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Mon Sep 26 17:40:45 SAST 2016

Main Course: De-Vine Fruit

Food Weekly | 27 November, 2012 09:41

You can get tomatoes all year round, but in the full flush of their summer season they are sweeter, redder and juicier. Hilary Biller brings the taste of sunshine to your table with four fresh tomato dishes


Serves 6


6 large firm Tiger tomatoes (or any firm red tomatoes)

100g button mushrooms, sliced

60g fresh parmesan shavings

18 fresh basil leaves

3 pickled onions, sliced

6 black olives, pitted and sliced


60ml ( cup) olive oil

45ml (3 tbsp) balsamic vinegar

15ml (1 tbsp) water

5ml (1 tsp) sugar

2.5ml ( tsp) mustard powder

Salt and pepper, to taste


Cut a thin slice off each tomato so it will stand upright. Cut 5 slits across the tomato, almost but not completely through. Stuff each slit with a different ingredient - mushrooms, parmesan, basil, onion and olives.

For the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients and shake well. Pour over the tomatoes, ensuring it seeps into all the slits, and serve immediately.


Makes 6


6 slices focaccia or ciabatta bread

Olive oil

90ml readymade basil pesto

300g buffalo mozzarella or bocconcini, drained and sliced

3-4 coeur de boeuf or other ripe red tomatoes, sliced

12 fresh basil leaves

Salt and black pepper, to taste


Lightly brush the bread on one side with olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for 15 minutes until crisp. Remove and spread each slice with a tablespoon of pesto. Allow to cool completely then arrange the mozzarella, tomato and basil in overlapping layers on each slice of toast. Drizzle with olive oil, season and serve.


Serves 6


185ml ( cup) olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 stalk fresh rosemary

4 sprigs fresh thyme

6 vine-ripened Marmande tomatoes (or other firm red tomatoes)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Caster sugar, for sprinkling


In a heatproof pan or casserole dish that will fit the tomatoes snugly, heat the oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme over a low heat for a few minutes until the garlic softens. Remove from the heat and gently add the tomatoes, stem-side down. Season and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, then turn carefully and sprinkle again with salt, pepper and caster sugar. Cook gently for another 10-15 minutes until tender, basting with olive oil.

Serve the tomatoes at room temperature, drizzled with extra olive oil and accompanied by fresh basil; white anchovies; ricotta, goat's milk or mozzarella cheese; and crusty sourdough bread to soak up the juices.


Serves 4-6


1kg mixed cocktail tomatoes (eg yellow Rosalini, pink Bella, mini San Marzano), halved

500g small prawns, cooked

45ml (3 tbsp) finely sliced fresh basil

1 clove garlic, crushed

125ml ( cup) olive oil

Dash of balsamic vinegar

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 large avocado, diced and tossed in lemon juice

400g fusilli (pasta screws), cooked and rinsed in cold water


Combine the tomatoes with the prawns, basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Toss to mix. Add the avocado and cooled pasta and toss lightly to mix. Serve immediately.


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