How to select tomatoes
When choosing tomatoes, opt for ones that feel heavy for their size – the juicier tomatoes are denser, while unripe tomatoes will feel a little too light. Another way to pick a good tomato is by the scent – it should have a sweet, earthy odour. The stronger the tomato smells, the more flavour it will have. And while it’s not always about looks, choose tomatoes that are free of blemishes and are a deep, bright red.
How to store tomatoes
Keep unripe tomatoes stem-side down in a paper bag or cardboard box in a single layer. If you want to keep them for a while, store them in the fridge – this will slow the ripening process. Ripe tomatoes should be kept at room temperature on the counter, away from sunlight, while overripe tomatoes that are soft to touch with very red flesh are best kept in the fridge.
- Arrange sliced tomatoes on a platter with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves to make a Caprese salad. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper before serving.
- Cut tomatoes in half, top with herbed breadcrumbs and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Delicious on their own, or served as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish.
- Sauté chopped onion and garlic in a frying pan, then add chopped ripened tomatoes and allow to simmer. Season with sugar, salt and pepper and serve with pasta. You can also pour the sauce into a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.
- For an easy salsa, combine diced tomatoes with diced onion and coriander. Add a squeeze of lime and a pinch of sugar and salt to balance out the flavour. Great with nachos or baked fish.
Tomatoes are packed with nutrients and make a tasty addition to many meals. They are low in carbohydrates and calories, and contain a high level of the antioxidant lycopene. Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.