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Pan fried tomatoes with cucumber salsa

Side Veganisable
Serves 4

This is a lovely way to celebrate summer tomatoes. Feel free to play around with the types of tomatoes and herbs you use here, using up what you might have growing in your garden or sitting in your fridge. Serve this alongside a roast chicken or grilled halloumi, for a complete meal.


4 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp maple syrup
6 multicoloured tomatoes, medium-ripe (about 6), halved through the stem
4 sprigs za’atar oregano (or regular oregano)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
120g cucumber, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 1 cm cubes
15g chives, finely chopped
5g za’atar oregano (or regular oregano), leaves picked and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
flaked sea salt and black pepper


  1. Add the oil and maple syrup to a medium frying pan and place it over a medium heat. Sprinkle the cut side of the tomatoes all over with 1 teaspoon flaked salt and a good grind of pepper. Once the pan is hot, add the tomatoes, cut side down and sprinkle the other side with ½ teaspoon flaked salt and a good grind of pepper. Fry for 10-12 minutes, until starting to colour on the bottom, then gently flip over and fry for 4-5 minutes more. Add the oregano sprigs and smashed garlic and fry for another 2 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and lightly caramelised and the garlic is browned. Some tomatoes will soften faster than others; gently remove them as they’re ready and arrange them on a serving plate. Once all your tomatoes are done, add them to the plate and pour over the fried garlic, oregano and any of the liquid from the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the cucumber salsa together and season with ½ teaspoon flaked salt and a good grind of pepper. Spoon half this mixture all over the tomatoes, serving the remaining alongside.