5 ways with tomatoes

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Tomato pesto gratin
Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan/gas mark 5. Halve 4 large tomatoes (regular or plum) and scoop out the seeds and flesh. (Keep this to add to a soup, salsa or pasta sauce.) Place the scooped-out tomatoes in a baking dish deeper than they are high. Pour over 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss to coat and then arrange neatly. Sprinkle 1 tsp garlic powder over the tomatoes and season generously. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and increase the temperature to 200°C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. Fill each tomato half with 1 tbsp pesto and top each with 1 tbsp grated Mozzarella. Press 1-2 tbsp breadcrumbs onto each tomato half. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.


Spaghetti aglio e oglio with cheesy tomatoes
Serves 4
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook 350g pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Turn the grill on to a high heat. Cut 3 large tomatoes into 4-5 slices each. Lightly grease a baking tray with oil and arrange the tomato slices on top of it. Season each slice with salt and pepper. Divide 200g grated Mozzarella and 40g grated Parmesan evenly amongst the slices. Place the tomatoes under the grill for 4-5 minutes until golden and bubbly. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, warm 4 tbsp olive oil, 6 crushed garlic cloves and ½ tsp dried chilli flakes until fragrant. Add the warmed oil, a large handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and 100g grated Parmesan to the pasta and toss. Season to taste, then divide between four plates and top each portion with a few cheesy tomato slices.


Mexican rice
Serves 6
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion and 1 deseeded, chopped green pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions have become translucent. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in 270g rice and cook for 2-3 minutes until toasted. Pour in 230g tomato passata and 360ml vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer. Stir in 1 x 198g tin of sweetcorn, 2 chopped carrots, ½ tsp chilli powder and ½ tsp cumin. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 14-16 minutes until the rice is cooked through. Stir in 2 chopped tomatoes. Garnish with fresh coriander, if desired, and serve immediately.


Quick spiced tomato relish
Makes about 1l
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and cook 2 chopped onions and 3 crushed garlic cloves for one minute. Add ½ tsp celery salt, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1kg chopped ripe tomatoes, 60ml red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp honey and 60ml water and stir to combine. Cook over a medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes or until the onion is cooked through. Taste and add extra salt, pepper or honey if necessary. Cook for another five minutes, then remove from the heat and put a lid on the saucepan. Allow to cool, then transfer to sterilised jars and keep in the fridge.


Baked fish with cherry tomatoes and leeks
Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. In a small bowl, combine 80g breadcrumbs with 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary and 1 tbsp olive oil.

Place 4 fillets of white fish on a baking tray. Spread about ¼ tbsp Dijon mustard on each fillets and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, pressing them on with your fingertips so they stick. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the fish is opaque throughout and flakes easily. Meanwhile, heat another 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add 2 chopped leeks, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 120ml vegetable stock or water. Cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and the liquid has almost completely evaporated. Stir in 250g halved cherry tomatoes and some salt and pepper. Serve with the fish.

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