Two ways to cook: Tomatoes

Summer’s bounty is here and if you’re wondering what to do with a glut of tomatoes, here are two suggestions

This is a recipe that is so easy, whenever I make it, I kick myself for not making it more often

This is a recipe that is so easy, whenever I make it, I kick myself for not making it more often

 

GARY’S WAY... MARINATED TOMATOES WITH RICOTTA, AGED BALSAMIC & BREAD CRISPS

My earliest memories of tomatoes aren’t great. Mammy seemed to be on a crusade to buy the hardest, greenest tomatoes she could find for our lunchbox sandwiches. If only I knew then what I know now.

There are few nicer things to eat than a ripe tomato with some Irish sea salt sprinkled on it. Because we find ourselves having to buy ahead of time in order to ripen at home in Ireland, I find that sometimes tomatoes need a little helping hand in developing the depth of flavour I expect for them to make the Viewmount House menu.

Last summer my sous chef Daniel came up with this little sauce/marinade and we felt it really did the trick. Paired with our own ricotta cheese and an aged balsamic vinegar, as well as the customary fresh basil, this is a combination made in heaven.

VANESSA’S WAY... NONA’S POMODORI GRATIN

Improving my windsurfing skills in time for summer led to a recent getaway in a resort hotel. Anticipation preceded each meal as the culinary theme varied each night at the all-you-can-eat buffet. What did not change were the trays of baked tomatoes at every service, even breakfast – an evident crowd pleaser.

They reminded me of my cousin’s mother-in-law’s famous baked tomatoes. This is a recipe that is so easy, whenever I make it, I kick myself for not making it more often. Baked tomatoes make a great side dish and can be served cold in summer and warm in winter.

An anecdotal footnote in the original handwritten recipe reads “Nona usually uses dried breadcrumbs (she always has them handy)” ... yes, those ones in the cardboard container that our mothers bought to stuff the chicken with, and I’m not going to argue with Nona, she’s the legend. I think the point is, the staler the bread the better. Panko breadcrumbs, which are now available in supermarkets, would work well also.

The tomatoes can also be cooked in a covered frying pan on the hob, where they are lightly steamed.

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