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You say tomatoes….

It’s British Tomato week this week which made me think – I know it’s only Monday, don’t want to rush at these things…..Personally I’ve never been a fan of a tomato – memories of soggy sandwiches with slices of tomato gone to mush; breakfasts contaminated by thin tomato juicesĀ  from unexpected tinned tomatoes leaching into the bacon and eggs; tough skins holding flavourless fruit. Yep – definitely not my favourite.

Admittedly I can use them in cooking and do in tomato sauces, soups, tagines, casseroles, dressings – anywhere they can be hidden.

Beautifully decorated

Vegetable Biryiani in Jodhpur with Tomatoes & Silver Leaf

Lately though I’ve noticed a growing tolerance on my part towards the tomato and I might even consider ordering them – frankly unheard of a couple of years ago. None of the perfectly round flavourless, pale offerings though – they have to have a good hit of flavour.

A salad of beautifully flavoured fresh tomatoes cut very thinly with just some salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil, maybe some creamy mozzarella on top with fresh marjoram; well, happy days!

The Spanish breakfast of pan y tomate – toasted bread with overripe tomato flesh rubbed over the toasted crust and more olive oil is a great start to the day and certainly makes a difference to Marmite;

Tostada con Tomate

Tostada con Tomate

Smoked cherry tomatoes on a deli board; slices of solid beef tomatoes such as Marmande or Black Russian ripened on the vine for lots of flavour and not too much worry about their shape; halved tomatoes and then blackened on the cut surface on a super-hot griddle and served with steak or chicken and salad

Tomatoes and Flat Bread. Grill Like A Gaucho

Blackened tomatoes, great flavour

– all of these have brought down my resistance and I’m now looking forward to this year’s tomatoes grown in the greenhouse and hanging baskets.

Tomatoes piled up in a Provencal market

Tomatoes piled up in a Provencal market

Until then, it’s a quick trip to Annie’s in Totnes for their pile of green, yellow, red and purple tomatoes of all shapes and sizes. How things change….