Tag Archives: tomatoes

Tomato, Capsicum & Potato Curry

Tom, Cap & Pot Curry 005aI know you think because you haven’t heard about the tomatoes for a day or two you think they are finished – no! Another couple of
kilos arrived on the kitchen bench yesterday – they are now mostly cherry tomatoes, which of course are delicious just popped in your mouth for a quick healthy snack – but there’s a few too many even for tomato loving me.

In this vibrant dish the flavours of tomato, capsicum and potato
mingle together in a warm spicy sauce. The sauce for this dish has just a hint of heat from the fresh chilli but if you are not a chilli fan you could omit it.

This is a delicious vegetarian main served with rice or an Indian bread such as naan or chapatti and a salad of mixed leaves. Or add interest to a simple meal of grilled lamb or pork chops and serve this as a side.

Tom, Cap & Pot Curry 009a

Tomato, Capsicum & Potato Curry

Use whatever tomatoes you have to hand, on this occasion I used cherry tomatoes and left them whole but chopped larger tomatoes also work well and with a little adjustment canned tomatoes could be used.

Serves 2 as main dish or 4 as a side dish

1 large (about 200g) onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2.5 piece ginger, chopped
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 long red chilli, sliced, seeded if desired
10 dried curry leaves
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 medium (about 150g each) potatoes, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 medium (about 150g each) red capsicums, cut into 1 cm pieces
500g tomatoes, chopped
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp garam masala
¼ cup chopped coriander

1              Place onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and
process to mince.
2              Heat oil in a 28 cm skillet which has deep sides and a lid over a medium heat add mustard seeds and cook briefly until seeds start to pop.
3              Add onion mixture, chilli, curry leaves and turmeric and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until onions are
translucent and mixture is fragrant.
4              Add potatoes and capsicums and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes to combine. Stir in tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until
potatoes are just tender. Remove lid and cook for 5 minutes longer to reduce sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove pan from heat, stir in garam masala and coriander. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other Indian inspired dishes you might like to try:

One-dish Indian Roast Chicken & Vegetables

One-dish Indian Roast Chicken & Vegetables

Aromatic Indian-style Scrambled Eggs

Aromatic Indian-style Scrambled Eggs

 

 

Tomatoey Bean Stoup

Tomatoey Beans 008aThese beans are great any time of day – have them on toast for breakfast, eat leftovers for lunch or team with a salad and crusty bread as a vegetarian evening meal.

I love the word “stoup” – I think I first heard it used by TV cook Rachael Ray – it is a dish which is half way between a stew and a soup, so not as liquid as a soup but more liquid than you would
expect a stew to be.

For today’s recipe I have used beans from the pantry, duck stock from the freezer, Parmesan rind from the fridge and tomatoes from the garden, so that’s a reasonable start on some of the food that needs to be consumed in the next month or so!

As the tomatoes are still going strong in the garden I used fresh
tomatoes. I just put them in the food processor and chopped to make a sauce, however chopped canned tomatoes work just as well.
I needed 600g fresh tomatoes to make 2 cups of chopped.

I never throw away Parmesan rind or that of other hard cheeses as they make a great flavouring for soups and dishes such as this – just keep them in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use them.

Tomatoey Bean Stoup

I usually use vegetable or chicken stock, but on this occasion I had some really good duck stock in the freezer which I don’t want to go to waste so used that and resulting dish was fantastic.

Serves 4

1 cup white beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 large (about 200g) onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sticks celery, cut into 5cm pieces
1 medium (about 150g) carrot, chopped
6 parsley stalks with leaves
2 bay leaves
1 rosemary sprig
Parmesan or other hard cheese rind (optional)
6 cups stock of your choice
2 cups chopped tomatoes
sea salt

1              Place beans, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, parsley, bay leaves, rosemary and Parmesan rind in a large saucepan and pour stock – the beans should be covered by at least 2cm of liquid if not add a little more stock or water.
2              Place pan over medium heat and bring to the boil, then
reduce heat and cook, uncovered for 45-60 minutes or until beans are just tender.
3              Once beans are ready, fish out any of the aromatics –
parsley, bay leaves and rosemary – and Parmesan rind and discard. Then remove any of the vegetables you can and puree them in the food processor.
4              Add tomatoes and vegetable puree to the beans, bring to simmering and simmer for 15-20 minutes longer or until tomatoes reduce and thicken. Season to taste with salt.

Serving suggestions: Drizzle with olive oil, scatter with grated
Parmesan and accompany with crusty bread. For those who have to have meat, cook a few rashers of bacon until crisp, then break into pieces and scatter over beans.

Happy cooking and eating,

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Braised Lamb with Eggplant & Tomatoes

Lamb & Eggplant Stew 007aLamb, eggplant and tomatoes are a combination of ingredients that can be found in many cuisines – Middle Eastern, Indian and
Moroccan to name just a few and with good reason they are a great combination and especially so at this time of year when eggplant and tomatoes are at their best.

For this one-dish meal I have taken inspiration from the Middle East. Serve it over couscous, rice or just with lots of crusty bread to mop up the juices. Add a salad of mixed leaves and a glass of red wine and you have a meal that it is sure to please.

Braised Lamb with Eggplant & Tomatoes

Lamb shoulder chops are not the prettiest of cuts but they are packed with flavour and when nestled in the fragrant sauce no-one will know the difference. They are also an economic option.

Serves 4

4 (about 750g) lamb shoulder chops
¼ cup olive oil
1 large (about 200g) onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks (about 150g) celery, sliced
1 (400-500g) eggplant, cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
500g tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
juice ½-1 lemon,  to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1              Place a 28 cm skillet which has deep sides and a lid over a medium heat and heat until pan is hot. Add 1 tbsp oil, then lamb and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until brown. Remove lamb from pan and set aside.

2              Add onion and celery, cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Remove onion mixture from pan and set aside.

3              Add remaining oil to pan and heat until hot. Add eggplant, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until
eggplant starts to soften. Return onion and celery mixture to pan, add garlic, cumin, ground coriander and turmeric and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until mixture is fragrant.

4              Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes start to release their juices and break down. Add stock, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

5              Return lamb to pan, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 45-60 minutes or until lamb is tender. If at the end of the cooking time there still appears to a lot of liquid, remove lid from pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until liquid reduces. The lamb chops should be sitting in a thick fragrant sauce. Stir in fresh coriander and lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Happy cooking and eating,

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other lamb recipes you might like to try:

Baked Lamb Chops with Mushrooms & Potatoes

Baked Lamb Chops with Mushrooms & Potatoes

Braised Lamb & Chickpeas with Preserved Lemon

Braised Lamb & Chickpeas with Preserved Lemon

 

 

Heirloom Tomato & Herb Salad

Heirloom Tom Salad 012aThis kaleidoscope of ripe, flavoursome heirloom varieties just screams summer and is perfect on any summer table.

Now is the time to be eating heirloom tomatoes, they are in season and readily available at Farmers’ Markets.

When buying look for intensely coloured fruit, which have just a
little bit of give and choose a mix of varieties to give a mix of colours,
flavours and textures – at our markets you can sometimes buy
punnets of mixed varieties which is a great way to get a good mix.

Plan to use these tomatoes soon after purchase and do not
refrigerate them, instead display in a bowl on the bench or table as you would other fruit. As with all tomatoes refrigeration destroys the texture and flavour.

Heirloom Tomato & Herb Salad
The aim when preparing the tomatoes is not to have uniform pieces, but rather to showcase the tomatoes, so cut them accordingly – some will be best halved, others quartered, while slices or wedges will suit others and very small ones can be left whole.

Serves 4

¼ cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise
1kg mixed heirloom tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
snipped chives
shredded basil

1              Place oil and garlic in a small saucepan, place over a medium and heat for 5 minutes or until garlic is golden – take care not to burn. Transfer oil mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.
2              Halve, quarter or chop tomatoes – very small tomatoes can be left whole and very large ones are attractive cut into thin wedges.
3              Arrange tomatoes on a serving platter, season to taste with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil, then scatter with chives and basil.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Another recipe using heirloom tomatoes you might like to try:

Grilled Capsicum & Heirloom Tomato Salad

Grilled Capsicum & Heirloom Tomato Salad

Want to know more about tomatoes? Check out this previous post Tomatoes – Love Apples

Fresh Tomato & Cheese Tart

Tomato Tart 017aThis easy summery tart is prefect for a light meal when served with salad or makes a great first course for a summer dinner party.

You could add some shredded basil or olives to the top of the tart, or dot with pesto or tapenade, if you wish, but on this occasion as I was serving it as the first course for a dinner, I wanted just the flavours of the tomatoes and cheese and some seasoning.

Fresh Tomato & Cheese Tart
I have used mixed coloured tomatoes but if you only have standard
cherry tomatoes they are equally delicious – the mixed colours make for a great visual effect.

Makes 1 x 20cm tart
Serves 4 with salad as a light meal or 8 as a first course

1 sheet puff pastry
100g grated tasty cheese – I used Hohepa Tasty
250g mixed coloured cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
olive oil for drizzling
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1              Preheat oven to 220°C.

2              Use pastry to line a 20cm loose bottom flan tin and
refrigerate for 10 minutes.

3              Scatter pastry case with cheese and bake for 12 minutes.

4              Arrange tomatoes, cut side up in the pastry case, drizzle with a little oil and bake for 12-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Tomatoes – Love Apples

Cap & Tom Salad 005a

It is hard to imagine Italian cooking without tomatoes, but it was not until the late 16th century that the tomato became known as pomme d’amour, which translates as ‘love apples’, and a staple in their cuisine.Native to Central and South America they were bought back to
Europe by the Spanish explorers but were at first viewed with
suspicion and thought to be poisonous.

SELECTING, STORING & PREPARING TOMATOES
Selection: Tomatoes should be selected according to how you want to use and when you want to use them. If purchasing tomatoes, it is best to buy small quantities often so that you can use them quickly and keep them at room temperature.

There are many different varieties of tomatoes available at this time of year and several stallholders in the Farmers’ Markets grow
heirloom varieties which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and
colours and are wonderful for salads. More often than not the
heirloom varieties are irregular in shape and taste the better for it.

In spring you can also purchase heirloom seedlings from the Napier Urban Food Market and Hastings Farmers’ Market and at some
garden centres and grow your own.

To Peel: There are two main methods used to peel tomatoes –
boiling water and vegetable peeler.

The boiling water method is ideal if peeling a large quantity of tomatoes. Using small sharp knife cut a cross in the base of the tomato and place in a large bowl. Pour over boiling water and leave for 30 seconds, pour off water and pour over iced water to cover. Using a small sharp knife peel off skin – the skin should lift off easily.

When tomatoes are to be used raw it is best to peel them with a vegetable peeler.

To Seed: Cut peeled tomatoes in half then using the handle of a
teaspoon or your fingers scoop out the seeds and jelly from each cavity.

To Dice: Peel tomatoes using a vegetable peeler, then seed and slice into thin strips. Pile strips on top of each other, turn 90°, then cut through the strips to form a dice.

EASY IDEAS USING TOMATOES
Passata: Transform the season’s excess tomato crop into passata or sieved tomato puree, freeze to add to soups, stews and casseroles during the winter months when tomatoes are expensive and out of season. To make passata, wash and roughly chop 4kg tomatoes and place in a large saucepan. Add 1 tbsp salt. Cook over a medium heat for about 30 minutes or until tomatoes collapse and are very tender. Process in a food processor or using a stick blender. Place a sieve over a large bowl and pour tomato mixture in batches into sieve.
Using the back of a spoon push tomato mixture through sieve to
remove skin and seeds. Return tomato mixture to clean sauce and bring to the boil, cook for 5 minutes or until any watery liquid
evaporates. Stir in ½ cup lemon juice. Remove pan from heat and
allow to cool. Divide mixture between plastic containers, cover and freeze until required. Makes about 3 litres.

Heirloom Tomato Salad: Select a range of different coloured
heirloom tomatoes, cut into thick slices and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle with a little olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and scatter with torn basil leaves.

Slow Roast Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 150°C. Cut ripe tomatoes in half and arrange cut side up in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 1hour. Combine ½ cup extra virgin olive oil and 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar and sprinkle over tomatoes. Season with fresh ground black pepper and scatter with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Bake for 1-1½ hours longer or until the tomatoes are soft and the edges start to caramelise. Place cooled tomatoes in a covered container and store in the
refrigerator with the cooking juices for up to 1 week. Use in salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches or just to snack on.

