British food takes centre stage once more but this time it’s a departure from the usual fare. Had enough of fish ‘n’ chips? Pies past their sell-by date? Let’s bring out the fanfare for the best of British. It’s British Tomato Fortnight and, take it from us, our tomatoes really do beat the rest hands down. But what is this festival all about? Not quite Valencia’s La Tomatina, we’re sad to say. Banish images of rivers of naked, red, tomato-soaked bodies running through the streets. It’s our equivalent (sort of), and in a very British way we celebrate our juicy red stars of salad in true style.
From May 24th to June 6th we salute the tomato – more than just a colourful addition to the vegetable drawer. These pretty, juicy veggies (yes, we know they’re technically a fruit as they grow on a tree, but it’s more of a bush, so for the purpose of this blog, let it be a vegetable.) Whatever they are, they are actually a secret weapon for health and healing. They boost our immune systems and enhance our defences against heart disease and cancer and are brilliant for our teeth, bones and skin.
At Quattro Foods we love a food that tastes great and is good for us, and the versatile and tasty tomato has proved a hit in many of our recipes. We’ve decided to celebrate British Tomato Fortnight by sharing a few of our favourites.
Shakshuka – literally ‘all mixed up’ in Arabic!
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- A handful of flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 6 eggs
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe frying pan. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, cumin, tomato paste and paprika. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Pour in the tomatoes with their juices and add the parsley. Reduce the heat to simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat, add salt and pepper and make a well for each egg. Crack the egg directly into the mix. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 8 minutes until the egg whites are opaque.
Serve in bowls with crusty bread.
For an extra twist, add some dried red chilli flakes and a pinch of thyme or some fire roasted red peppers and coriander!
- 10 tomatoes, halved, cored and seeds removed
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1 packet of basil leaves
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Arrange the tomatoes and garlic cloves in an oven dish, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the garlic from the peel and add to the roasted tomatoes along with the cucumber, red onion, tomato juice, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and seasoning. Stir to combine.
Transfer the mix to a blender or food processor and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
And if you prefer a tomatoey dish that’s ready-made, here are our most popular tomato products:
- Smoked pomodoro
- Wild garlic and tomato sauce
- Jackfruit puttanesca
- Tomato soup
- Autumnal minestrone
- Meatball sauce
- Tomato and basil soup
- Arabbiata sauce
- Sundried tomato paste
- Tomato and mascarpone
So go on, paint the town red this month at British Tomato Fortnight!