Food & Drinks

8 Tasty Tomato Recipes Ideal For Summer Soirees

The humble tomato: A versatile staple in recipes from South America and Spain to South Africa.
Myburgh Du Plessis

 

In the mood for something simple and light? These eight recipes perfectly showcase this colourful, delicious fruit, making for a divine spread perfect for outdoor entertaining.

 

1. Sweet Honey Tomato Confit with Whipped Cheese and Salty Almond Praline

For the tomato confit

  • 350g vine tomatoes
  • 1T olive oil
  • 2T warm honey, plus extra to serve
  • A sprig of thyme

For the whipped cheese

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 200g ricotta
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salty almond praline

  • 100g salted, roasted almonds
  • 125ml white sugar
  • 2T water

To make the tomato confit, preheat the oven to 180ºC and line two baking trays. Toss the tomatoes in the olive oil and honey, place them on a tray with the thyme and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whip the mascarpone with the ricotta, lemon zest and seasoning until creamy.

For the salty almond praline, spread the nuts in a single layer on the other lined baking tray. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil without stirring, and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is golden brown.

Quickly pour the syrup over the nuts and allow the praline to cool completely, then break into shards. Serve the tomato confit with the whipped cheese, extra honey, crackers and praline

SERVES 2–4 

 

2. Mexican Salsa Roja

 

  • 8 large Rosa tomatoes
  • ½ red onion
  • 4 whole red chillies
  • 2T olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1t red-wine vinegar
  • 20g fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a griddle pan over high heat until smoking. Fry the tomatoes, onion and chillies until soft and lightly charred all over. Set aside to cool. Process the cooled tomato mixture in a blender with the oil, garlic, vinegar and coriander. Season and chill until ready to use. Ideal served with Mexican food, fish or pork dishes.

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS 

 

3. Spanish Romesco Sauce

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 slice thick sourdough or any other crusty bread, torn into chunks
  • ½ cup flaked almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large red pepper, roasted
  • 1×410g tin good-quality chopped tomatoes
  • 2T chopped fresh parsley
  • 2T sherry vinegar
  • 1t Spanish smoked paprika
  • ½t cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and toast the bread, almonds and garlic until just beginning to brown. Place in a blender with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Pour onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then decant into a jar. Perfect for seafood and vegetables, this sauce will keep in the fridge for up to one week.

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

 

4. Italian Pesto Rosso

  • 1½ cups sun-dried tomatoes in oil or vinaigrette
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2t balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil

Add all the ingredients to a blender and process until finely chopped. Season to taste and serve mixed through hot pasta. A great match for spaghetti or penne.

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

 

5. Tomato Bread

 

  • 400g white bread flour
  • 1t salt
  • 100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 3T Italian tomato paste
  • 2T fresh basil leaves, torn 1
  • packet (10g) dry yeast
  • 200ml warm water
  • 1 disc feta cheese, broken into large pieces
  • 1T olive oil
  • Maldon sea salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 200ºC and grease and line a baking tray. Place the flour, salt, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste in a bowl. Add the basil and yeast, then pour in the water. Mix into a rough dough ball and place on a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape into a round and place on the baking tray. Use your fingers to poke a few holes into the top of the bread dough and insert the feta pieces. Drizzle a little olive oil over and sprinkle Maldon salt on top. Cover loosely with clingfilm and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size. Remove the clingfilm and bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped underneath.

MAKES 1 LOAF

 

6. Tomato Confit Pizzas

 

  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 750g vine tomatoes
  • 3 large peels of lemon rind
  • 4 plain flatbreads or homemade pizza bases
  • A bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 balls of soft buffalo mozzarella, torn 
  • Fresh, juicy assorted tomatoes, sliced 8 slices
  • Parma ham

To make the confit, combine the olive oil and garlic in a pan over low heat. Cook for 20 minutes to allow the garlic to infuse. Add the tomatoes and lemon rind and cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes, then set aside. Grill the flatbreads or pizza bases over the braai or in a griddle pan until charred. Drain the garlic tomatoes from the oil, reserving the oil for another use. Squeeze the garlic out onto the flatbreads, and top with the tomato confit, basil, torn mozzarella pieces, slices of fresh tomato and Parma ham.

SERVES 4

 

7. Tomato Firewater With Herb Salt

 

  • 1kg large tomatoes
  • ½ cup Maldon sea salt
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 60ml tequila
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and process in a blender until smooth. Pour into a sieve lined with a square of muslin cloth and place over a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight to drain. Place the salt and basil in a food processor and pulse until the basil is finely chopped. Pour 30ml chilled tomato water into each of four shot glasses, top with 15ml tequila and serve with the herb salt and lime wedges.

MAKES ABOUT 180ML OR FOUR SERVINGS

 

8. Tomato Tarte Tartin

 

  • 1×250g ready-made all-butter puff pastry sheet
  • 2T butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1kg assorted baby tomatoes, halved
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Using a plate as a guide, cut out a 23cm circle of pastry and refrigerate until ready to use. Melt the butter in a heavy-based skillet and sprinkle the sugar over it. Arrange the tomato pieces, cut side up on the pan, and pack together closely until the pan is filled completely. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the sugar and butter is bubbling and has caramelised. Move the tomatoes occasionally to prevent them from catching and burning.

Remove from the heat and tuck some sprigs of thyme in between the tomato pieces. Place the pastry round over the top and, using a palette knife, tuck in the edges to enclose the tomatoes completely. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool, then invert onto a plate. Season to taste and serve at room temperature.

SERVES 4