Vegetables and fruits : Tomatoes

This most versatile of vegetables and fruits has a wide range of sizes and shapes from small, cherry tomatoes through medium and large salad tomatoes to the huge beefsteak ones with undulating shapes. Unripe green and yellow tomatoes are sometimes on sale. All types of tomatoes are rich in vitamin A and C, and most are available all year round. They are also sold canned and as puree in cans , jars and tubes.

Buying guide : Choose firm fruit.

To use : Slice , halve or quarter with a sharp serrated knife and use for salads and all sorts of garnishes, or for grilling and frying – either alone or  as topping for savoury dishes. For stuffing take off the tops and scoop out the seeds with a sharp edged spoon. To loosen skins , cover with boiling water for 1 minute , then plunge in cold water. In cooked dishes , tomatoes have innumerable possibilities. Can be made into soup, baked on their own or with creams, herbs and other vegetables. They make an excellent sauce if cooked to a puree with basil and onions.Green and yellow tomatoes make chutneys.

Storage : Keep ripe fruit in a cool place or in a refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. To ripen green fruit, put it in a sunny place with one or more ripe fruit; the gases released by the ripe fruit help ripen green ones.

To freeze : Open , freeze whole until solid, then pack in polythene bags , seal , label and return to freezer for up to 12 months. To serve, defrost the tomatoes for about 2 hours and use in cooking as fresh tomatoes. Or cook to a sauce or puree before freezing  or work in a blender, sieve to remove any pips and freeze as tomato juice. Freeze tomato puree in ice cube trays to make handy tomato stock cubes.

Nb: Taken from ‘Nice & Easy ‘ cookbook.

Good health to you



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