Week beginning Friday 21st August 2020

This Week: Tomatoes Galore!

I’m so excited to be growing my own tomatoes and indeed have had a glut of the reddest, juiciest and incredibly flavoursome tomatoes in various shapes and sizes (no selection based on aesthetics here). Now, I’m a tomato fan and it’s one of the foods that I always have in the kitchen (at room temperature and never in the fridge!) but with so many to use up, I figured I need to find a way of using them and also “preserving” them so I can continue to enjoy them as the season ebbs away. 

  • Spicy Roasted Aubergine with Tomatoes ***
    [Perfect to freeze]

    • Ingredients
      1 large aubergine, cut in half lengthways, cutting through the stalk as well if possible

      1 large onion, thinly sliced
      2 large cloves garlic, finely diced
      2 tbsp olive oil
      A handful of fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped
      1 tbsp sweet paprika
      ½ tsp cayenne pepper
      ½ tsp cumin
      Olive oil for drizzling
      Fresh red chilli, sliced for garnish
      Make a crisis cross pattern through the flesh on each half of the aubergine, season with salt and pepper and a little drizzle of olive oil. Place on a baking tray and roast at 180 degrees for around 35mins. Remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh, leaving a thin layer just above the skin all the way around. Set aside.Meanwhile, gently fry the onion for at least 10mins until they are soft and caramelised, taking care not to brown them. Then add the sweet paprika, cayenne, cumin and oregano and season with salt. Cook for a further minute before adding the fresh tomatoes.  Turn the heat up a little and allow to cook, with the lid off for 10mins.

      When the sauce is thick and reduced, combine with the reserved aubergine flesh. Now carefully replace this mixture into the aubergine skins, piling a little high if necessary. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15mins.

      Serve with rice or any other grain; quinoa or gluten-free buckwheat (as shown here) are ideal. Or simply serve on their own with a green side salad!

      If freezing; freeze them on a flat tray whole before returning to the oven for the final 15mins. You can either defrost then and pop them in for the last 15mins of cooking or from frozen, cook them for a little longer. These are ideal to prep ahead from now ready that midweek meal you need to prepare in a hurry!

  • Tomato Confit ***
    [Perfect to freeze]Move over Roasted Tomatoes and move in Tomato Confit! If there’s one recipe I urge you to try this week, it’s this one!! This easy way of cooking tomatoes, right now when they’re at their most flavoursome will feel incredibly indulgent for very little effort!
  • Roasted Mediterranean BBQ TomatoesThese vibrant stuffed red peppers have graced my meals time and time again over the years! They are a perfect addition, whether it’s a casual weekend family meal or midweek supper with friends and of course, amazing with a bbq.  As well as being incredibly tasty, they’re a nutritious addition to any meal, providing at least 2 of your 7-a-day in just one half! They work equally well as a meal on their own with some crusty bread and a green salad and can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to pop them into the oven.
  • Healthy Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce
    [Perfect to freeze]This delicious family classic has had a healthy makeover! My recipes are always nutrient dense and I never add refined sugar and so my secret to creating a rich and super healthy vibrant tomato sauce, that’s naturally sweet, is to include deliciously sweet red peppers. Not only does this add incredible flavour but also counts towards your (not 5…but!) 7-a-day. For the meatballs themselves, I’ve used a lean beef mince without adding any filler or binding ingredients, so they’re naturally gluten-free and much lighter as a result.Served with pasta, this high protein dish is hearty, comfort food at it’s best and a guaranteed crowd pleaser…Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the tomatoes in a large bowl and allow to infuse for 30mins or so. Then arrange on a serving dish and pour over the remaining juices.

*** Exclusive to Thrive