The chef and Coles ambassador shares his favourite ideas with tomatoes, from clever recipes to no-waste and storage tips.
Cut tomatoes in half, sprinkle brown sugar, salt flakes, sliced garlic, your preference of freshly chopped dried herbs and cracked black pepper, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Place in an oven at 100C degrees until “semi-dried”.
Take 3-4 whole green tomatoes and cook them down slowly in a heavy-based pan until the reach a jammy consistency with about half a cup of brown sugar, 100ml white wine vinegar and spices (such as cardamom, turmeric and cinnamon). I also add grated ginger, grated apple and raisins. Enjoy on toasted sourdough with soft cheese… amazing!
If you’re thinking of throwing out that wrinkly old tomato that has been sitting in the corner of your fridge, then hear me out: try making a salt! Cook your chopped wrinkly old tomato in a pan over low-medium heat until the liquid evaporates. You should be left with something that resembles tomato paste with seeds.
Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 100C until dry. Once dried, process into a powder using a spice grinder, adding in dried basil and salt flakes.
Take about 1kg of very ripe tomatoes, a pinch of saffron, a stick of lemongrass, 2-3 coriander roots, 2 cloves of garlic, a dash of tabasco, salt to taste and 2 tsp sugar to make a moreish tomato consommé. Simply blend the ingredients together, wrap in a muslin cloth, tie the ends together, let hang in the fridge overnight with a bowl underneath, and collect the liquid from the tomato mixture.
Try this on your oyster! Blend together 2-3 very ripe tomatoes, 1 clove of garlic, tabascoto taste, a couple of pinches of sugar, salt to taste, freshly ground black pepper and 30-50ml red wine vinegar. Pour into a tray and freeze. Once frozen, scrape with a fork to create shaved ice (granita) and place on top of fresh oysters.
There are many ways of using left over tomatoes to avoid wastage:
They need to stay at room temperature, ideally in a single layer out of direct sunlight. Most importantly for keeping them fresher longer, store them stem-side down while they finish ripening.
Coles' nutritionist Kim Tikellis explains the health benefits of tomatoes: