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The Lola

Recipe blog

The Lola

Emily Kerrigan

Who doesn't love Charlie & Lola? If you've read I Will Not Ever NEVER Eat a Tomato with your kids, you'll have smiled wryly. If it isn't tomatoes, there's normally some food or other that makes your own child grimace. In the Modern Family Food kitchen we have a Reverse Lola situation: unlike the book, our little girl *loves* tomatoes but our son won't touch them raw, only cooked. This salad, which makes garlicky, oven-roasted super-sweet little tomatoes the star of the show, is made in our boy's (and girl's) honour. And for all other Lolas or Reverse Lolas out there.

Serves 2 

1 punnet of cherry or baby plum tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
a sprinkle of dried oregano or thyme
1 tsp caster sugar
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
4 slices of toasted ciabatta, to serve
2 tbsp crème fraîche
a handful of basil

Takes 15 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Use a knife with a serrated edge to cut the tomatoes then get your kids to put them in a little roasting dish. Tell them to drizzle over the olive oil, sprinkle over the dried herbs and sugar then crush over the garlic (kids find this easiest using a garlic crusher as they don't have to take the skin off which can be fiddly). Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and give them a stir to combine. Make sure all the tomatoes are cut-side-up then roast in the oven for 10 minutes. You want them nice and charred and soft but keep an eye on them as they are only small and will cook quickly.

2. Meanwhile slice up some ciabatta and toast or char on a griddle pan. Put the crème fraîche in a bowl, get the kids to roughly rip up the basil up and mix it into the crème fraîche. 

3. Take the tomatoes out of the oven and spoon them onto a plate. Quickly spoon the basil and crème fraîche into the tomato pan while it's hot and stir for a second so that the cream takes on the roasted flavour of the tomatoes. Now layer up the bread and tomatoes and top with the flavoured cream.