Although February is the shortest month of the year, its also one of the busiest. The kiddies are well and truly back at school, all after school activities are in full flight, and as for work your already day dreaming of your next holiday. Summer is also coming to an end and the weather is starting to cool ever so slightly. This months ingredient was a no brainer, this months ingredient is…… (Drum Roll)…… TOMATOES!
The tomato is one of the most used fruits in the world, and its easy to see why. Its rich and vibrant both in colour and flavour and gives dishes that richness and acidity that they often need. Cuisines all over the world from Italian to Indian to Thai to Portuguese and everything in between use tomatoes their dishes. Tomatoes are so versatile too, you can use them raw in salads, cooked in sauces or curries and even juiced into a refreshing beverage, I personally love tomatoes in all its forms but nothing beats picking them straight off the vine at my Grandparents house and eating it.
When buying Tomatoes look for…
Tomatoes often get a bad wrap, I’ve heard people describing them as floury and flavourless this is usually caused by one of two things. 1) Supermarkets stock tomatoes all year round however they’re in season Summer and Autumn, my advice is to only buy them during this time of year. 2) They have been stored in the fridge. Contrary to popular practice you should never store your tomatoes in the fridge, this causes them to lose flavour, Instead buy them and use them within 2 days.
When your buying tomatoes look for bright shiny skin, this a good indicator that they are ripe. I also look for the weight of them, you want to buy heavier tomatoes as they tend to be juicer so don’t be afraid to pick them up.
How to cook it…
Tomatoes are great raw, cooked, roasted and juiced. When cooking tomatoes make sure you always add a pinch of sugar, it helps balance out the acidity, if you’ve done this before you will know what I mean if you haven’t try it I promise you will be left wondering why you’ve only just heard of this little Chef’s trick. Tomatoes are also great when they are roasted or dried, its how I use them. By roasting them in oven on a low temperature it brings out the natural sugars in them and the flavour intensifies greatly. I suggest that if you do buy tomatoes when they are not in season cooking them this way.
I am excited to share my love and knowledge of tomatoes with you all.