If you can get hold of heritage tomatoes, they make this simple dish more interesting. Yorkshire Fettle is a cheese which is really an English feta and is less salty than the Greek version. It was initially called Yorkshire feta but there is a story/myth/legend/fib that the European Union had to intervene and inform the cheese company that it could not use the name ‘feta’ as it was not made in Greece. They came up with the name Yorkshire Fettle, fettle being an old English term referring to something or someone who is in good shape. This recipe uses the Herbed soda bread from here, but if you don’t have time some thick granary will do.
50ml olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small bunch of curly parsley
2 shallots, or 1 small red onion
4 large heritage tomatoes (if you cannot find them try to get the best you can)
4 thick slices of Herbed soda bread (see here)
250g Yorkshire Fettle, crumbled
First, marinate the shallots. In a shallow bowl, put the olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Now chop the parsley, not too fine; keep some texture, as it is a main element here and you want to distinguish it at the end. Add it to the oil.
Next peel and slice the shallots or onion very finely, then add to the parsley oil and mix. Leave to marinate while you do the rest.
Slice the tomatoes around 5mm thick. Lay on a plate and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and a little sugar; this will heighten the sweetness and help to soften the tomatoes a little.
Heat the grill and toast the slices of bread on one side – you will smell the herbs as it gets hot. Turn over, add the cheese and put it back under the grill. The cheese will not melt but will soften; this is part of the charm.
When it has softened, remove from the grill and top with slices of tomato, then the shallots and parsley. Add a spoon of the oil as well, as it will have picked up lots of flavour, then serve.
If you are lucky the sun will be shining and you can enjoy this with a glass of pale ale.