Beach Cottage Recipe, Easy Grilled Tomatoes with Garlic & Parmesan

Wed 4th, Sep, 2013

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Hello Beach Cottage ladies, how you cooking…. I love tomatoes, always have and think I always will and today wanted to share how I love this easy tomato recipe with spring onion, garlic and herbs.

Many many moons ago my lovely husband, that would be Frank, also known as Mr BC in these fair parts, and I, moved into a house with a little bambino in a village in Kent with lots of greens, cricket, pubs, surrounded by lanes and fields.  On some days over here in the land of Down Under when the sky is Australian blue (if you don’t know what I mean, I urge you if you can one day to make it over here and see for yourself, there is nothing like it) and the sun is shining in the garden of my old cottage, I for sure miss those days, days with that cutie little white blonde bambino, who now is 6ft 2″ and cute may not be a word I’d use to describe him.


Anyway this house, I’ve written on here before, had been occupied before by a serious gardener…unknowingly then I was very very very lucky to take ownership of it and tend it with my very new and not very green thumb (after spending years here trying to establish even a resemblance of a garden I now know how lucky)…and every single season that rolled round something different in the garden came out, there was colour nearly all year and even in the depths of Winter in the Old Country it kinda worked.  Someone somewhere had known what they were doing.  It wasn’t me.


So I filled my days with doing a bit of weeding, looking after that bambino, going for long walks down country lanes and in the Summertime sitting out on the patio.  And I thought I had it tough looking after one.  Not only was he in the singular, he was (and still is) about the most easy-going, beautifully natured person you are ever going to meet.    Ho ho ho ho.

Anyhoooo as any good run-of-the-mill English person would do as Winter fades I began to visit garden centres and plan my pots, my hanging baskets and the tubs by my front door.  If you know not what I am talking about, in Summertime in England, walk around any town centre, down any suburban road, stroll through a shopping mall, have a drink in the garden of a pub and you will be surrounded by hanging, potted or trailing flowers – a copious amount of florals will be positively heaving out of tubs, baskets, pots and planters.  Busy Lizzies, fuchsias, lobelia, dahlias, begonias, petunias, geraniums.  They will all be there fighting for a spot.

I would look forward to this potting up of pots, as would other people I knew, it was like the start of the good weather, the hope of things to come and a mass exodus to the garden centre to ‘do your pots’.


So with this mammoth floral planting exercise, one year I bought some tomato plants, I very much nurtured my inner Tom and Barbara (I mean who wouldn’t want to look like Felicity?) and had silly little romantic notions of toms full of blushing red gracing my windowsills waiting to ripen.

And so another very English thing (or so I think) I got myself two grow bags, as cheap as chips but not quite known for their aesthetic properties and proceeded to pop these bags of soil on my South West facing patio (South West means sun, oh wait I now know what sun is, but you know, lovely faint beautiful English sun), filled them with the tomato plants and the rest is history.

Did I have tomatoes as I wafted around the garden, basket over arm, humming tunes like Felicity in a 70′s hat??? Oh yes baby I sure did.


Sooooooo, not sure why I told you all that, oh yes, I do, I had a lot of tomatoes that year and while my journey with the new cooks was starting (Jamie, Nigel et al) I rustled up a garlic-y, tomato-ey, herb-y,dish after having found it while looking for things to do to use up a home-grown glut of tomatoes.


This is then, in effect, nothing other than a few tomatoes and a few other ingredients thrown together to make something very very nice…perhaps you don’t need a recipe for it, because for sure I eyeball it all the way to the bank

I am given to believe that this recipe is on the Italian side…admonish me if you please and think I am oh so wrong…for sure it has never been anywhere near Italy with me, and I haven’t seen it anywhere on my cookery-reading travels that visit Italy…but of course it has their, the lovely Italians, and their wonderful simple cooking and flavours, just about all over it.

Tomatoes with garlic, onion & Parmesan Recipe

large handful tomatoes

olive oil

3 or 4 spring onions

thyme and oregano

3 cloves garlic



1. add some oil to a pan and slowly soften the garlic and onion

2. add the tomatoes, thyme, oregano until soft and charring, about 5 mins or so

3. add Parmesan to the tomatoes and allow to melt

4. remove to a plate (or serve straight from pan) with extra spring onions, Parmesan, salt & pepper

Notes*  leave out the herbs if you don’t have to hand, at a push sprinkle on some dried  *this serves 1 to 2 with French bread for a nice lunch, triple up as a side dish and use a big pan  *I use regular olive oil here  *I like the garlic a bit bitter and charred, if you don’t leave it to cook and soften slowly

I hope you like the look of it…super easy and a great way to use up your glut of home-grown tomatoes, grow bag or not.

Be seeing ya


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9 Responses to “Beach Cottage Recipe, Easy Grilled Tomatoes with Garlic & Parmesan”

  1. Love this type of food! Thanks for sharing. And as a born and bred Aussie who doesn’t usually bother with the whole pot thing I’ve decided that this year I am actually going to be ever so English and do-my-pots to pretty up the deck. Just hoping I remember to water them…xx

  2. alison says:

    I have been doing my pots. We now have new Italian parsley and rosemary on our balcony. You know that moment when you look at your pots and think wow those plants have gone past their use-by date?


  3. Aisling says:

    Now you have made me nostalgic – I remember doing my pots when I lived in England. I used to get my plants in London from Columbia Road Flower Market on Sunday before it got all frou frou (well it was starting to get a bit but you still got the 80 yr old barrow boys calling their wares and 20 bizzy lizzies for 3 pounds :))

    That tomato dish looks yum. I might even try to grow some tomatoes this year – in grobags – as all I have in my seaside garden is sand… pre-salted tomatoes perhaps :))


  4. merilyn says:

    just looks delicious, sarah! … love that type of food too.
    simple nutritious ingredients and a bit of imagination, works every time!
    your deck will be great when it is finished and i’m interested to see your kitchen space!!!
    lol m :)x

  5. Such a nice and healthy lunch!
    love it <3

  6. Claire says:

    You made me laugh Sarah – every spring I proudly “do my pots” for the summer here in the UK! But you’ve got to get to the garden centre before the Bank Holiday weekends to pick up the best plants before they all go!! We’ve had a splendid summer this year and I’ve got a lovely crop of tomatoes just starting to turn red, so your recipe is very timely, thank you! x

  7. janita says:

    Thank you Sarah. It was delicious :) I used a shredded Italian cheese blend and threw in some yellow summer squash that needed be used up. It didn’t look quite as lovely as yours but very enjoyable none the less. I ate it all :) Just curious what kind of tomatoes you are using? Janita

  8. Veggie mama says:

    I’m keen for a bit of English countryside lanes, let me tell you. Got quite the hankering at the moment! And perhaps a nice pint.