Choosing Tomatoes

how to choose tomato (h)

Tesco expert: Grower Rob Tooke shares his tomato know how

‘Here at Glinwell in St Albans, we grow speciality varieties of tomato under glass - cherry-on-the-vine and baby plum. Sweet and full of flavour, they're both perfect for salads. The cherry-on-the-vine tomatoes are also great for barbecues - you can stick them on still on the vine, or put them in a frying pan with a bit of garlic. We plant tomatoes from January and they're available in stores from March right up to the end of the harvest in November.'

Three top tips:

1. How to store
Tomatoes taste best at room temperature, so don't keep them in the fridge. If your tomatoes are not quite ripe, leave them in a brown paper bag for a couple of days - ripe tomatoes will have a uniform dark red or orange colour, be slightly soft and have a good tomato smell.

2. Peeling tomatoes
To peel tomatoes, cut out the core at the top of the fruit, and cut a small, shallow cross at their base, then put the tomatoes in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Leave them to stand for 30 seconds, then drain. When they are cool enough to handle, pull away the skin.

3. Slow roasting
If you have time to spare, homemade slow-roasted tomatoes are hard to beat. Simply cut your tomatoes in half, place them on a baking tray, drizzle them in olive oil and sprinkle on herbs, then stick them in the oven and roast at Gas 1, 140ºC, fan120ºC for 1 hour, or drop the temperature and lengthen the cooking time (anything up to 9 hours) for a more intense flavour.

Pick of the bunch - your guide to tasty tomatoes:

Cherry
Great for snacks, salads and salsas, or slow-roasted to bring out their sweet, intense flavours. Kids love them, so pack a few in their lunchbox. Or try halving them and using to top a savoury tart.

Baby plum
Fleshier and with less juice than other types of tomato, these still have lots of flavour are great for cooking with as they hold their shape better than others. Most canned and dried tomatoes are plum.

Beef
The giant of the tomato world, these look spectacular when sliced and served in salads, like the classic mozarella, tomato and basil combination. They're also great for stuffing and baking.

Vine ripened
Expect loads of tomato flavour from these, which as the name suggests are only picked when fully ripe. Enjoy them in salads, or just on their own. Delicious sliced on warm toast, with a sprinkling of salt.

Sugardrop
A new variety exclusive to Tesco, these extra-sweet tomatoes are great in salads and sandwiches. Use them to liven up lunch, or in sauces that call for plenty of rich tomato flavour.

Moruno
Packed with delicious tomato taste, this new variety exclusive to Tesco has very few seeds and a thick, juicy flesh. Their aromatic flavour makes them great for enjoying in salads and tarts and as a pizza topping.

Did you know...
Tomatoes are a very good source of vitamin C. Studies also show that tomatoes and tomato-based products may help prevent cancer.

For more tomato flavour...
Use cans of peeled plum tomatoes to add body and flavour to soups, stews and casseroles. Sun dried tomatoes will give intense tomato flavour to pasta dishes and are great in salads. For any dish needing a sauce, try cherry tomato sauce from the chilled aisle, as this has plenty of punch, or traditional Italian passata, which is silky-smooth strained tomatoes without the seeds.

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