If I am ever hungry and with little time to cook, there is always one staple meal to resort to: bread and tomatoes or tomato paste. The addition of olive oil is imperative and crumbling aromatic oregano goes without saying. It has a name too: riganátha
Head straight to the recipe.
This light meal is probably not new to you at all, it cropped up on my sourdough bread recently. Riganatha, is a lavish spread of tomato paste with a bit of salt, olive oil and oregano. It’s such a humble and filling meal. Normally it’s tomato paste for winter or any time fresh tomatoes are not high and mighty. But come summer, having them fresh is imperative!
I bet there are dozens of tomato recipes out there. We all have our favourites, be it stews or pasta sauces. But I also have some very, very special tomatoes that I wouldn’t use any other way. My London grown tomatoes.
I’m not a great gardener, my skills ranks somewhere below zero. It’s easy to happen, in all the tiny apartments I have ever been the space is just enough for a few potted herbs. Who would have thought I would actually go full on with my tomatoes?
I grabbed a couple of seed sachets from the store on an impulse. And grow bags, simply because they were sitting next to the seeds. Little did I know I will come to have a tiny tomato jungle at the back garden. Truth to be said, if it wasn’t for the lockdown I probably wouldn’t have embarked on this adventure.
I had pomodori and cherry tomato seeds. All seeds were very conveniently planted in the old plastic tubs you get your mushrooms in. I think it was on the 1st of April, the day I was officially locked indoors and idle, with all the time in the world. My tomatoes became a wonderful pastime, the news were a nightmare to watch, so I started time-lapsing.
The seedlings grew so fast! The mushroom pot was replaced by a yogurt tub and the lucky hot spell of weather at the end of April saw them migrating outdoors in their growbags.
My tomato plants were so happy they outgrew these, too. During lockdown I couldn’t even get enough soil or planters to accommodate them. A few holes were dug at the backgarden, accompanied by many drops of sweat, agony and a tiny shovel. Once replanting was over, we just hopped for the best!
The best, I think, came with a lot of rain. The plants settled superfast and the bees were paying very frequent visits on the first flowers. I did get in a non-stop fight with slugs and snails.
The tiny beasts got deported to the front patch of green at regular intervals. It seems there is no end to them, still, I resisted, no fertilizers or chemical nasties. As I got to share the tiny patch of green with its usual inhabitants and the more I watched, the more I realised I might be the intruder here.
Alas, it took a loooong, looong time to see them form fruit. In my eyes at least. They didn’t ripen until beginning of August but hey, here we are now with some 5 kilos of tomatoes!!! And counting! All our fruit blushed just after I left for Athens. These here are the very first crop. And they were made into riganatha of course! Warm sourdough slice smothered with my first, very own tomatoes.
Riganátha, freshly grated tomato spread with olive oil & oregano
- 2 ripe tomatoes, grated
- A pinch of oregano
- A teaspoon of olive oil
- Once you grate your tomatoes, add in the olive oil, a pinch of salt and mix well.
- Serve on a warm slice of sourdough and repeat!
Have you been growing in your garden too? Let me know in the comments! Let me know if you enjoy this kind of snacks, I will be making more 🙂
from Athens with love,