Simplicity of Tomatoes

Tomato

“Once you have de-seeded the tomatoes then proceed to…..” – do these words make your stomach turn? ūüôā

For some reason the de-seeding of tomatoes had become a horrible task in my mind; something cumbersome and difficult. Something to avoid. Any recipe that required this method was, well, adapted…

Then the other day I realised what many of you probably already are aware of; de-seeding tomatoes is so very simple. So simple.

As I sliced open the tomato, the light pink inner flesh revealing itself I took a few minutes to actually observe the tomato Рto marvel at how it is composed and to see the intricate details of the flesh, the seeds and the skin. Suddenly the de-seeding process was very clear.

A tomato has clever departments, if you will, and when you slice it in half, or in quarters, you notice pockets within it. Each pocket is full of seeds and you can slip a little finger into each pocket and gently scoop out the seeds. Very pain-free, very quick and beautifully simple.

When I told my daughter, of 10 years, she laughed and said “Did you not know that mum? I always use my tongue and suck them out of the pockets”… Made me smile. Children have an amazing gift; exploring while keeping things simple.

Morale of the story: Slow down and enjoy every element of cooking Рespecially  exploring and learning about your ingredients.

What was I cooking? A cold tomato salsa Рde-seeded and chopped tomatoes, finely chopped red onion, garlic, chilli, olive oil and salt.Cool in fridge and dollop generously either onto   burgers or on grilled ciabatta bread that has been rubbed with fresh garlic. On top of the salsa you can then throw some buffalo mozzarella and scatter some basil. Perfect summer BBQ starter (no pictures as it was all eaten way too quickly!)

Take a look at the tomato pictures below and enjoy the next time you are advised to de-seed a tomato!

Pocketspockets

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Pomegranate #3 – Delicate White Chocolate Cheesecake

I am a lover of cheesecake – any kind – fluffy, light, a bit of crunch, lovely to look at….

This one does not disappoint, with the¬†ricotta and white chocolate combination being¬†spot on¬†–¬†the addition of the pomegranate¬†creates a really¬†beautiful¬†asset to any¬†table top!

Adapted from a BBC Good Food Recipe

White Chocolate and Ricotta Cheesecake

75g melted butter
75g amaretti biscuits
200g digestive biscuits
 
200g white chocolate – melted
5 leaves gelatine
6tbsp milk
500g ricotta
300ml double cream
50g icing sugar
2 large eggs – separated
 
Handful pomegranate seeds
White chocolate stars
 
  • Heat oven to 200C
  • Melt the butter
  • Crush both types of biscuit¬†finely (bag and rolling pin!) and stir into the butter
  • Press the combination firmly into a greased¬†tin – mine was 25cm in diametre
  • Place in¬†oven and bake blind for 6 minutes – let cool on wire rack
  • Soak gelatine in¬†a few tbsp cold water
  • Melt chocolate and milk over a pot of simmering water – stir together
  • Squeeze gelatine and add to chocolate mixture – stir to combine
  • In a large bowl, beat egg yolks, ricotta, cream and sugar together
  • In a separate bowl beat¬†the¬†egg whites until stiff
  • Combine¬†the chocolate with the ricotta mixture – then gently fold in the egg whites
  • Pour this batter¬†onto the cooled biscuit base in the tin
  • Cover with cling film and leave¬†cold – overnight if you can
  • When ready to serve, remove gently from tin and scatter generously with chocolate stars and pomegranate seeds

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

These are lovely as gifts and look beautiful on any table, for any occasion! We had a three-layered cake stand full of chocolate dipped strawberries at our wedding reception ‚Äď they go wonderfully with champagne!

200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa content)

Fruit of your choice ‚Äď good ones are:

Dried, soft apricots
Strawberries
Apple slices
Cold banana slices
  • Slowly melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Do not allow to boil as chocolate will go hard and grainy.
  • Once melted, remove from heat but keep bowl in the hot water so the chocolate does not start to cool down.

  • Dip the fruit into the bowl and place it on a large piece of baking paper/parchment. Let the dipped fruit air dry (unless it is a very hot room in which case the fridge probably is best).

  • When the chocolate is completely dry, remove from parchment and put in pretty presentation bags with string (if a gift) or in a lovely jar or simply in a bowl on the table!

  • Keep in the fridge until serving ‚Äď will keep for 2-3 days.