Incredibly versatile, tomatoes are an essential cooking ingredient in many dishes and essential when creating tasty vegetarian and vegan recipes. Available all year round in supermarkets, they are at their best during the summer and autumn months. While many of us consider tomato to be a vegetable, it is in fact a fruit. Tomatoes can easily be grown at home in bags, raised beds or patio containers. If you decide to grow your own, it is worth trying to cultivate unusual varieties as tomatoes come in different shapes and colours. This article from BBC Gardener's World has some helpful suggestions.
Looking at vegetarian and vegan recipes, tomatoes are used raw, cooked or sun-dried in many dishes. Served with a vinaigrette or simply with a sprinkle of salt, tomato salad is a summer staple in our house, especially when we are staying in France. Baked, grilled, broiled, sautéed, stewed, fried, stuffed or sun-dried they are so many ways to cook tomatoes. They take centre stage in classic dishes such as tomato soups, gratins, ratatouille, vegetarian chillis, chutneys, bruschettas, Panzanella, pizzas etc..
Whether it is herbs, beans, pulses, bread, cheese, courgette, aubergine, peppers, olives, tofu, spinach ... tomatoes goes pretty much with everything. If you grow your own make sure to check my 9 Easy Ways to Use All Those Garden Tomatoes where you will find recipe inspiration to make ketchup, chutney, salsa, tomato sauce, jam, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes or preserve them longer by freezing or canning them.
Nutritional Content: Vitamins A, B6 & C + potassium and folate. Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that is believed to help reduce cancer risk. Cooked tomatoes are especially high in lycopene as cooking helps to release it from the tomato cells. Tomatoes also help keep the skin healthy. Low in calories.
UK Season: July to October.