Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 23 January 2009 Contents 23 January, 2009 | Page 11
Botanically it’s a fruit but is now
legally classified as a vegetable. The
common garden tomato started as
a small, wild red fruit growing on
vines in the Andes region of Peru. It
has survived many name changes,
transformations and descriptions.
Few vegetables have had a greater
According to the United States
National Gardening Association 85
percent of households with gardens
now grow tomatoes. Tomatoes are
the main ingredient in the dozens
of commercially prepared pasta
sauces as well as being canned
whole, halved, diced or juiced.
Generally tomatoes fall into four
categories: the common all-rounder
— a medium-sized tomato great for
slicing; the cherry tomato perfect
for designer cooking and salads;
the large, irregular beefsteak best
for frying with bacon or use in
preserves; the fleshy plum (Italian or
acid-free) great for pasta sauces —
plus the varieties within each group.
Store tomatoes in a cool place, out
of direct sunlight, with the stem up
to prevent bruising.
Room temperature tomatoes have
much better flavour so please do not
store them in the refrigerator unless
they are over-ripe.
Tomatoes are a great source of
vitamin C and a good source of fibre,
and the vitamins A and B group.
Recently, lycopene, an antioxidant
found in tomatoes, has shown
promise in fighting prostate cancer
when the tomatoes are cooked.
Tomatoes are also low in calories —
a great summer food.
750g plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons each:
olive oil to cover
Similar to sundried tomatoes,
these delicious treats
are excellent served on a
cheeseboard, tossed with hot
pasta, combined in savoury
muffins or eaten ‘as is’ as
a snack. The recipe may be
doubled. Pat the tomatoes dry
before use and reserve the
olive oil for cooking.
Cut the tomatoes in half
lengthwise and nick out
the core at the end of the
tomatoes. Place on a large
shallow oven tray or baking
Combine the salt and sugar
and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
Leave for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Place the tray of tomatoes low
in the oven. Bake for 5-6 hours.
Pack into jars and cover
with olive oil. Store in the
refrigerator for up to three
months, or freeze.
You can also add garlic and
herbs such as sprigs of
rosemary and thyme or a bay
leaf to the tomatoes and oil.
Store in the refrigerator for up
to three weeks.
4 large firm ripe tomatoes
1⁄2 cup freshly grated
4 tablespoons Japanese
Panko breadcrumbs or
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons extra virgin
Preheat a grill on high. Halve
the tomatoes and place,
cut-side up, on a baking tray.
Sprinkle with the cheese,
breadcrumbs, thyme and
Grill the tomatoes about
16cm from the heat, until
the topping is browned and
the tomatoes are warm.
on the side 23-25cm baked savoury short pastry tart shell
Filling: 7-8 ripe medium tomatoes
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 pitted black Kalamata olives, sliced
If possible, prepare the pie shell in a pan with a
removable base. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Slice the tomatoes into 5mm thick rounds. Place
on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Stand for 30
minutes to draw out the moisture.
Pat the tomatoes dry and sprinkle with black pepper.
Spread the cheese on the base of the tart shell. Arrange
the tomatoes on top of the cheese in an overlapping
circular pattern, covering the surface. Sprinkle with
nutmeg and basil and drizzle the top with olive oil. Dot
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Reduce the temperature if the
pastry browns too quickly. Rest for 10 minutes. Serve
hot or at room temperature. Serves six.
Mediterranean Tomato Tart
Summer tomato pasta
To seed tomatoes, halve, then squeeze
out the seeds into a bowl. The seeds
and pulp can be used in a tomato
sauce or a casserole.
500g fleshy tomatoes, peeled, seeded
1 small onion, finely diced
1⁄4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
3 tablespoons each: olive oil,
balsamic vinegar freshly ground salt
and pepper to taste
250g spiral pasta
2 tablespoons each: chopped fresh
basil, mint, chives
In a large bowl combine the tomatoes,
onion, olives, oil, vinegar, salt and
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of
boiling salted water until the pasta is
Drain and add the hot pasta to the
tomato mixture. Add the herbs and toss
until well combined. Serves four.
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