The following recipes are perfect for making the most of a seasonal glut of tomatoes.
This is great on toast - with a fried egg on top, lavished on a slice of roast leg of lamb or pork, or used to glaze a fillet of fish or fowl under the grill. Spread on to bruschetta before adding pink chicken livers and a sprinkle of fresh coriander, or have with goat's cheese and rocket in a sandwich.
3 red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
500g very ripe tomatoes,peeled and diced (or 400g tin plum tomatoes, chopped)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
2 thumbs ginger, peeled and julienned
25ml nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
300g caster sugar
100ml red wine vinegar
Put everything into a deep pot and bring to the boil slowly, stirring all the time.
Turn to a gentle simmer, skim off any foam and cook gently for 40-50 minutes until jam-like in consistency, stirring every 5 minutes to release the solids from the bottom. Scrape the sides of the pot during cooking so the entire mass cooks evenly.
Pour into warmed glass jars and cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator or a cold larder.
Makes 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Use as a side to meat dishes, on sandwiches, as part of a cooked breakfast or simply served on toast. Slow-roasted tomatoes can also be pureed for sauces or added to a chilled summer soup. They will keep for up to a week stored covered in the fridge. This recipe can be doubled or even quadrupled.
1kg vine-ripened tomatoes
1 1/2 cups mixed fresh herbs (include fresh basil leaves)
1 tablespoon flakey sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
4 cloves garlic, crushed with the back of a knife, skin on
1 heaped tablespoon brown sugar
Good drizzle each: balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 225 degC. Halve tomatoes horizontally. Bruise herbs by rubbing them together in your hands. Scatter half the herbs over the base of a lined baking dish. Top with tomatoes, scattering over the garlic cloves, sea salt and sugar. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with freshly ground black pepper and an extra sprinkling of salt. Top with remaining herbs and bake 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 150 degC and continue to cook for about 90 minutes (cooking time will depend on the size of the tomatoes used; they should be collapsed and caramelised when done). Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
Tangy Tomato & Red Pepper Relish
Ideal served with barbecued or cold meats and as an accompaniment to cheese. The recipe
can be doubled.
2 red capsicums, seeds and membranes removed, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 thumbs ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
500g ripe tomatoes, skins and hard core removed, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup (liquid glucose)
1/2 teaspoon each: ground cloves and cinnamon
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
Place peppers, onion, chillies, ginger and garlic in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour into a preserving pan or large saucepan. Add vinegars and salt, bring to the boil and simmer over a gentle heat 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes, sugar, corn syrup, cloves, cinnamon and mustard seeds. Bring mixture back to the boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30-40 minutes or until the relish has thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Ladle into hot, clean jars, seal and allow to cool. Store in a dark cupboard for about 3 weeks to allow the flavours to develop.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups