These days, tomatoes are coming out of the garden in bucket-loads! By trying to avoid wasting any of the delicious produce, you’ve got to get creative in the kitchen! So here’s a couple of ways I like to make the most of the harvest when it’s in full swing!
Firstly I like to make some Sweet Chilli Tomato Jam, which is a great way of using up lots of tomatoes and something that can keep for a while, although it won’t because it’s so tasty and goes with everything! I love having a spoonful with fish cakes or yummy Maltese sausages.
When the heat is on, it’s likely that the tomatoes are already semi-roasted before they’ve been picked! I find that they lose a bit of their sweetness because of this, so my remedy is to roast them in the oven, halved, with a little dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and seasoning of salt, chilli flakes, whole cloves of garlic and any fresh herbs. By frying up a bit of bacon (ideally guanciale) and chopped onion, and adding the tomatoes and squeezed roasted garlic to the mix, you’ve made a deliciously sweet Roast Tomato Sauce. This can be blended and made into a pasta sauce, or used in a Parmigiana di Melanzane, my favourite!
Tomatoes have outstanding antioxidant content and are a brilliant source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K among many others. Did you know? Although we often think that tomatoes are native to the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, they actually originated in South America, but were first cultivated in Mexico. They were brought over to Spain first in the 1500s! Today we produce over 130 million tons per year!
By Julia Ripard
Photography David Zammit mrdavidzammit.com