Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Italians and Greek people have a wonderful approach to produce, treasuring the flavours of the individual items and almost reverently preparing them. Traditionally, the approach has been seasonal, and many of the practices continue even today. I love my semi-local Greek Warehouse and their range of not only produce but also equipment – for baking, drying, preserving, squishing, squashing, rolling, and flavouring. From there I get the best jars for all sorts of storage, but also for my pickles and preserves. Recently they also gave me a small booklet of preserving recipes, Mediterranean style.

The recipes are very simple, but it prompted me to share one or two with you. For example, this one. We dry tomatoes routinely – it is a great way to use up excess produce – and often use cherry tomatoes. Sometimes we keep them dried in a jar, ready for nibbling or for intense flavour injections into dishes. Other times we put them under oil, where the tomatoes flavour the oil and the oil flavours the tomatoes.

Now, there is nervousness in the US about keeping foods under oil. Certainly do your research, I won’t recommend a practice one way or the other. It is up to you.

Preserving this way is a traditional and very common practice in parts of Europe. In the rest of the Western world sun dried tomatoes came into fashion in the 1990’s, went out of fashion by 2000 due to over production of poor quality dried and semi dried tomatoes, and are now, apparently, making a comeback. In my kitchen, they never went out of fashion, but we make our own. We do use the dehydrator at times, but I find the moist atmosphere of a low gas oven gives a much better result. Using sun power is the best of all.

Similar recipes include Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate Molasses, Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac, and Dried Okra Snack.

Browse our Preserves and Pickles. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Green Tomato and Onion Subzi | Green Tomato Fry

Today’s recipe is another Green Tomato dish to add to our collection. Green tomatoes are generally available from Late Spring or Early Summer into Autumn, if you can find a green grocer who stocks them. This dish is a quick, spicy stir fry using just the tomatoes with onions and spices.

Similar dishes include Cauliflower Fry, Green Bean and Carrot Fry, and Cabbage Fry.

Green Tomato dishes include Green Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, and Green Tomato Salsa.

Browse all of our Green Tomato dishes, our Subzi recipes and our Vegetable Fry recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Caponata Siciliana | Eggplant, Olive, and Celery Appetizer

This is a beautiful dish with Roman origins, from Sicily. There is something  beautifully different about some of the taste combinations you’ll find in Sicily, especially the tendency to combine sweet and sour – a legacy, they say, of ancient Roman days when sweet dates were used instead of tomatoes and sugar.

La caponata, one of the most famous Sicilian dishes, is a good example. It’s a cousin to the ratatouille of Provence. Caponata features eggplant, with celery, tomato and onions along with capers and olives. These are typical Southern Italian flavours. And it has that sweet-and-sour touch that perfectly balances out the flavours. It layers different flavours one upon the other, and, if you care to cook it for 30 mins or more, the flavours are deep and glorious and the consistency almost jam-like.

Serve Caponata on its own, hot or room temperature, on a Sunday afternoon (with a glass of wine, of course), or in the traditional manner as an antipasto. Caponata can be served on bruschetta, with flatbread or with salad leaves, and it’s also perfect as a side dish or even as a relish.

Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray note warily in the River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook that “there are as many ways to make caponata as there are cooks in Sicily”, a fact confirmed by Giorgio Locatelli, who claims that “in every house and in every restaurant you will find a different version and opinion.”

There are many versions of Caponata on Sicily – apparently 37 official versions, depending on local customs. The differences lie in the addition of different vegetables, for example potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini.

Are you looking for other Eggplant dishes? Try Babaganoush, Grilled Eggplant Salad, Baingan ka Bharta and Eggplant Fry.

We have other Celery recipes too. Try Celery Yoghurt Salad, Spicy Celery Salad, and Chickpea, Celery and Carrot Salad with a Curry Dressing.

Or perhaps some other Italian dishes. Try Farinata, Marinated Zucchini Salad, Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers, and Grilled Sweet Peppers and Eggplants.

Or you can browse all of our Eggplant recipes, all of our Celery recipes, or all of our Italian recipes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

This is a recipe from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2006. You can browse all of the vegetarian recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.

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Green Papaya, Snake Bean and Tomato Salad

Celebrating tomatoes, we are making tomato salads each day this week. It is the middle of Autumn and the last of the best tomatoes are available – soon the less flavoursome winter tomatoes will be available. We have been making simple, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern salads, and some more unusual ones. Today we use cherry tomatoes with green papaya in a South East Asian style salad. I hope you enjoy it.

The salad incorporates the papaya with the tomatoes along with snake beans and shredded snow peas. The dressing is sweet and added texture is given with peanuts. I like to add some crispy fried onion too, the type you can buy from Asian and Middle Eastern shops. It adds a salty textural element.

Similar recipes include Longan and Green Mango Salad, Maharashtrian Cucumber Salad, and Locquat Salad.

Browse all of our Salads, Green Papaya recipes, and our S. E. Asian dishes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Burnt Aubergine with Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers and Red Onion

Eggplants are wondrous vegetables, and it is great to watch them grow in the garden. They have a special purple flower, then the globe forms, and it swells and grows until it is ready to be picked. You can never really fail with eggplant dishes, they are very special no matter whether you grill, roast, saute, simmer, steam or roast them.

