My mother would always laugh and say ‘more for me!’ in Arabic while shaking her head at me. we would spend most Saturday mornings with a plate of these tomatoes in between us, both using warm pita bread to eat through it. Except, I would just dab my bread onto the tomatoes picking up tomato-y, garlic-y oil and eat that and my mother thought I was crazy for leaving all the actual tomatoes for her. When I look back now, I also think I was crazy as these days I pick up as much tomato as possible in my warm and fluffy bread to scoop into my mouth. Despite that, this dish was always one of my favourites and so was the time I spent with my mother eating it. Mama always liked her garlic charred and bitter and she would secretly hoard them on her side of the plate when she thought I wouldn’t notice.
My mother and I have always been very close, and once my father died and my two older brothers went off to university it was just my mother and I. These little memories- completely unremarkable- are the ones that fill my mind when I think back to those days. It still makes me smile. Many years later, I started cooking these for Christopher and it became our tradition as well, eating them almost every Saturday without fail. Now that we all live together, it’s something that we enjoy together.
6 plum on-vine tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic finely sliced
A few good glugs of extra virgin olive oil
Cut the tomatoes in cross sections about 1-2 cm wide and lay them flat in a frying pan of olive oil
Cook on a medium heat until they start to brown on one side
Once browned, add the garlic and then turn the tomatoes immediately (you add the garlic now to stop them from burning)
Once the other side have browned and the garlic is cooked, add salt and serve with warm bread and any other Palestinian breakfast items.