The tomato is the undisputed queen in our garden. We love tomatoes with a passion, they get spoiled and pampered like no other vegetable that we grow – as they wave at the others from their prime spot in our plot. We currently grow many different, most of them heirloom varieties. Berner Rosen, Green Zebra, Dark Green Zebra, Amana, Quedlinburger Frühe Liebe, Shah/White Mikado Tomato, Birnenförmige Gelbe, Pink Brandywine, Tomate Noire. Most of these we found via stadt-tomaten.ch, a project of pro specie rare.
The harvest season is just starting now, and we are getting exited. There are so many recipes with fresh tomatoes, that we look forward to cook again this season; besides the obvious, yet still delicious choices – Pasta with fresh tomato sauce, Pizza with fresh tomatoes. Let’s hope enough will be left to cook some sugo, that we usually eat halfway through the winter.
Here’s a selection of our current favorite tomato recipes:
When you eat this quick, hearty soup you feel connected to generations of Italian farmers. This is pure joy.
200 ml vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves
4 very ripe tomatoes, skinned
Heat the stock, olive oil, sage and garlic in a pan.
When the garlic starts to color, add the bread.
Fry until stock is absorbed and bread gets crisp.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes.
If needed add some water, to create a chunky consistency.
Serve with olive oil.
(Recipe from River Cafe Cook Book Easy – p. 50)
Best breakfast eggs ever? You decide.
2 red peppers
4 garlic gloves
5 very ripe tomatoes
Heat olive oil in a frying pan, add harissa, tomato purée, peppers, garlic, cumin and salt.
Cook for 8 minutes or until peppers start to soften.
Add the chopped tomatoes, cook for 10 minutes, taste.
Make four dips in the sauce and gently add an egg into each one.
Simmer until the egg whites set.
Serve with yoghurt or labneh.
(Recipe from Ottolenghi – Jerusalem – p. 66)
Bread, tomato, basil, cucumber:
This fantastic, Italian cold soup knocks Gazpacho right out of the ball park.
2 Fresh red chillies
4 Ciabatta slices
Red wine vinegar
Skin the tomatoes, chop, place in a bowl.
Peel cucumbers, chop, add.
Finely chop the garlic, add salt.
Finely cut the chillies.
Mix everything in the bowl.
Soak the ciabatta (or any bread) in some water, then sprinkle the vinegar over it.
Squeeze out the bread, chop, stir into the bowl.
Season with black pepper, olive oil.
Tear the basil, sprinkle on top with more olive oil.
(Recipe from River Cafe Two Easy – p. 106)
This tart uses the tricks we know from the classic tarte tatin with apples – baked in reverse, with caramelized butter and sugar – in a surprising (duh!) way.
200g cherry tomatoes
500g baby potatoes
3 oregano sprigs
150g hard goat’s cheese
Cook the baby potatoes until done, cool, cut into rings.
Saute the onions until golden brown.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
In a pan melt the butter, add the sugar, simmer until caramelized.
Spread the caramel over the lined baking tray.
Intersperse potato slices with halved cherry tomatoes and the onions.
Sprinkle with oregano leaves, spread slices of goats cheese.
Cover with puff pastry, pressing down the edges.
Bake for 25 minutes at 200ºC.
Gently turn the tart.
(Recipe from Ottolenghi – Plenty – p. 22)
Haloumi with tomato jam
We ate this at the excellent Lebanese restaurant Liza in Paris and we loved it so much, that we tried it at home. Turns out it is very easy to make the jam, just use any jam recipe and very ripe, skinned tomatoes. We made our tomato jam from an orange, very fleshy tomato, the “Ananas Tomate”. The jam got a golden color.
Fry or grill the haloumi to your liking and add a generous serving of the tomato jam.
Green tomato chutney:
Towards the end of the season there will always be some tomatoes that won’t ripen all the way. One excellent way to use the remaining green tomatoes is to make chutney with this simple green tomato chutney recipe, that we found online.
500g green tomatoes, chopped
medium white onion, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Cook everything for 30 minutes.
Keeps in the fridge for months.
Eat with Indian food, or add to mezzes, or Lebanese sandwiches.
The amazing Yotam Ottolenghi recently published four recipes to vary the way you eat tomato in salads. We have tried all of them and especially loved Tomato, rhubarb and elderflower salad and Tomato salad with horseradish cream.
And another Ottolenghi recipe we can’t wait to try: Tomato and almond tart (leave the anchovies out and it’s vegetarian).
And of course there’s Fattoush, Tabbouleh, Penne with tomato and nutmeg, Sun-dried tomato pesto, Ratatouille, Mexican salsa, Pa amb tomàquet (Catalan toasted bread rubbed with garlic, then tomatoes) … Summer is way too short.