Today we are taking burnt (charred) eggplants and combining them with yellow or green capsicums and red onion, to form a dish perfect for eating with flatbread as part of a mezze spread. It is an Ottolenghi dish from his first book, Ottolenghi.

In fact, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Caponata Siciliana, Grilled Eggplant Salad with White Beans, Grilled Sweet Peppers and Eggplant Salad, and Smoky Eggplants and Tomatoes.

Browse all Eggplant Salads and all Mezze dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Ottolenghi are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Sambal Tomat | Vegetarian Version of Balinese Tomato Chilli Sambal

This is a great Balinese Sambal based on tomatoes and shallots. It has been vegetarianised, using miso and seaweed flakes to add the salty sea taste to the sambal. This is not so unusual as miso, tofu and tempeh are made in Bali backyards. You can add other items to this sambal, such as diced eggplant, ginger, curry leaves, even watercress and nuts. This is the basic version, and it can be served with any meal e.g. white rice, nasi lemak (Balinese Coconut Rice), nasi minyak (Balinese ghee rice), thosai, roti chanai.

Similar recipes include Chilli Jam, Chilli PasteSweet Chilli Sauce, and Balinese Sambal Iris.

All of our Chilli dishes are here, or you might like our Balinese recipes. We have some Sambals here too. Or explore our Early Autumn collection of dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can browse more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

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So Easy Tomato Risotto

We know that we are slipping into Autumn when we begin to cook more rice dishes. Rice puddings and risotto begin to feature at the table, just as long sleeves and light jackets begin to feature in our wardrobe.

Risotto is so easy to make – about 10 mins max prep time, and 20 mins to cook. One pot, little action, just stirring stirring stirring. It is relaxing and meditative. Heaven. Autumn. The pace of life is slower this month.

Similar recipes include Radicchio Risotto, Risotto with Mushrooms, and Parsnip Risotto with Rosemary.

Browse all of our Risotto recipes and all of our Tomato dishes. Our Italian recipes are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil

Such a simple salad – tomatoes with a parsley dressing, or make it a basil dressing if you prefer. Salads are such an easy way to get a few extra healthy ingredients into your body to work their magic. Even a simple salad like this one is perfect for adding tomatoes, perhaps a few greens and anything else that you care to add, to your count of the number of fruit and veg you’ve consumed today.

It is easy to whip up a salad. With over 200 salads on this site as I write, and even more scheduled, I hope I have convinced you. Most of these are very, very easy – that’s my style. A few take a bit more forethought, but again they act as a hugely flavoursome way of adding more goodness to your body.

Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Green Papaya, Snake Bean and Tomato Salad, Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Cherry Tomato with Soy Dressing, and Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo.

Why not browse all of our Tomato Salads, indeed explore all of our Salads. Or simple spend some time with our Mid Autumn Recipes.

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Green Tomato Bhaji,

Green tomatoes have a sturdiness that red tomatoes don’t have. This means that they will not collapse in dishes the way a red tomato will do, and so they can be used in Indian dishes as a vegetable rather than a sauce. We are so lucky that our Green Grocer stocks them, and they are plentiful in Summer and into Autumn.

In this dish, the tartness of the green tomatoes pairs well with the sweetness of the jaggery, and dal is added to the tadka for a crunchy textural element. The spices are freshly roasted to bring out their flavour. Pair the dish with rice or roti, or serve as an accompaniment to your dal-rice.

Similar dishes include Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhaji, Spinach Thoran, and Sweet Potato Subzi.

Also try Green Tomato Salsa with Coriander and Chilli.

Browse all of our Bhaji recipes, and all of our Green Tomato dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Smoky Eggplants and Tomatoes

Adding a smoky flavour to vegetables and other foods – garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, beetroot, tofu etc – adds an additional flavour dimension to dishes. It is worth doing for a special occasion. Today’s recipe is a Greek-inspired dish. I have added the instructions for smoking the foods in the recipe, but if you are not inclined to go to this effort, chargrill your veg in your normal, favourite way.

Similar recipes include Smoky Aubergine with Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers, Smoky Aubergine and Asparagus Salad, Lebanese Roast Potatoes and Eggplants, Baked Eggplant and Zucchini with Chickpeas, and Roasted Aubergine with Garlic Sauce.

Browse all of our Eggplant recipes and Tomato dishes. Our Greek dishes are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Gentle Tomato and Dal Rasam | Indian Tomato Pepper Broth

Rasams, the ubiquitous Tamil dish, have traditionally played the role of stimulating the appetite, aiding digestion and balancing the body’s health with the spices used Not a pre-cursor to meals as in the Western sense, Rasams are drank with the rest of the meal, tipped over rice and/or used to moisten drier curries.

As the Indian cuisine globalises, some less spicy rasams are becoming more popular. These dishes can be eaten Western style (as soup), or in the traditional Indian style (with rice). They are not the Indian Soups in the true sense, they still sit squarely under the Rasam category, but perhaps are a little less spicy.

