Thursday, 3 March 2016

Warmed Tomato Salsa

This time of year in the UK, if you want to eat fresh tomatoes you need to do something to pep them up. Whatever you spend, where ever you buy them and what variety you buy, they will be imported and therefore, a little lacking in flavour and a bit watery - in order to transport them they are usually picked green and then ripened later for packaging. This means they don't have that sun ripened flavour that brings out the sweetness in them that we get with home grown summer tomatoes.

So when I'm in need of a few fresh tomatoes in my life, and it's not the season for them, this is one of the ways I add a little something to them to bring them to life.

My warm tomato salsa is both warm in flavour and temperature. I like to either serve it on bruschetta, make it into a winter panzanella by adding some sun dried tomatoes, olives and charred red peppers or I serve it with green beans as a side dish. It's also great with a bit of simple pan fried white fish.

Recipe - Enough for 2

200g cherry vine tomatoes
1 red chilli
2 cloves garlic
pinch of sugar
sprig of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
a little olive oil for cooking

pinch of smokey paprika as a optional extra if your feeling so inclined

First chop up your tomatoes - cut some in quarters and some in half and a few chop up completely. This gives a thick tomato sauce with a few firmer tomatoes.

Finely chop the garlic and the chilli - deseed if you want less heat.

Add a little olive oil to the pan - about a tablespoon - and gently cook the garlic and chilli. Do this over a medium heat you don't want to burn or colour the garlic.

Add the tomatoes to the pan, along with a pinch of sugar and the sprig of thyme. Gently cook until the smaller chunks have broken down but the rest of the tomatoes still hold their shape. If your going to add paprika then now's the time to do it.

Also, just a side note, half a teaspoon of pesto also works well.

Add a good pinch of sea salt and loads of freshly ground black pepper. As you can see the skins will come away from the chopped and quartered tomatoes, if you don't like this then you will have to peel them before cooking - I find this tedious, so never ever bother to peel or de-seed a tomato - life is just too damn short!

So now you can choose how to serve your now tasty winter tomatoes.....

As bruschetta .......

On green beans.....

Or just as it is with some crusty fresh bread for a quick lunch.....

Have a great day - it's nearly the weekend
Love Lizx

 Warm Tomato Salsa