As a fan of tomatoes, I have to agree with Lewis G: “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” These fruits are so versatile and add such flavour to a meal whether eaten fresh or cooked.
If your repertoire consists of cutting tomatoes into wedges for a salad or plopping a tin of diced tomatoes over your spaghetti, it’s time to try something new! Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, and are also high in vitamin C and vitamin A, so give some of these easy options a go:
- Take large tomatoes, slice the tops off, scoop out the inside and then stuff them with anything from cheese and mushrooms to sliced mixed vegetables to couscous. Once arranged, place them on a baking tray and cook them in the oven until all ingredients have warmed through
- Make your own salsa to serve as a side dish. Finely chop and mix tomatoes, onion, green peppers and any mixture of herbs. Something like coriander adds a fresh taste whereas basil would add a milder taste
- Use a mixture of tinned tomato and tomato puree instead of a white sauce when making lasagne – healthier and easier!
- Whether you use a store-bought quiche or play kitchen goddess and bake your own, slice baby tomatoes in half and place them face down on top before you place the quiche in the oven. It gives a lovely effect and adds a great flavour
- Layer fresh tomato slices on pizza, quiche and macaroni cheese
- Bulk up your roast potatoes and add some colour: Mix whole baby tomatoes with chopped baby potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, throw in a handful of thyme and roast in the oven
- Take small tomatoes, slice the tops off, scoop out the insides and stuff them with a cottage cheese and herb mixture for cocktail snacks
- Finely dice a fresh tomato and mix in with a red pepper dip, use as a topping on nachos, spoon some over scrambled eggs or layer it on top of fish before baking in the oven
- Make your own tomato marmalade by gently heating and simmering diced baby tomato, diced lemon including the rind, water and sugar in a pan
Adapted from Food Flavours. See www.soundbites.co.za