to put together and will serve two people.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
1 large ripe tomato
1 bunch asparagus spears
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of crushed garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only)
4 sprigs chopped parsley
2 sprigs chopped rosemary leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
A piece of parmesan for shaving or grating
Cut a small x in the bottom of the tomato and put into a pot of salted water over high heat and cook for about half a minute .Remove it to a bowl of cold salty water. Put the asparagus into the boiling water and blanch for a minute. Remove it and put it into cold water with the tomato and drain both when cooled. Peel the tomato, remove the seeds and roughly chop it. Cut the asparagus into 2 cm pieces and set aside.
In a large frying pan heat the oil, and when hot, add the tomato, garlic, herbs and lemon juice. Season with pepper and salt. I use Murray River Salt Flakes because I find that they have a delicate salty flavour like no other salt. Having this combination of herbs fried in oil makes the asparagus and tomatoes burst with flavour.
Cook for about 5 minutes (until tomato softens). Stir in the asparagus and cook till it is just tender – about 3 minutes. Spoon the mixture into an oven proof dish and scatter with some parmesan cheese. Bake for about 5 minutes or till the cheese is melted and slightly browned.