An ode to tomatoes...

Sunday 2 October 2011

How do I love thee, tomato? Let me count the ways....
I love thee juiced, pulped, chopped, sliced, roasted, fried, grilled, or just whole, devoured with wanton greed. Yes, I love this humble fruit.

What I love even more is stumbling across beautiful specimens when you're least expecting them. We're in October now and the prime tomato season of August is pretty much over. So to find these juicy little beauties yesterday  - from Venn Street Market - was even more exciting and called for a celebration of all things tomato.

Organic tomatoes from Wild Country Organics

First entrant to the tomato feast was a classic Spanish-style gazpacho. Fresh and fragrant with basil, cucumber, fiery garlic and of course the flesh of the red tomatoes. Parsley and cubes of cucumber and red pepper make a great crunchy addition just before serving...(recipes follow below)

Greek basil flowers and a drizzle of olive oil to serve...

Next on the list was a tomato tarte tatin, using small sweet cherry tomatoes - yellow and red. These are sweet and sticky from brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and have the perfect amount of garlic to balance out the sweetness...

For the gazpacho (makes 2 large bowls)
  • 700g tomatoes
  • half a red pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 - 3 spring onions
  • glug of good olive oil
  • splash of sherry vinegar
  • 4 inch piece of cucumber, peeled
  • pinch of salt and pepper 
First, cover the tomatoes with boiling water for 2 minutes. Their skin should split and it will be easy to remove. Once you have removed the skin, cut each tomato in half and remove the seeds.  
Put all ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. To make the garnish, finely chop the remaining half pepper, a small piece of cucumber and a handful of parsley. Serve ice cold, with a couple of ice cubes in the bowl too. 

For the tomato mini tarte tatins (makes 2)
  • 4 - 5 cherry tomatoes per tarte
  • garlic clove, crushed
  • splash of olive oil
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of light brown sugar 
Take 2 mini cake tins (the ones I use are about 5 inches across) and put a splash of olive oil in the bottom of each. Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side down in the base of the tins, ensuring to squeeze them in. Add a splash of balsamic and a sprinkling of sugar. Add a small amount of garlic to each tin and put in the oven at 200C for 10 minutes, until bubbling. 

In the meantime, cut rounds out of puff pastry sheets and chill until needed. The circles should be large enough to cover the tomatoes. 

Add the pastry to the top of the tomatoes, return to the oven and bake for a further 12 minutes until the puff pastry is risen and golden. 

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a plate and admire your handiwork.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a comment - I'd love to hear from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...