Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Seasonal Ingredient: Tomatoes

Aoife, Cambridge

It feels a little strange to be harvesting several bowlfuls of tomatoes a week in October. I should be grateful, at the start of August I thought they would never ripen but the couple of hot weeks at the end of the summer seems to have pushed them over the edge and I haven't been short of tomatoes for a while now.

With the ready supply of the fresh, raw ingredient our dinners have been a little tomato heavy. The new favourite is an easy tomato tart. Simply take a sheet of puff pastry (look for those that say "all butter" if not making it yourself), crimp the sides a little to give a nice edge, cover the surface with halved cherry tomatoes, drizzle olive oil and scatter chopped basil, salt and pepper. Bake at 200°C for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden. We have actually made this about five times recently (The Husband likes it a lot), mainly as a quick "feck it in the oven" dinner after work. We occasionally mix it up by adding a layer of pesto underneath the tomatoes or some soft goat's cheese.

I've also taken to roasting the tomatoes, along with some garlic cloves:

I pushed the roast tomatoes through a sieve and added them to softened onions and courgettes (from the allotment!) to make an intensely flavored sauce for pasta.

As much as I love fresh tomatoes I am almost looking forward to turning the remaining green ones into chutney.

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