Home' Greymouth Star : January 15th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 7
Tomatoes are the most versatile of
vegetables and make happy marriages
--- raw or cooked --- with myriad
ere are so many varieties. Acid-free
or roma or plum tomatoes have firm flesh and not
too many seeds, ideal for making delicious pasta
sauces that can be preserved to liven up meals later
in the year.
e big beefsteak is great for frying with bacon or
for adding to casseroles. Heirloom Tomatoes have
been popular for a couple of years especially with
chefs because of their unusual colours, but having
grown heirlooms twice, I now prefer to choose
more common varieties that provide bigger crops.
Cherry and pear tomatoes are members of
the cluster tomato variety that are excellent for
snacking on or whole in salads.
One of the simplest but most delectable ways of
enjoying juicy, ripe, flavoursome red tomatoes is
to chop them coarsely and add to a slurry of extra
virgin olive oil, crushed garlic and freshly ground
black pepper. Scoop it on to bruschetta or use it as
I also love tomatoes grilled then topped with a
little olive oil, chopped parsley and capers.
Store tomatoes --- stem end down according to
some experts --- in a cool, dark place, but preferably
not the refrigerator. Tomatoes lose flavour if
stored in very cold conditions. Five medium-sized
tomatoes weigh about 500gm and will fill about
two cups when skinned and diced.
Sunburn cure: Tomatoes are great for soothing
and healing sunburn. Crush half a tomato and mix
it with two tablespoons of plain yoghurt. Apply
this concoction on your face, neck, hands or feet.
Wash it off after 20 minutes. Tomato cools the skin
and neutralises the surface while yoghurt gives it
a much needed protein boost while leaving it soft
Balsamic roasted tomatoes
12 medium tomatoes, plum preferably
4 each: cloves garlic, basil leaves, thinly sliced,
few sprigs thyme
2 spring onions
1 red chilli
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 170degC. Make a small cross
in the top of each tomato. Place in a casserole so
they fit snuggly. Sprinkle with the garlic, basil and
thyme. Halve the spring onions lengthwise and cut
into 4cm long lengths.
Halve the chilli lengthwise and seed. Weave the
spring onions and chilli between the tomatoes.
Season well. Combine the vinegar and brown sugar.
Pour over the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil.
Bake the tomatoes for about 45 minutes, until soft
but they still retain their shape. Serve with crusty
bread as a starter, on pasta or as an accompaniment.
Serves four to eight.
Classic tomato salad
with a twist
A twist on the classical Mediterranean tomato,
mozzarella and basil salad.
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
finely grated rind 1 large lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushedSalad
200g fresh mozzarella or bocconccini
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely sliced basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper to taste
500g medium-sized ripe tomatoes
freshly ground salt to taste
extra basil leaves for garnish
Combine the ingredients for the gremolata and
place aside. Meanwhile, slice the mozzarella in a
bowl. Sprinkle with the olive oil, basil, garlic and
black pepper. Stand for at least 30 minutes to
absorb the flavours. Slice the tomatoes and layer
in a flat serving dish in rows alternately with the
cheese. Sprinkle with salt and extra basil. Serve
lightly chilled as a light meal with crusty bread or
as an accompaniment to cold meats.
Ser ves four to five.
4 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2kg tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
½ cup sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling spices
1 teaspoon each: salt, paprika
½-1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or to taste
Place the onions, garlic and tomatoes in a large
heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat for
about one hour until the vegetables are very soft.
Cool slightly. Pureee the mixture in batches in a
food processor or with a hand-held blender. Return
to the saucepan and add the sugar, vinegar, the
spices tied in muslin, salt and paprika. Simmer
the mixture until very thick. Discard the bag of
pickling spices and season with Tabasco. Pour into
sterilised bottles or jars and seal.
Makes five to six cups.
Preserve tomatoes as they ripen. e microwave
can help save time and energy during summer
6 small-medium sized tomatoes
Choose ripe but firm tomatoes. Wash and prick
the skins with a needle. Place in a one-litre,
sterilised preserving jar. Top with boiling water
to within 1cm of the rim. Using an oven cloth,
carefully place the jar in the microwave and cook
on high (100%) power for 4-5 minutes or until
bubbles appear on the outside of the tomatoes
and the skins start to split. Remove from the
microwave and top up with boiling water. Seal with
a vacuum seal (prepared as per directions on the
seal) and a screw-on band. Leave until cold and the
vacuum draws down the seal tightly --- the top of
the seal will be concave. Makes one, one-litre jar.
