April 23, 2012 in Cooking with Woolies
Tomatoes are tough little guys and can be grown practically all year round. But I think summer tomatoes are the best! Sun-blushed with a beautiful deep red hue and sun-ripened until so sweet and tender, you can bite into them just as they are with a little sprinkle of salt.
Now that autumn is in full swing, tomatoes are still to be found and still as delicious as ever, just maybe a little firmer and not as sweet. (It’s not just us that have to withstand the cold air this time of year!)
My best way to entice the natural sugars and flavour out of them when they are at this stage is to halve them and arrange them snugly into a large, deep baking tray. Sprinkle over 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1 chopped fresh chilli, a good glug of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and finish them off with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
The trick is to slow roast them at about 160C⁰ for 35 – 40 minutes if you have them time, if not 180C⁰ for 10 minutes less will do just fine. Don’t be afraid to leave them in for longer if you want a more concentrated flavour and if you want a almost cheat the oven-dried tomato effect.
The balsamic encourages and enhances the natural caramelisation of the tomatoes sugars, bringing out all of that fabulous flavour, as does the sea salt. You can’t ever really go wrong with garlic and chilli but feel free to leave it out if you like, but seasoning is a must.
Your beautifully roasted tomatoes are now ready to be tossed into a bowls of fresh pasta, a warm autumn salad with roasted wedges of butternut, mozzarella, rocket and coriander or as the fantastic beginnings of a tomato sauce or soup.. Speaking of soup, remember to enter your own, home-made soup recipe in the Woolworths Soup Competition. You could win a R50 000 Woolworths gift card!
CHUNKY ASIAN TOMATO-AND-PEPPER RELISH WITH BEEF STRIPS
This recipe is also one of my favourite ways to use tomatoes. I just chop them into a saucepan with red peppers and loads of chilli, but roasting them with the peppers will give you a far superior relish.
- 4 mixed peppers, chopped
- 2 slicing tomatoes, chopped
- 500 g Free-range beef, cut into strips
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 red chillies, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 x 5 cm ginger, peeled and grated
- To make the relish, place olive oil in a saucepan over a medium to low heat with freshly chopped red chillies, garlic and the ginger.
- Fry for 1–2 minues, or until fragrant.
- Chop the mixed peppers and place in the pan. Add the chopped, slicing tomatoes and soya sauce. Fry for 15–20 minutes, adding more soya sauce if necessary.
- Pan-fry the beef strips in olive oil for 3– 4 minutes, or until golden but still juicy.
- Serve on a bed of fresh leaves and sliced red onion, with the chunky tomato and pepper relish on the side.
- Season to taste.
Find more easy and delicious ways to use Woollies’ products at The Pantry or pop over to Woolworths TASTE where we have more ideas with sun-blushed tomatoes, including new additions to Woolies’ specialty range, including crisp, yellow tinged Rosalini tomatoes, super-sweet pear-shaped mini San Marzano tomatoes large, ruby-red truss tomatoes and the exotic selection – an exclusive range of colourful, sweet and juicy tomatoes that are ideal for snacking and a perfect ingredient for a tomato quiche or salad.