Add juicy tomatoes to your shopping list this month.
The humble tomato’s reputation is ripening as a superfood, thanks to the emerging evidence that a diet based on Mediterranean-style cuisine has positive health effects. This versatile fruit’s nutritional stats are impressive – vitamins A and C, potassium, flavonoids and the powerful antioxidant lycopene.
There’s a plethora of varieties available and all are versatile. Romas are great for soups and cherry and grape tomatoes bring sweetness to salads. For a bittersweet experience, try the Kumato and, if you like plenty of flesh and few seeds, opt for oxheart. Love a more-intense fruit? The vine-ripened varieties are ideal.
Look for brightly coloured fruit that are free of blemishes and bruises. Those that have a strong aroma have fuller flavours.
Store at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Never keep tomatoes in the fridge, as the cold temperature damages the delicate membranes inside the fruit, causing them to lose flavour.
Tomatoes are suited to all kinds of recipes, including soups, pastas, quiches, salads and wraps. Make sure you rinse them before use.
3 ways with tomatoes
For a terrific tomato bruschetta, rub a thin slice of warm toasted sourdough with a halved garlic bulb. Then top with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and a light drizzle of olive oil and serve.
Stuff gourmet tomatoes with chopped spinach, grated zucchini and crumbled reduced-fat feta. Push in a teaspoon-sized piece of buffalo mozzarella to make a gooey centre, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and dried oregano for a crispy top. Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes. Serve.
Top your favourite curry with 1/4 cup diced cherry tomatoes and a dollop of plain Greek-style yoghurt for a refreshing twist.