Tomato recipes

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Bruchetta (Italian pronunciation bru'sketta)

This is an Italian classic and my favourite way to eat sweet and tasty home grown vine ripened tomatoes. You can taste the sun as the fresh juices dribble gently through your finger tips that then have to be licked and sucked clean! Well you can't possibly waste a drop of that goodness can you?!

Chop up the equivalent of 2-3 medium sized tomatoes with a sharp knife into pieces roughly a centimetre square. Place in a bowl and gently stir in 1 clove of crushed garlic, a few basil leaves that have been thinly sliced, a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve piled onto toasted bread of your choice.

Insalata Caprese

This would have to be a close and joyful second after a trip to my local farmers market to purchase fresh buffalo mozzarella. This is also a classic Italian starter.

Not too thin slices of the buffalo mozzarella are layered with not too thin slices of fresh tomato and in between each, a delicate leaf of fresh basil (which loves to grow among tomato plants). When it's all laid out spectacularly on the platter sprinkle over a beautiful extra virgin olive oil, some fresh ground pepper and a very light sprinkle of salt – that's it!

Meryn's Healthy Tomato Ketchup

(adapted from her mum's recipe)

This recipe has no added sugar but instead is sweetened with apples and dates – the resulting sauce is deliciously rich, sweet and naturally thickened, and gets rave reviews from young and old! It is loaded with pure and simple goodness – minerals, fibre and of course lycopene. Enjoy lashings guilt – free with just about any meal imaginable, but just watch the kids don't eat it all!

1 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 kg apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (I used Granny Smith but any good flavoured apple would do)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
12 pitted dates (my favourite is medjool dates)

Puree in food processor with 1 cup water then put into a large pot and bring to the boil (add extra water if too thick)

add a scant
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt (more can be added, once cooked, to taste)

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally Add more water if needed, to achieve desired sauce consistency.

If there are any lumps finish with a final puree using an emersion stick blender or your choice of pureeing tool!

Keep it in the fridge (but it won't last long) or preserve in sterilised sealable jars/bottles.



Tasty treat - Photo credit