This Rasam is peppery, rather than chilli-hot. It is strongly tomato-flavoured, and is definitely a wonderful dish. Enjoy it by the small bowlful as a soup, or as a gentle rasam in the traditional way.

Are you after other Rasams? Try Kottu Rasam, Garlic Rasam, and Pepper Rasam. A different Tomato Lentil Rasam can be found here. Or browse our collection of dozens of Rasam recipes.

Have a look at our Indian Soups as well. Try South Indian Beetroot Soup, Creamy Indian Tomato Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.

Browse all of our Rasams, all Indian Soups, and indeed, all of our Indian recipes. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Green Tomato Pachadi | Green Tomato Chutney

This chutney is Indian in style and we make it in Summer when green tomatoes are available. We use home grown ones and our local green grocer also stocks them. Green tomatoes are tangy and have a beautiful crunch. In this dish, they are cooked down with green chillies before being blended with spices and some tamarind to form the chutney. It is generally made to be eaten on the day it is made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It is delicious with any Indian meal, or just with rice and a dollop of ghee.

Similar recipes include Green Tomato Bhajji, Fresh Radish and Mint Chutney, Roast Tomato Chutney, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

Browse all of our Indian Chutney recipes, and all of our Green Tomato dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Grilled Green Tomatoes Tostadas with Black Beans, Avocado and Coriander Leaves

Tostada is a Spanish word meaning toasted. In Mexico and other parts of Latin America, it is the name of various local dishes which are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation. It usually refers to a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla that’s toasted – it is perfect as a base for other foods.

Today’s tostada is topped with crunchy grilled green tomatoes, soft avocado and delicious black beans, topped with coriander leaves. It is a great snack or informal lunch and reasonably easy to prepare. We love to eat it sitting on the steps of the decking (with large napkins), folding the tortillas together and eating with our hands. Summer eating! We make this style of snack a lot, and the inspiration for this combo comes from Food52.

Similar recipes include Green Tomato Pachadi, Green Tomato and Pineapple Salsa, Avocado and Black Bean Salad with Green Tomatoes, and Green Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.

Browse all of our Snacks and our Green Tomato recipes. Our Black Bean dishes are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Tomates Fondues à l’huile d’olive | Confit Tomatoes | Tomatoes in Olive Oil

For me, tomatoes are at their very very best in Autumn This year (as I write), the summer has been cooler than normal (despite a few heat waves), so I am beginning the usual Autumn uses of tomatoes a little early. Do use them in all their shapes and forms at this time of year.

These are confit tomatoes, cooked slowly in beautiful olive oil which they tend to absorb while becoming wonderfully soft. You can do them on the stove top, but I find that the heat is better controlled in the oven. They need to cook slowly. As you can tell by the name, it is a French recipe.

These are even better if the tomatoes are straight from the garden. Serve them with baked dishes, or in a salad. They go wonderfully in risotto and with pasta1 Try them as a side dish with grilled polenta and a salad. Or on inch thick fresh bread with basil or tapenade, or simply in the middle of a large white plate to enjoy on their own.

I first made these in 2002, so long ago now, but they are a traditional part of autumn cooking for us. Use large tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, just adjust the cooking time accordingly. We consider this recipe as part of our Retro series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 2005 – 2006. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

Would you like other baked tomato recipes? Try Oven Baked Tomatoes, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce and Tomatoes Stuffed with Cheese.

If you love confit recipes you will also like our dishes where food is cooked a la grecque.

You might also like our Tomato recipes. Or browse our French recipes. Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes.

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Avocado and Black Bean Salad with Green Tomatoes

Black Beans are so good and great in Summer as they add a little more substance for cooler days without feeling heavy and too wintery. If you haven’t used them before, they are a good stock item in your pantry. We are not keen on too many cans in our pantry, but black beans have joined the tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas (for emergencies).

Here we pair black beans with avocado and feta for a creamy salad that zings with lime juice.

We also add green tomatoes. What??, I hear you ask. Green tomatoes are a magnificent slightly sour and very crunchy ingredient ideal for salads, especially those with Mexican or South East Asian overtones. They are used extensively in parts of the world but not much in the English-speaking world. You may have seen the film Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (or not), but the use of green tomatoes extends far beyond being crumbed and fried (as delicious as they are). Try them in Indian dishes too, as a replacement for, or along side, the usual souring agent in the dish (tamarind, lime or lemon juice, dried pomegranate seeds, kokum, golpar, sour grapes, verjuice, etc). There are parts of the world that use sour to great effect in their cuisines – Persia and India come to mind.

I hope you enjoy this salad, it is very very good.

You might enjoy some other Black Bean recipes. Have a look at Turtle Bean Soup, and Black Bean and Cabbage Salad with Orange Dressing.

Similar Salads include Avocado and Caper SaladCucumber and Avocado Salad with Asian Dressing, Wombok and Radish Salad with Peanut Dressing and Artichoke Hearts with Feta Salad.

All of our Black Bean recipes are here, our Green Tomato Recipes here, and our Avocado Recipes here. Salads are all here (there are a LOT), and Bittman Salads here. Or take some time to explore our easy Late Summer Recipes.

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