Tag Archives: tomatoes

Tomato ice cream

6 Nov

Tomato ice cream, made with fresh tomatoes, tomato jam and cream.

Just more than a week ago, I hosted a “secret dinner” at my home. I served a 5-course tomato-inspired dinner, and the evening was a huge success! We ended the night with individual pavlovas, served with fresh cream, some small organic rosa tomatoes and tomato ice cream. The rosa tomatoes were super sweet and juicy, and tasted like “real summer fruit” (we all know that tomatoes are fruit, but they are very rarely¬† served as fruit).

So here is my recipe for the tomato ice cream that I served as part of this dessert. It is very rich, but has amazing tropical flavours and a clear tomato taste. I used fresh tomatoes and some fabulous tomato jam from Melissa’s – the best tasting tomato jam I have ever come across.

Tip: Don’t serve this ice cream all on its own, it works best as an accompaniment to a sweet pastry, tart, baked pudding, or meringue dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large tomatoes
  • 340 g good quality tomato jam
  • 200-250 ml fresh cream

Method:

  1. Blanche the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and immerse in ice water.
  2. Remove skins, then halve the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Cut into chunks, then freeze until completely hard.
  3. Using an ice cube tray, pour tomato jam into cube compartments and freeze. This won’t freeze completely, it will stay slightly soft.
  4. Using a food processor, add frozen tomato flesh and frozen tomato jam. Add fresh cream and process until completely smooth (about 1-2 minutes). This consistency will be similar to soft serve ice cream. Transfer immediately to a plastic container and place back in the freezer for about 3-4 hours until set.
  5. Serve directly from fridge.

Roasted organic tomato soup

20 Apr

Roasted organic tomato soup, straight from the farm.

Nothing beats fresh organic ingredients, straight from the farm, still warm from the sun. My friend John House recently surprised us all by buying a neat piece of land outside Stellenbosch, and starting his own organic vegetable farm. It’s been a year since John started to work the soil at Genesis Farm, and now his crops are standing tall with huge basil plants, different kinds of tomatoes, beautiful peppers and chilli’s, and all kinds of other organic produce.

You can immediately taste the difference in a freshly picked organic tomato, straight from the vine: it still tastes of the sun and the earth – sweet, intense tomato flavours unlike any store-bought fruit. So, with my basket filled to the brim with the reddest plump tomatoes, I knew I had to make a proper, chunky roasted tomato soup. I had eaten some really tasty tomato soup at Nook Eatery a few times, and knew they had the recipe posted on their blog. I took a few notes and adapted the recipe for what I had on hand. The soup is intense with real beefy tomato flavours, packed with umami. I used the tomatoes whole – no skins or seeds were discarded (but if you are a picky eater, feel free to push the cooked soup through a sieve).

Ingredients:

  • 3 T (45 ml) olive oil
  • 200 g leeks, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced/crushed
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • about 16 ripe organic tomatoes (medium to large), chopped into chunks
  • 2 cans of whole Italian tomatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 2 T (30 ml) sugar
  • 1 T (15 ml) salt
  • 2 t (10 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T (45 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 T (30 ml) tomato paste
  • to serve: handful of fresh basil leaves, more olive oil and fresh cream

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a large heavy based pot on the stove top, heat olive oil, then fry chopped leeks, onion, carrot, garlic and thyme until soft and slightly brown (I didn’t chop it by hand, but used a food processor – saved a lot of time).
  3. Add the tomatoes (fresh and canned), as well as the sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and tomato paste. Stir to mix thoroughly. Transfer to a large deep roasting tray, then put in the oven to roast for 1 hour (stir after 30 minutes).
  4. Remove from oven, discard thyme sprigs, then process untill the right texture is achieved (I found that it stays quite chunky after processing, which is perfect).
  5. Serve with cream (I love lots of cream in my soup) and a dollop of basil paste.

How to make basil paste:

In a large pot, bring some water to a simmer. Have a large bowl filled with iced water ready next to it. Blanche the basil leaves for 3 seconds (not more, not less) in the boiling water, then remove at once with a slotted spoon and immerse immediately in iced water. Remove from iced water, lightly squeeze out excess water, then pat dry with a tea towel. Transfer to a food processor or pestle & mortar, along with enough olive oil to form a paste and a pinch of course salt flakes. Process/pound to a paste. Store in an air tight container in the fridge and use within 3 days.

(Contact John House from Genesis Farm on 082-215 6968. Their website will be live by next week.)

Tomato and chicken casserole for lazy cooks

28 Jun

Tomato and chicken casserole

Yesterday I was a lazy cook. Me, the greatest proclaimer of “you cannot spend too much time in the kitchen”. Normally I would create reasons why I should be baking one more batch of chocolate chip cookies, or a third and fourth sponge cake (just in case) or take the long route in drying my own wild mushrooms, just to be able to rehydrate them and use them later in a carefully prepared risotto. No effort in the kitchen is too much in my books. […]

Spicy tomato sauce for pizza, pasta and meat

3 Mar

Meatballs with my versatile spicy tomato sauce

Yes my darlings, it is true: I’ve created a fantastic spicy tomato sauce so versatile, you can practically use it on anything. I started making it as a tomato sauce for my pizza bases, and then realised that it also tasted great on pasta. It also works very well with meat and chicken. Lo and behold, it can even be turned into a soup! […]

It ain’t cheating if it tastes this good

7 Feb

It’s a beautiful drive to Lourensford Farm in Somerset West for their monthly farmer’s market weekend. But once you enter those gates, the view is just breathtaking: perfectly kept green vineyards surrounded by the most majestic blue mountains. It’s really spectacular.

Once parked on a shady patch of grass, we made our way over to the coffee stand on Saturday morning and ordered refreshing iced coffees to sip on while strolling through the food isles. I’ve been there many times before (my brother-in-law is the local rainbow trout farmer, and I have to say his trout is epic) so I kind of knew what to expect. But this time I found 2 new products that are just fantastic. […]

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
YouTube