Happy cooking and eating.

Information complied by Rachel Blackmore

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Recipes using tomatoes you might like:

Fish in Crazy Water

Fish in Crazy Water

Roasted Tomato & Capsicum Soup with Garlic Croutons

Roasted Tomato & Capsicum Soup with Garlic Croutons

Grilled Capsicum & Heirloom Tomato Salad

Grilled Capsicum & Heirloom Tomato Salad

Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce

 


Roasted Tomato & Capsicum Soup with Garlic Croutons

Tom & Cap Soup 009aThere’s nothing quite like tomato soup made with roasted fresh
tomatoes. The roasting intensifies the tomato flavour which tomato lovers will adore.

Make up batches of this soup now while tomatoes are in-season and inexpensive and freeze for winter – you will be instantly reminded of summer on a dull day.

The garlic croutons are a great way to use up stale bread and will happily keep in an airtight container for at least a week. The exact quantity of bread is going to depend on the type you are using – I used a grainy loaf for these croutons which was about 500g
before removing the crusts.

Roasted Tomato & Capsicum Soup with Garlic Croutons

This light soup is ideal for summer eating – for a complete meal finish with a selection of cheeses. Or serve as a first course for a summer dinner party.

Serves 4-6

about 1kg tomatoes, halved
2 (300-400g) brown onions, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2-3 (100g) prepared grilled red capsicums
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp caster sugar or to taste
salt, to taste
2 tbsp grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving
BAKED GARLIC CROUTONS
60g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and flattened with the back of a knife
1 loaf day-old bread of your choice, sliced, crusts removed, cut into 2.5 cm squares

1              To make croutons, preheat oven to 150°C. Melt butter and oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn. Remove garlic and discard. Add bread cubes to butter mixture and toss to coat. Transfer bread to a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Use immediately or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

2              For the soup, preheat oven to 200°C. Place tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer in a baking dish. Scatter with onions.

3              Place olive oil, garlic and rosemary in a small bowl and mix to combine. Drizzle over tomatoes and onions and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tomatoes are very soft.

4              Place the contents of the pan and capsicums in a blender and blend to make a smooth puree. Place a sieve over a large saucepan and push puree – while this step is not absolutely necessary it does produce a soup with a smoother texture.

5              Place tomato mixture in a large saucepan, add stock and bring to simmering. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with sugar and salt.

6              To serve ladle into bowls, pass cheese and croutons separately to scatter over soup just prior to eating.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Mussels with Chorizo, Tomato and Wine

Mussels with Chorizo, Tomato and Wine

Green lipped mussels are unique to New Zealand. As well as been hailed as a super food (they have are reported to ease arthritis), they are also inexpensive (the ones I brought the other day were $2.99 per kilo), easy to cook and make a great family meal. I have been making some form of this recipe for at least 20 years!

Sometimes as I have in this recipe, I include chorizo, sometimes I use bacon and at other times I don’t bother with either, so it’s up to you.

Chorizo is a spicy sausage which is great added to dishes such as this one or to pasta, soups and salads and gives a flavour punch – you will find chorizo in the deli section of supermarkets. There are many different varieties so experiment and see which ones you like best – some are quite spicy and/or hot while others are mild.

Chorizo can be either a cured or fresh sausage, the fresh varieties require cooking before using while the cured ones can be used in similar ways to salami and generally do not need to be cooked.

Mussels with Chorizo, Tomato and Wine

Serves 4

2kg green lipped mussels, cleaned
1 cup white wine
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cured chorizo sausage, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes

1              Place mussels and ½ cup wine in a large saucepan over a high heat, cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 5 minutes as mussels start to open remove from pan and place in a bowl. All mussels should open within 10 minutes – discard any which
remain unopened.
2              When cool enough to handle remove meat from shells and set aside. Strain
cooking liquid and set aside.
3              Place oil and onion in a skillet and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add chorizo, garlic and parsley and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer.
4              Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes, remaining ½ cup wine and reserved cooking
liquid. Bring to simmering and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until
mixture reduces and thickens.
5              Stir in reserved mussel meat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to heat through.

Serving suggestion: Accompany with toasted country-style bread which has been rubbed with a clove of garlic and a salad of mixed leaves.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore