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Nine ways to make the most of cherry tomatoes

Sweet, juicy and wonderfully vibrant, cherry tomatoes add a pop of colour and burst of flavour to any dish. Although delicious in a fresh salad or even just for snacking on by the handful, there are a so many exciting and inspiring tomato recipes to enjoy. Try these nine ideas as a starting point for making the most of these tasty little fruits.

  1. Instant pastas

    A handful of cherry tomatoes is perfect for throwing into quick pasta dishes. Cherry tomatoes need just a couple of minutes on the heat to soften and burst for super simple tomato sauces – Jamie Oliver has timed his 12-minute spaghetti for the easiest healthy dinner. This courgette, ricotta and tomato spaghetti is fast and fresh, or try crispy gnocchi with tomatoes and broad beans for a taste of summer.

    Instant pastas
  2. Salads with bite

    With no need to peel or seed them, cherry tomatoes are great to toss through any number of salad dishes for a bit of bite. Spend more time outside this summer with quick and easy recipes – this warm halloumi grain salad is ready in 10 minutes or this chicken and pomegranate tabbouleh makes a speedy dinner for two.

    Salads with bite
  3. Fragrant salsas

    Small but mighty, cherry tomatoes are perfect for piquant salsas as they stand up well to the strong flavours and spices often found in Mexican and South American cooking. This pulled pork fajita recipe has a classic chopped fresh tomato salsa to balance the dish, while for something a little different, this blackened corn salsa uses roasted whole tomatoes for a sweeter result.  

    Fragrant salsas
  4. Skewer and go

    Meat isn’t the only thing you can put on a skewer. Make the most of summer kebab season with delicious cherry tomatoes as they’re the perfect size for skewering whole. For something super quick and easy, these Greek salad kebabs are fresh and vibrant; there’s no need to cook them and they make a great alfresco meal. For a vegetarian BBQ dish, veggie kebabs are ideal. This recipe pairs charred halloumi with a tangy, herb-packed dressing.

    Skewer and go
  5. Baked and blistered

    Roasting tomatoes adds a wonderful depth of flavour, making for a completely different taste experience. As the skin blisters and chars, cherry tomatoes gain a smoky intensity – they might be a little less juicy perhaps, but they stay sweet with that classic savoury taste. Use to top pizzas and tarts, or bake into bread for a wonderfully colourful loaf.

    Baked and blistered
  6. Lunchbox inspiration

    Keep a bag of tomatoes on standby in the fridge ready for packing into lunchboxes. This easy topping for tuna and tomato toasts can be prepped ahead of time or bake a batch of cheesy tomato and bacon muffins for a savoury treat.

    Lunchbox inspiration
  7. One-tray winners

    Combine sweet cherry tomatoes with plenty of other seasonal veg for easy summer traybakes. Load Italian-style stuffed peppers with tomatoes, melting mozzarella and crisp ciabatta croutons for summer buffets and al fresco lunches. For a 20-minute dinner, try this halloumi bake with kale, crispy chickpeas and fresh pesto.

    One-tray winners
  8. Storecupboard standby

    Tinned cherry tomatoes retain a lot of the flavour and texture of fresh ones, so they’re great to have on standby. For a simple twist on a pasta bake, try this creamy chicken and chorizo pasta dish, which uses both tinned cherry and chopped tomatoes for maximum flavour. Or, try making this Middle Eastern-style baked feta, which really lets the rich tomato sauce be the star.

    Storecupboard standby
  9. Bottle it

    If you’re eating them raw, it’s obviously best to get the freshest tomatoes you can. However, don’t despair if they’re a little squishy or over-ripe, these tomatoes will be ideal for cooking up a big batch of tomato sauce or even your own homemade ketchup. Try this lightly spiced Piccolo ketchup recipe for a healthy take on the nation’s favourite condiment, or bottle a spicy tomato relish with fiery ginger and chilli.

    Bottle it