Feature

How to use heirloom tomatoes

Here's three ways to prepare in-season traditional varieties of tomatoes beautifully.

heirloom-tomato

Credit: sxc.hu

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Bright red, deep purple, pale yellow and striped green, the old fashioned varieties of tomatoes are now bursting full of juice, vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene are now available from farmers’ markets and good greengrocers.

Virgin Mary

Take eight juicy, ripe red tomatoes and four sticks of organic celery and pass through a juicing machine. Take four tall glasses and half fill with ice. Add a dash of Tabasco sauce to each. Pour the juice over the ice and finish with a sprinkle of salt. (The juice can also be heated with chicken stock to make a rich tomato soup!)

Pan Catalan – Catalan Tomato Bread

Every great meal in Barcelona starts with a slice of bread, toasted over coals or a BBQ grill. The toasted bread is rubbed with a clove of garlic cut in half, then half a tomato – the juice and the seeds spread thickly over the bread, then finished with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Delicious.

Panzanella – Italian Bread and Tomato Salad

Take a small loaf of crusty sourdough bread and cut into chunky cubes and place in a serving bowl with 12 roughly torn basil leaves and 6 ripe tomatoes that have had their cores removed and cut into irregular wedges. In a screw top jar pour 200 ml of extra virgin olive oil, 75 ml of balsamic vinegar, 1 clove of garlic finely chopped and half a teaspoon of salt. Mix well, pour over the salad and toss together.

**TIP: Keep tomatoes in the fruit bowl to preserve their flavour, not in the firdge.