The best ways to eat tomatoes, from tasty tarts to simple salads

If you have been growing your own tomatoes, it’s probably just at the end of the season.

That means a glut of juicy tomatoes, in all colours.

Stuck with how to prepare them? We asked some top chefs for their suggestions.

In a tart

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Sanjay Aggarwal, author of Spice Kitchen, is a big fan of a classic tomato tart.

“I love doing that for summer, especially because you can have it cold and it’s really good for barbecues – quite child-friendly. I’ve got a four-year-old and she’d definitely eat that.”

Aggarwal has a recipe for a tomato, onion and herb tart, laden with parsley and baked on ready-rolled puff pastry, but you could also pair yours with other seasonal summer ingredients, such as fennel or courgette.

In a salad

You “can’t beat” a tomato salad, says Emily Scott, author of Time & Tide.

She likes hers with “beef, basil, good olive oil and sea salt – it’s super simple but really good”, she says.

Scott has one big rule with using tomatoes in a salad, however: “I wouldn’t put tomatoes in a green salad – you’ve got to do one or the other. I can’t cope with tomatoes in a green salad.”

With eggs

Jeremy Pang says he “can’t stop eating” tomatoes. But if he had to pick a favourite recipe, it would be the classic Cantonese dish, tomato egg.

“What you do is beat up your eggs, and get your wok to a really quite high temperature. Add a fair amount of oil – you’re talking one, one-and-a-half tablespoons of oil in the wok. Once that oil is smoking hot, then your seasoned egg can go into it,” Pang says.

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“You’re cooking an omelette, essentially, in a wok. You let it bubble for a couple of seconds on that high heat, before you then start to move it around – usually I use some slightly circular movements with the wok ladle. Then once it’s like a seal all the way round and created a half-cooked omelette, I take that egg out of the wok.

“Then a high heat again and a tiny amount of oil – if there’s any residual oil from the egg cooking, that’s fine. That wok needs to be smoking hot before tomatoes go in. You can use some garlic and ginger if you like, or some spring onion. [Take] wedges of tomato – maybe two or three whole tomatoes – once they hit that smoking hot wok, the skin of the tomato completely comes apart or tries to peel off the tomato itself.

“It sears and it’s a weird thing – it quickly concentrates the flavour of the tomato into the tomato itself. And then your egg comes back in.”

Pang finishes off the dish with a quick sweet and sour ketchup sauce (with ketchup, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, a teaspoon of vinegar and some sugar). That, for him, is one of the best easy dinners you can get.

Keeping it simple

Kate and Kay Allinson
(Mike English/PA)

If you really want to let your tomatoes sing, take advice from Kate and Kay Allinson, authors of Pinch Of Nom: Budget.

“I like cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and a bit of pesto,” says Kate.

Kat continues: “Yes, really simple flavours … We’ve got a little farm down the road that sells lots of produce, and their tomatoes are beaut.”

The Great British Bake Off alum Hermine Dossou is also all about keeping things simple and letting the produce shine.

“I would say the best way to eat tomatoes – I’m talking about the good tomatoes, the ones that are really sweet and meaty – is to just cut it in pieces, a bit of vinaigrette and some garnish, something like parsley on top during the summer,” says Dossou. “It’s so nice and so refreshing.”

How do you use a glut of tomatoes? Why not share your tips in the comments section below?

Also read: Tomato Gazpacho


Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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