Balsamic roasted tomatoes.
Hot drinks for
the summer Hot drinks? What do you
drink when you are hot?
You need lots of liquid to
replace the dehydration, the
perspiration. You are thirsty
so you drink lots of beer
or wine or RTDs. Not a good idea. You will
fall off the deck or out of the boat or into the
Dilute your drink --- add lemonade to your
beer or soda to your wine. Your staunch bloke
can still be staunch while he is drinking a
shandy. Do not drink RTDs, the alcopops,
they have higher alcohol and lots of sugar.
ey are easy to drink fast and they do not
refresh you at all.
You could try some of the modern adult
sodas and juices like Lemon, Lime and
Bitters, Teva Fruit Teas, Macs Green Apple,
ginger beer, Aroha Juices.
Play swapsies, have an alcoholic drink then
swap to a non-alcoholic one.
Buy low-alcohol wine --- Brancott Estate,
Saint Clair and other companies have 9%
Sauvignon Blanc, which is sharp and ideal
for summer drinking. Forrest e Doctor
Riesling is an excellent low alternative.
Keep the food available. Cold nibbles of
chicken, pastrami, savs, corned beef, pickles,
mustards. Have them easy to grab. ey will
slow the absorption of the alcohol.
Be cool, stay smart, pace yourself in the hot
sun and survive happy.
Wine and food festivals
Sitting under a sun umbrella with a salmon
salad washed down with a Pinot Gris or lying
on soft grass listening to a singer guitar duo
while you sip from you glass of Merlot ---
you have got the life, you are living the Kiwi
summer wine and food festival life.
Here is a list of some of them over the
next couple of months: Twizel Salmon and
Wine Festival, January 25, Market Place;
Marlborough Wine and Food Festival,
February 8, Brancott Estate; Brightwater
Wine and Food Festival, February 16;
Oamaru Wine and Food Festival, February
16, Oamaru Public Gardens; Gibbston Wine
and Food Festival, March 15, Queenstown
Gardens; Waipara Valley Wine and Food
Festival, February 23, Domain, Waipara.
Food, music, wine, sun and fun --- what
more could you want?
Brown Cow --- When colas were invented
200 years ago in America Brown Cow was
the name for an ice-cream soda with cola
instead of soda.
Place a tbsp chocolate syrup and a small
scoop of ice-cream in the bottom of a tall
glass, stir and add cola to ¾, add another
scoop and top with cola (whipped cream on
top is an option).
Havana Zombie --- Shake or mix vigorously
in a jug 5 ice cubes, 30ml lime juice, 30ml
pineapple juice, tsp sugar, 15ml white rum,
15ml golden rum, 15ml dark rum and pour
into a glass without straining.
" e secret to enjoying a wine is to open
the bottle to allow it to breathe and after
a minute or two if it doesn t look like
it is breathing give it mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation." --- Anon.
Red wine choice
Moonstruck Shiraz 2012 --- Yes, I ll admit it, I
bought this for the label --- "Handcrafted with grapes
gathered in the still of the night. Moonstruck Shiraz
is made for those who like to howl at the moon" and
after a bottle of this you might find yourself howling
at the moon. Easy drinking medium bodied and well
balanced Victorian wine. Drink now till 2015. Dry
White wine choice
Mission Reserve Chardonnay 2012 --- From the
oldest winery in New Zealand and excellent Hawke s
Bay quality comes a rewarding chardonnay with
full bodied texture and flavours of peaches, oatmeal,
vanilla and a long lingering aftertaste. Drink now till
2016. Dry. $18-$21.
NZ Pure Shandy --- A low-alcohol beer at
2.5% made by Independent Breweries from lager
and lemonade. A delicious, refreshing summer
drink with a pleasant malty flavour and a zappy
lemon effervescence. 330ml. 2.5%. $1.50-$2.
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