You say tomato...

All pics © British Tomato Growers’ Association

All pics © British Tomato Growers’ Association


The Great British tomato season is upon us! Buying British AND buying in season gets you two gold stars from Mother Nature. Whether you buy from supermarkets, farmer’s markets or local shops, make sure you earn your gold stars. (FYI my husband sums me up in this sentence: ‘Everything’s a competition, even when it’s not.’ Which is probably not a compliment but I like it.)

The British Tomato Growers’ Association are celebrating the season with some lovely recipe ideas and today I’ll share a few with you.

I didn’t like tomatoes when I was a child. So my dad and my brother put on elaborate performances where Dad played the good guys in my belly, desperate for the power to fight off the bad guys (played with great charisma by my brother) - if only he had the strength he could yield if I’d just eat a damn tomato. I’d watch, transfixed, as they battled each other with their fake swords, my brother increasing in strength the longer I sat there not eating my tomatoes.

We all want the good guys to win, plus this was interactive theatre so I was bang up for influencing how the duel went down, so I ate the tomatoes. Lo and behold, Dad’s strength increased and he was able to destroy my weakened brother, fuelled as he suddenly was by antioxidants, lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K, which we all know the good guys need if they’re ever going to stand a chance against the bad guys.

I now love tomatoes. Good guys won the long game.

Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin



This tart is made with caramelised onions and fresh British vine tomatoes. It’s topped with puff pastry, baked, then flipped over to reveal the beautiful tomatoes.

Serves 4-6 Prep time: 25 minutes Cooking: 25 minutes

12 large British vine tomatoes

30g butter substitute

1 large onion, sliced

1tsp caster sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

500g pack ready-to-roll puff pastry

A little flour, for sprinkling

2tbsp vegan pesto sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Basil or thyme leaves, to garnish

1 Preheat the oven to 210°C, fan oven 190°C. Halve the tomatoes and set aside.

2 Melt the ‘butter’ in a frying pan with a heatproof handle that will withstand oven temperatures. Fry

the onions gently until soft. Add the caster sugar and cook for a few minutes until caramelised. Remove from the heat.

3 Arrange the tomatoes in the frying pan, cut sides down, packing them in closely. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a circle a little larger than the frying pan. Trim with a sharp knife to make a neat circle. Spread the pesto sauce on top, to within 2cm of the edge. Put the pastry on top of the frying pan, pesto sauce side down. Tuck the edges down the sides of the pan.

5 Bake for 22-25 minutes, until risen and golden. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Place a serving plate on top, hold tightly, then invert and remove the pan to reveal the tart. Serve, garnished with basil or thyme (or both!).




And here’s another one for ya:

This British tomato recipe tastes fantastic with crusty bread to mop up all the delicious juices.

Serves 4 Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking: 25 minutes

500g British medium vine tomatoes

2tbsp olive oil

2 large onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced

1/2tsp cumin seeds

1tsp mild chilli powder

1tbsp tomato puree

2tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to garnish

150g non-dairy yogurt

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crusty bread, to serve

1 Halve the British tomatoes and set to one side.

2 Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan that has a lid. Gently fry the onions, garlic and peppers in the covered pan for about 10 minutes, or until very soft.

3 Add the cumin seeds, chilli powder, tomato puree and parsley, stirring well. Season. Add the tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, uncovered, adding a splash of water if it begins to look too dry.

4 To serve, sprinkle with extra parsley and season with a little extra black pepper. Put the yogurt into a bowl and sprinkle with a little chilli powder. Serve alongside the Shakshuka with crusty bread.

Let the good guys win!