Tomatoes - Making the Most of Seasonal Bounty To Enjoy All Year | Dani Valent

Tomatoes – Making the Most of Seasonal Bounty To Enjoy All Year

Tomatoes – Making the Most of Seasonal Bounty To Enjoy All Year2019-03-06T11:43:27+10:00

I have a massive crush on tomatoes. I love them fresh, warm from the vine, when picking them means brushing against their fragrant, furry leaves. I love them in crates from the market: plump and juicy and full of promise. I love them racked up at my local grocer, different varieties in colourful piles. And I especially love them in my fruit bowl at home – not the fridge! – where they get riper and juicier by the day, begging to be used in salads, cooked dishes and preserves.

There are a million and one ways with tomatoes. Let’s see how many we can discover together…

This vlog is shot on the fly by my daughter and husband at St Kilda Farmers’ Market. Hope you enjoy the fly-on-the-wall nature of this video and forgive the glimpses of undone dishes and kitchen clutter! First of all, I visit the market and chat to tomato farmer James. Next, I bring my bounty home and turn it into amazing passata.

My version of tomato passata is very simple, which is as it should be, because it’s all about the tomatoes. Choose ripe – even slightly over-ripe – tomatoes bursting with flavour. The seeds and skin are traditionally left out of passata but I leave them in because – well, I’ve got a Thermomix. This results in a lighter, brighter coloured sauce than you might be used to.

Shorba is an endlessly versatile Indian spiced soup. It’s a stand-by meal which takes a minute to throw together. I love this soup if I’m feeling a little under the weather because it’s comforting, so simple that it can be made with a very foggy brain, and I feel like the spice hit kickstarts my body back towards health.

A classic Bloody Mary is great – a spiced tomato cocktail to kick your day off with a bang – but my Bloody Maria is next level! We bring Mexican festivity with mezcal and jalapeño peppers, dialling up the party vibes, and the addition of bacon and pickles turns a morning tipple into a substantial drink and snack.

I love this chicken dish because it’s impressive but easy, with classic pub flavours and a little extra pizzazz. Importantly, it’s the perfect dish to prepare ahead of time: make your rolls, steam your spuds, then finish it all off when your guests arrive or the family is clamouring.

Gnocchi anguish be gone! Learn how to make light, bouncy, silky gnocchi by using the right potatoes and a gentle touch. Bonus – they’re gluten free. Let’s unlock the secrets of these classic Italian dumplings together.

Bloody Caesar is the Canadian version of a Bloody Mary cocktail and it’s usually made with ‘Clamato’, a commercial drink that combines ‘clam juice’ and tomato. My version uses fresh clam stock, reserved from steaming the clams. The clams are then used in a Thai-style salad.

A family meal that’s on the table in 45 minutes and stars two types of fab dumplings and a healthy pile of greens cooked over their own sauce. This one-pot family dinner is flexible, easy and quick and we don’t wash the bowl at all, even though we step through a few different elements. Love that!

This quick and crazy cold soup from a creative Israeli chef is an absolute winner. When people say ‘gazpacho’, they’re normally thinking of a tomato soup thickened with bread. When Israel chef Eyal Shani says ‘gazpacho’, he’s thinking of a mind-bending concoction that includes tomatoes, forgets the bread and uses a totally surprising ingredient that takes a fresh, simple soup into another dimension.

Tomato Recipes

  • A quick nourishing classic that solves one of the main gripes I hear about Thermomix cooking: clumpy, dry mince! I hate it too! You’ll never get that with this best-ever bol
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    I love this bread! I've topped it with tomatoes in this case, but you can keep it plain, scatter it with sesame seeds, dot it with olives, sprinkle it with dukkah or chilli flakes, whatever takes your fancy.
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    You can make jam with tomatoes like you would with any other fruit. It's actually a traditional preparation in South America, and it's popular in South Africa too.
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    It doesn't get much easier, or more beautiful, than this! Puff pastry is a canvas to show off gorgeous tomatoes - stay mono-tonal or use a colourful mix of tomatoes as you wish. Hiding beneath the fresh tomatoes is a semi-dried tomato paste which adds an extra layer of flavour and bite to the tart.
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    This chutney uses fennel seeds and fresh fennel for a double dose of aniseedy charm which is balanced by the sweetness of tomatoes and dates, and the kick of vinegar. It’s a good one to bottle but you can also get stuck into it straight away.
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    Concentrated flavour and thick, rich texture make this tomato paste brilliant for use in all kinds of recipes. It could hardly be simpler: start with passata and reduce it to your desired consistency.
  • My version of this curry classic pays homage to the original 1950s Delhi version but it's super easy and quick. The flavour of the curry powder is key to this dish - its worth making my vadouvan curry powder but any good blend will do the trick.
  • I don’t like saying goodbye to tomatoes so I preserve them as passata, a cooked tomato sauce that is brilliant in the Thermomix
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    A classic Bloody Mary is great - a spiced tomato cocktail to kick your day off with a bang - but my Bloody Maria is next level! We bring Mexican festivity with mezcal and jalapeño peppers, dialling up the party vibes, and the addition of bacon and pickles turns a morning tipple into a substantial drink and snack.
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