Cherry-Red Roast-Tomato Starter

Perfect as a pre-drink snack, or to make for a book club. We love the flavour of roasted tomatoes, when combined with a little pesto and cream cheese, and mopped up with chunky bread; or gently piled onto some bruschetta or Melba toast. It certainly makes a very easy starter with great bursts of taste. We sometimes have this as our main meal, with the addition of some chunky crudités, and freshly baked bread.

Serves 4 – 6

1 punnet Rosa baby tomatoes
25 ml olive oil
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
5 ml Italian herbs, or garlic and herb mix
1 small lettuce, washed and shredded
1 x 250 g container cream cheese
80 – 100 ml basil or red pepper pesto
60 ml flaked almonds, toasted
30 ml finely chopped parsley
3 sprigs fresh basil

  1. Preheat oven to180ºC/160ºC fan/Gas mark 4.
  2. Place tomatoes into a small roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper and Italian or

garlic herbs.

  1. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes.
  2. Arrange lettuce on a flat platter and place the unwrapped packet of cream cheese in the centre of the platter.
  3. Place roasted tomatoes in their juices around the cream cheese.
  4. Stir basil or red pepper pesto lightly and drizzle over the cheese.
  5. Next, sprinkle with some toasted almonds.
  6. Lastly, garnish the tomatoes with parsley, and a few fresh basil leaves.
  7. Serve with sliced French bread or ciabatta bread, bruschetta, Melba toast, or biscuits.


  • Add 60 g sun-dried tomatoes to the fresh tomatoes after completing step 3. This gives a different texture and

flavour to the recipe.

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