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3 ways with… tomatoes

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Three simple tomato recipes that are sure to get your mouth watering.

Nothing tastes like sunshine as much as freshly-picked vine-ripened tomatoes. Choose the tastiest tomatoes from their scent, rather than from their colour. Store tomatoes at room temperature, not in the fridge where the flesh will turn soft and squishy.

Tomato, bocconcini & basil salad

Slice four ripe round tomatoes into ½ inch slices and lay flat in a shallow dish. Slice 200 g of bocconcini cheese into ½ – one cm slices and place one piece on top of each sliced tomato. Wash and dry enough fresh basil to generously lie one or two leaves on top of the bocconcini. Make a dressing by mixing 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and pepper to taste. Drizzle dressing over to serve. Serves 8 as an antipasti or accompaniment.

Gaspacho

Roughly chop 6 – 8 juicy roma or plum tomatoes, one red onion, 2 small cucumbers, 2 cloves garlic and 1 ½ cups fresh basil. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a blender or food processor and add 1/3 of a cup of olive oil and a dash of tabasco sauce. Add the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and blend until soupy but make sure it’s still a little chunky. Chill in the fridge and serve very cold with crusty ciabatta bread.

Spicy tomato chutney

Add 2 chopped onions to a large saucepan and cook until translucent with a little oil and ¼ teaspoon of whole mustard seeds. Combine 1 kg of peeled, chopped ripe tomatoes together with 2 large apples, ¾ cup of sultanas, 1 ½ cups brown sugar and 1 ½ cups vinegar and stir, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Flavour with ¼ teaspoon chilli powder and 2 teaspoons curry powder and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered for one hour until thick. Pour into hot sterilised jars.