The British Tomato Growers’ Association is behind British Tomato Fortnight, a celebration of all things tomatoey.
Running from 20th May – 2nd June, British Tomato Fortnight cheerleads for Britain’s homegrown tomatoes and marks the start of the peak production season. From May until August, consumers will find the most quality British tomatoes in abundance in supermarkets and food stores around the country. Northwest farmers grow some of the best tomatoes in the world, and multi-award-winning Flavourfresh in Southport produce nearly three million kilograms of tomatoes a year.
The association is raising awareness of the British Tomato industry with the aim of encouraging the nation to support local growers and choose British over their foreign counterparts, when in season.
Here are some of our favourite tomato recipes to get you in the mood:
British Tomato Shakshuka
Perfect for breakfast or brunch, this recipe tastes fantastic with crusty bread to mop up all the delicious juices.
Serves 4 Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking: 25 minutes
500g British medium vine tomatoes 2tbsp olive oil2 large onions, thinly sliced2 garlic cloves, crushed2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced 1/2tsp cumin seeds1tsp mild chilli powder1tbsp tomato puree2tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to garnish4 large eggs50g feta cheese, crumbed150g thick Greek-style yogurtSalt and freshly ground black pepper, Crusty bread, to serve
Good Taste tip: This is great as a sharing dish, where everyone just eats straight from the pan!
- Halve the tomatoes and set to one side.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan that has a lid. Gently fry the onions, garlic and peppers in the covered pan for about 10 minutes, or until very soft.
- Add the cumin seeds, chilli powder, tomato puree and parsley, stirring well. Season. Add the tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, uncovered, adding a splash of water if it begins to look too dry.
- Stir well, then make 4 spaces among the ingredients. Crack the eggs into these spaces and cook gently for a further 8-10 minutes, until set. If you like, grill the top for a few moments to set the surface of the eggs.
- To serve, crumble the feta cheese on top and sprinkle with extra parsley. Season with a little extra black pepper. Put the yogurt into a bowl and sprinkle with a little chilli powder. Serve alongside the Shakshuka with crusty bread.
Halloumi and British tomato toast with mint pesto
Enjoy char-grilled sourdough, topped with grilled Halloumi and sliced tomatoes, given a fresh twist with quick-to-make mint pesto.
Serves 2 Prep time: 10min Cook time: 5min
4 slices sourdough bread2tbsp olive oil150g Halloumi cheese, sliced4 large British vine tomatoes, sliced mint pesto: Small bunch of mint, 5tbsp olive oil1tsp white wine vinegar50g ground almondsSalt and freshly ground black pepper
Good Taste tip: You could use basil or parsley instead of mint in the pesto.
- First, make the mint pesto. Pick the mint leaves from the stalks and put them into a small blender with the olive oil, vinegar and a splash of water. Blitz together for a few moments. Add the ground almonds and blend for a few more seconds. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Brush the slices of sourdough with olive oil, then char-grill or grill until lightly browned.
- At the same time, dry-fry the slices of Halloumi in a frying pan, turning them over once and cooking until golden brown.
- Arrange the slices of sourdough on two serving plates. Spread with mint pesto, then add the sliced tomatoes and Halloumi cheese. Serve, drizzled with a little more pesto sauce.