My 10 personal favourite tomato recipes
Here are my absolute favourite tomato recipes for you to enjoy. I love tomatoes. I mean, I really, really love tomatoes. They would be hands-down my favourite fruit or vegetable, and really, they get to be both – as tomatoes are fruits that really act more like a vegetable; they are great cooked, fresh, and paired with other vegetables. I really, really love tomatoes. Tomatoes have served me well, wherever I have travelled to. They served me well when I was but a wee lassie in school, and they served me well while I was vegan for over a year.
Because it’s a bit boring, I won’t go on and on about the health properties of tomatoes, but rest assured that they are full of goodness. These are my favourite tomato recipes and they are packed with Vitamin C, they contain antioxidants, and they are a great source of lycopene, a plant compound or polyphenol. Lycopene has been linked with cancer prevention and it is the property that gives tomatoes their characteristic red color.
Because I love tomatoes so much, I thought I would share my favorite 10 tomato recipes with you. I would be lost without tomatoes, I just love them so much. If you have any interesting recipes that I have missed please tell me in the comments below – because I simply cannot get enough of them! My favourite tomato recipes might be different to yours, and that’s OK.
#1: Tomato on toast
Let’s start with my favourite, simple way to eat tomatoes. Sliced, firm Roma tomatoes, sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. I love a plain, white Sunblest Sandwich loaf (this is what you give to schoolkids in their lunchboxes here in Australia), and fresh Pepe Saya butter, or Lurpak butter. Baby Obelia and I share this for breakfast when I don’t have to rush off to work. This is definitely one of my simple, favourite tomato recipes.
As a schoolgirl, my mum gave me tomato sandwiches every day, and I loved them. They were my “go to” food when I was vegan, and I enjoyed tomato on toast for breakfast in places like Vietnam and Indonesia. The nicest tomatoes I ever ate were from the Gold Coast Hinterland, freshly grown in a friend’s mother’s backyard.
#2: Fresh napolitana sauce
I have an Italian heritage (actually I am from Slovenia, from the border town of Gorizia) so I remember heartily the time and effort my grandmother put into her cooking. She taught me how to make a great, basic Napolitana sauce. This is a classic one of many favourite tomato recipes.
Use 10 x fresh tomatoes, placed into a bowl of boiling water. Let them soak for 10 minutes, then peel the skins off, and squeeze out the excess liquid and seeds. Caramelize a large white onion in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the tomatoes. Once they start to break down, add salt, pepper and a spoon of sugar to bring out the sweetness. After 30 minutes, add a dollop of fresh butter. Serve over good pasta.
#3: Tomato rice from Eat Fuh
The Boyf, Baby Obelia and I all live in Marrickville in Sydney, which is really cool and groovy. So cool and groovy, in fact, that you can get thrown out of Marrickville for using the words “cool and groovy”. There are dozens of groovy cafes, bars, hole-in-the-wall eateries and everything you could hope for. Eah Fuh is a Vietnamese restaurant and they have a dish on their menu called ‘Stir Fry Lean Beef with Mammah Fuh’s Eggplant and Tomato Relish’ for $16AUD.
I can’t find the recipe online but it is similar to this red rice dish from the Viet Kitchen. The recipe is very simple, and calls for only basic ingredients: 4 cups cooked long-grain rice, 3 tablespoons butter or canola oil, 2 large cloves garlic, minced, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons soy sauce. These favourite tomato recipes can come from so many different cultures.
#4: Bloody Mary
Confession: I had one of these last night and it was deeeelicious. Some memories of Bloody Marys; my sister and I were visiting our parents who were living in San Francisco and we walked into this little bar and ordered the most amazing Bloody Marys. We later found out that this bar had been selling them since the 1920s! My lovely sister also had a famous Bloody Mary Brunch for a birthday in her 20s – ah the good ol’ days before we had children!
I have tried to find which bar we went to in San Fran, but this is impossible now. A good Bloody Mary is made with fresh tomato juice, vodka, a stalk of celery, tabasco sauce, and can be decorated with other elements like jalapenos, gherkins or pickles. They are renowned as a hangover cure, and are a great “first drink of the day” if you need some “hair of the dog”.
