This Summer I've been lucky to have been able to enjoy cooking with fruits and vegetables from our very own garden. We've had an abundance of produce this year, and we've been steadily working our way through a huge glut of tomatoes. I thought I'd share a couple of my favourite recipes for using up tomatoes. Both are by one of my favourite chefs - Anna Jones. If you haven't already come across her, go seek her out.
Tomato and Coconut Cassoulet
1 leek, washed, trimmed and roughly sliced 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped a 1cm thick piece of fresh ginger, the size of a 50p piece, peeled and roughly chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 × 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 4 tablespoons coconut milk 1 × 400g jar haricot beans, drained, or 1 × 400g tin, drained 500g vine or cherry tomatoes, halved a bunch of fresh basil 4 slices of sourdough bread
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
First heat an ovenproof pan on a medium heat and add a slosh of olive oil. Throw in the leeks, garlic, chilli and ginger and a pinch of salt and some pepper, then turn the heat down and cook for 10 minutes, until the leeks are soft and sweet. Next, add the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and beans and simmer for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat. Check the seasoning, and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.
Scatter over the fresh tomatoes, followed by the basil, then tear the slices of bread into chunks and push them into the gaps between the tomatoes. You are looking for a covering of tomatoes and chunks of
Drizzle the lot with olive oil and pop it into the oven for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have shrunk and sweetened and the bread is crisp and golden. Allow to sit for a few minutes before piling on to plates with lemony green salad.
800g of good ripe tomatoes (use a mixture of different coloured ones, both big and cherry) Salt and freshly ground black pepper Olive oil 3 red onions, peeled and finely sliced 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tsp brown sugar or honey A small bunch of thyme or oregano, leaves picked Butter, for greasing A 200g pack of all-butter puff pastry 1 egg, beaten 50g of baby capers, drained
Halve the tomatoes and put them cut-side up on a baking tray with a little salt, pepper and olive oil. Bake them in a low oven at 100C/210F for 3-4 hours to slowly roast and sweeten. You may need to take some of the smaller tomatoes out a bit earlier, so keep an eye on them. Once cooked, allow to cool a little.
Next make the caramelised onions. Heat a little olive oil on a medium heat and add the sliced onions. Cook for 10 minutes to sweeten and soften before adding the vinegar, sugar or honey and the leaves from a few sprigs of the oregano (saving the rest for later) and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 30-40 minutes until really soft and sticky.
Butter a cast-iron or heavy frying pan about 24cm in diameter and lay the tomatoes cut-side down in a kind of mosaic, fitting them all together. Once they are all squeezed in, scatter the onion over the top.
Roll out the pastry until it’s about 1cm thick and cut out a circle just bigger than your pan. Lay it over the onion mixture and tuck in the sides. You can stop here and put the tart into the fridge if you like.
Once you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Brush the pastry with a little beaten egg and put it into the oven for 25‑30 minutes until golden all over and bubbling around the edges.
While the tart is cooking, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Have a plate lined with some kitchen paper and a slotted spoon to hand. Once the oil is hot, add the capers. They will bloom into little flowers and crisp in just 30 seconds or so. Lift them out and quickly drain them on kitchen paper.
Once the tart is golden and bubbling, take it out of the oven and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge and carefully turning out on to a plate. Scatter the capers over the tart before serving.