Four out of every five tomatoes consumed in the UK are imported, which is not good news for growers of British tomatoes.
So, we’re helping to spread the word that UK grown tomatoes are the pick of the bunch, by celebrating British Tomato Fortnight, which runs until 6 June.
Tomatoes are also a great way to help you achieve your five-a-day – and these super-fruits protect against heart disease and cancer. They also help to keep your bones, skin and teeth healthy and boost your immune system – what’s not to love about a British tomato!
If you’re out shopping this weekend, why not pick up a punnet of British tomatoes and whip up some tasty of these dishes where this humble red fruit is the star ingredient:
Breakfast and brunch ideas
Plump, red tomatoes when combined with protein-rich eggs make a great start to a busy day. Wake up to this nutritious dish of poached eggs with broccoli, tomatoes and wholemeal flatbread, which takes just five minutes to prepare and six minutes to cook. Serve with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice for a satisfying breakfast.
If you want to avoid the washing-up, this one-pot-wonder of cherry tomatoes and scrambled eggs is the dish for you! Anything goes with this recipe – add spinach, feta cheese and onions – or whatever veggies you can find in the fridge that might otherwise go to waste, and sauté with the scrambled eggs. Add some wholemeal toast or a warm pitta and breakfast is ready!
If you’re not a fan of eggs then you can still pack tomatoes into a hearty brunch, by piling a generous helping of fried tomatoes onto thick-sliced toast and melting a sprinkling of mozzarella across the top for pure breakfast bliss.
Summer salad ideas
A fresh tomato salad is the perfect lunch for a sunny day and is quick and easy to prepare. Simply dice some ripe tomatoes into bite-sized chunks, add some red onion and halloumi cheese and serve with crusty bread. Toss the salad with a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and enjoy!
For a Greek-inspired twist on traditional tomato salad, swap the halloumi for salty feta and shower with a handful of green olives and a drizzle of olive oil before serving with this roasted tomato tart with a double cheese crust.
Tomato salad is also an ideal accompaniment for barbecued chicken or pork, so why not fire up the grill this weekend?
We couldn’t compile a list of the best recipes featuring tomatoes without mentioning soup. A piping hot serving of soup might not be on the menu on a warm summer’s day, so swap your soup for a chilled tomato gazpacho. This flavour-packed dish originates from Andalusia in southern Spain and is best prepared in advance and left to marinate overnight to allow the flavours to develop.
When it’s time to serve, simply ladle into bowls, add a handful of ice cubes and a shower of chopped basil and hey presto – one super-chilled summer’s lunch.
For a more indulgent cheesy lunch that oozes with creamy melted brie, top some thick slices of toasted sourdough bread with brie and thyme and grill until gooey. Add chopped walnuts, honey and slices of ripe tomatoes and pop back under the grill until golden.
Tomatoes for tea
For a low-carb teatime treat, these taco tomatoes really zing. Replace tortillas with fresh beefsteak tomatoes and stuff with minced beef, diced onion and shredded iceberg lettuce for a healthy twist on a traditional Mexican dish. For an Italian-inspired variation, top the taco with melted mozzarella and a handful of basil leaves. Delicious!
To encourage little ones to eat more fruit and vegetables, dish up a plateful of these amazing BLT hot dogs. Wrap a frankfurter in bacon – because everything tastes better wrapped in bacon – and grill until crispy. While cooking, spread a brioche finger roll with mayonnaise, fill with Romaine lettuce, diced ripe tomatoes and then add the hot dog. For an additional burst of tomatoey-goodness serve with a dollop of homemade ketchup.
Tomatoes form the basis for many Indian dishes, and this simple chicken and tomato curry recipe can be whipped up in under 30 minutes for a speedy midweek supper. The recipe uses medium-heat madras curry paste, but you can always swap out for a super-hot vindaloo paste or a milder korma to suit your tastes. Serve with naan bread, pilau rice and a spoonful of spicy mango chutney.
Sauces and salsas
If you have a glut of fresh tomatoes, make sure none go to waste by freezing them. They can be frozen raw or cooked and are best used in salsas and sauces when they are thawed.
Homemade tomato pasta sauce is so easy to make, you’ll never buy a jar from the supermarket again. It’s a versatile sauce that can be served with pork meatballs and spaghetti, used as the base for a ragu sauce for lasagne, or stirred through a tray of roasted veggies for a fast and healthy ratatouille.
Classic tomato salsa is the perfect partner of grilled meat, fish and a host of Mexican inspired dishes. This healthy burrito bowl with chipotle black beans is bursting with flavour and full of colourful vegetables. Serve with a generous topping of tomato salsa for added zestiness.
Share your tomatoes on toast pics!
The British Tomato Fortnight website is inviting the public to share their tomatoes on toast images for a chance to win a George Foreman grill for the best-looking dish.
Simply upload your photo to Instagram, TikTok or Facebook with the hashtag #tomsontoast to enter. Try topping your tomatoes on toast with creamy goat’s cheese and black pepper, or chopped basil and ricotta for an extra-special dish!