#5: Caprese salad
I need to mention at this point that The Boyf hates “raw” tomatoes. What a weirdo. However, I do know that this is a common-ish dislike. For this reason, I never make Caprese salad at home anymore, but I damn well should, because Baby Obelia would probably love it. The best thing about a Caprese salad is that it is so easy to make.
You need: 2 lovely, sliced fresh tomatoes, Roma or Truss varieties work well. A whole, large bocconcini cheese, sliced. Half a cup of fresh basil, torn (never cut your basil, always tear it) then drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread and a huge smile.
When I was on Weight Watchers I ate so much “point free” salsa that I never lost any weight at all. Salsa is a delicious way to eat tomatoes and it’s very easy to make. One of my old colleagues was from West Virginia in the United States and she would make the most amazing homemade salsa and bring it into work to share. I will try to remember her amazing (and very simple) recipe here.
1 can of diced Roma tomatoes, zest of 1 lime, ½ teaspoon of cumin, 2 or 3 diced shallots/spring onions, a few sprigs of fresh coriander and salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Simply whiz all the ingredients up with a hand mixer, allowing the mix to remain quite chunky. Spoon over your nachos, or eat with corn chips. You could of course use fresh tomatoes too, and I would probably recommend that, although my colleague swears by her easy mix.
#7: Tomato soup with toasted cheese
I have a very happy memory of tomato soup and toasted cheese. When I was about 6 years old, we went on a family holiday to Goa in India. I ate a bowl of tomato soup and a toasted cheese jaffle for almost every single meal. A “jaffle” is what we call a toasted sandwich that’s made in sandwich toaster/iron in Australia, apparently this is not universal!
It’s very traditional to serve tomato soup with a toasted cheese sandwich and some say this originates back to the Second World War, or shortly afterwards, where according to The Food Timeline,“…post WWII institutional food service (including school cafeterias) paired grilled cheese with tomato soup to provide the required Vitamin C component.”
#8: Margherita pizza
My beloved mother is called Margaret and that means she has an awesome cocktail and an awesome pizza named after her; to my knowledge, she loves them both. The Boyf is not a lover of tomatoes (fool that he is!) nor does he like vegetarian food, but give him a really good Margherita pizza and he’s happy.
My favourite tomato recipes wouldn’t be complete without the simple Margherita pizza. Use the Napolitana sauce we made earlier, spoon it onto a homemade pizza base, and top with buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. Serve with a large glass of red wine and enjoy the simplicity of perfection that this delicious dish will offer you.
#9: Heirloom tomatoes on sourdough
These days you can get so many different varieties of tomatoes, and may come in very attractive colours. You can now find deep red, black, purple, orange, yellow and green tomatoes. Anyone remember the movie Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Café? You soak the green tomatoes in buttermilk and fry them in a pan. Imagine doing that with heirloom tomatoes!
Good sourdough is amazing, and where I live in Sydney, there are many specialty bakers that make it – often proving the bread dough for 72 hours or more. You can even make your own sourdough but honestly, who has the bloody time? Simply slice your heirlooms and sprinkle with salt. Fresh herbs taste amazing with tomatoes and if you’re sick of basil, try oregano, or coriander.
#10: Tamzin’s roasted baby tomatoes
One of my best buddies is an amazing cook, and even when we were about to go out on the town for a night clubbing in our twenties, she would still whip up an amazing meal before we headed out to make sure we had energy and stamina. She’s Australian like me but is an English dual passport holder. Before cooking with Tamzin, I never really used rosemary, marjoram or tarragon, classic English herbs.
Method: grab 2 x punnets of baby tomatoes, slice in half. Layer on a tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with quality olive oil, and sprinkle with marjoram, tarragon, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast on a low heat setting for about 30 minutes, then serve with a charcuterie board. Make sure you do not overcook them.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my favourite tomato recipes
I really love tomatoes, like I really, really love them. If I had to choose just two foods to live off for the rest of my life – I would choose rice and tomatoes. And wine. I think I could have a happy life with those 3 simple ingredients!
Tell me your favourite tomato recipes in the comments below!
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