sunny weather and tomato season means delicious, seasonal recipes to share with friends and family as we finally head into summer.
Pocket-sized and perfectly balanced, Piccolo cherry tomatoes, which are grown here in the UK, are great for cooking. Here are five recipes that make the most of it and the season.
Chorizo and cod traybake with herb tomatoes
Save on the dishes by cooking everything in one bowl – chorizo, cod, olives, a plethora of spices and, of course, cherry tomatoes. What’s not to love?
Total time: 1 hour
Olive oil, for greasing and sprinkling
2 red onions
200 g cooking chorizo
400 g cherry tomatoes, left on the truss
1 tsp tomato puree
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling
4 cod fillets with skin
1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves, left unpeeled
60 g pitted black olives
Bunch of mixed herbs, such as basil, parsley, oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 6 and grease a large baking tray with olive oil. Peel the red onions and cut into wedges. Cut the chorizo.
Place the red onions, cherry tomatoes and chorizo in the container.
Mix the tomato paste, red wine vinegar and measured olive oil in a small bowl and brush over the Piccolos, onion and chorizo.
Cook for 10 minutes, then carefully add the whole garlic cloves to the roasted tomatoes, onion and chorizo and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Pat the fish dry with kitchen paper. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the fish on the baking sheet, tucking the fish in to reveal the other ingredients. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Cook for another 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the olives and most of the chopped herbs (reserve some of the basil and parsley for garnish).
Return to the baking sheet in the oven for a few more minutes until the olives are warm.
Serve warm with the remaining herbs sprinkled on top.
Cherry tomato and oregano galette with a cheddar cheese crust
A galette can be any kind of pastry, but this version made with cheddar is folded back on itself to give a nice rustic framing effect on the tomatoes.
Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes
For the filling†
Drizzle olive oil
500 g cherry tomatoes, halved
4 sprigs of oregano, leaves only
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
150 g ricotta cheese
60 g cheddar, finely grated
Generous pinch of dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mixed salad leaves, to serve
For the pastry†
125 g flour, plus extra for dusting
125 g wholemeal flour
Generous pinch of shaved sea salt
125 g butter from the fridge, cubed
1 tsp dried oregano
75g finely grated cheddar, plus extra to finish
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
About 2 tbsp milk
1 free-range egg yolk, to brush
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C hot air/gas 3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and brush with a little olive oil.
Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with the oregano, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up.
Roast for an hour until soft. Put aside. Once the cherry tomatoes have drained, you can drain them in a sieve or on a paper towel-lined plate.
Meanwhile, for the dough, place the measured flour, wholemeal flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips to the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the dried oregano and cheddar and stir well.
Mix the egg and about two tablespoons of milk (enough to make it into a dough – you may need a little more or less milk). Stir with your hands, wrap in cling film and let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Increase the temperature to 210C/190C hot air/gas 7 and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
To finish the filling, mix the ricotta, cheddar, dried oregano, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in a bowl.
Unwrap the dough and roll it out on a floured surface into a round sheet about 2-3 mm thick (about 30 cm in diameter). Transfer to the baking sheet.
Divide the flavored ricotta over the dough, leaving an edge of about 5 cm.
Put the tomatoes on top, tightly wrapped.
Fold the edge of the dough over the tomatoes so that the tomato and ricotta filling fits into the pie. Brush the egg yolk with the egg yolk and sprinkle with some more cheddar.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. You will probably need to cover the galette with foil after 20 minutes to prevent it from browning too much.
Serve immediately with mixed lettuce leaves.
Thai style spicy beef and cherry tomato salad served in cups of lettuce
If you’re making this delectable dish for guests, you can prepare it ahead of time right up to adding the chillies to the ground beef so you can put it all together at the last minute.
Serves: 4 as a starter
Total time: 30 minutes
1 tbsp sesame oil
200 g minced beef
3 spring onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
Generous pinch of caster sugar
1 tsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1-2 red bird’s eye chilies, seeds and stem removed (more if desired, to taste)
About 20 cherry tomatoes
1 lime, juice only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 Little Gem lettuce leaves
2 heaping tablespoons chopped mixed mint and coriander leaves
15 g dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Pair of thinly sliced bird’s eye chili rings
1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the ground beef and fry until brown and slightly crispy on all sides. Stir to break up any lumps.
Add the spring onions, garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce and chilies and stir to combine. Taste and add more sugar or fish sauce if needed.
Add the cherry tomatoes and lime juice and cook until the Piccolos soften slightly.
To serve, place the ground beef and tomatoes on the Little Gem lettuce leaves and place on a serving platter.
Garnish with the chopped mint, coriander leaves, peanuts and chili rings. Serve with lime wedges.
Cherry tomato Michelada with an edge of lime and chili salt
Whipped cherry tomatoes mixed with spiced beer make a wonderfully refreshing drink, perfect with spiced tomatoes and feta tapas.
Total time: 45 minutes
600 g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 limes, juice only
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (more may be needed, to taste)
1 tsp Tabasco sauce (may need more, to taste)
3 x 355ml bottles of chilled Mexican beer
For the edge of the glass†
1 tbsp mild chili powder
1 tbsp fine salt
For the seasoned tomatoes and feta†
200 g cherry tomatoes (larger ones halved or quartered)
100 g feta, diced
Small handful of chopped mixed herbs, such as mint, parsley and basil
Drizzle olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 small cherry tomatoes
Blend the tomatoes, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce in a blender or food processor – you may need to do this in batches. Strain to remove the seeds and skin. You may also find it easier to blend and strain once, then return the strainer residue to the blender or food processor to blend again and extract most of the liquid. Discard all seeds and peel. Pour the cherry tomato juice into a large pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve
For the rim of the glass, mix the chili powder with the fine salt on a plate.
Rub the lime over the rim of each tall glass, then dip it into the plate.
For the seasoned tomatoes and feta, mix the cherry tomatoes, feta cubes, herbs and a dash of olive oil in a small bowl. Squeeze the rest of the lemon half.
Before serving, fill four tall glasses with ice. Carefully pour the beer into the jug with the cherry tomato juice (slightly angled to prevent foaming). Taste and add more Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce if needed.
Pour the drink into the prepared glasses and serve garnished with a cherry tomato on a cocktail stick.
Serve with the seasoned feta and Piccolos.
Cauliflower couscous with cherry tomatoes
This light, gluten-free, vegan salad is made with cherry tomatoes, mint, tahini, pecans, and sour cherry, mixed with whipped cauliflower.
Total time:30 minutes
300 g cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 lemon, juice only
Small bunch of mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp sumac, plus more to serve
600 g cherry tomatoes, quartered
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
For the dressing†
1 heaping tsp tahini
Lemon juice (from above)
6 tbsp olive oil
100 g half pecan nuts
100 g sour cherries (or dried berries if not available)
Chop the cauliflower into what resembles fine crumbs – in a large food processor or by hand with a sharp knife.
Place the cauliflower in a large bowl with half of the lemon juice and most of the mint (reserve some for garnish at the end).
Sprinkle the sumac over the peeled tomatoes and add them to the cauliflower.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
For the dressing, whisk together the tahini, remaining lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk in a tablespoon of water to loosen it up a bit.
Arrange the tomato couscous on a large serving platter, drizzle with the tahini dressing, sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint, pecans and sour cherry and a pinch of sumac and serve.