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Getting the Most From your Tomatoes

lovely bunch of tomatoes

Tomatoes will be ripening now and need to be picked regularly to keep the plants cropping. The fruits are best picked in the late afternoon when their sugar content is at its highest. They will continue to develop flavour for a few days after being picked but not if you put them in the fridge so keep them in a bowl at room temperature.

If you’ve grown your tomatoes under glass then you will have the benefit of an earlier, heavier crop but if you’ve grown them more slowly outside then the flavour will be more intense.

So, what to do with all those lovely fruits?

Gardener's DelightSalad tomatoes such as Gardener’s Delight, F1 Flamingo, Red Zebra and F1 Honeycomb have a higher water content than cooking varieties and generally higher sugar levels, making them delicious when eaten raw. Just a pinch of sea salt will make them even better. Sweet Petit is particularly juicy and works well with in rocket salad with parmesan grated on top.

Cooking tomatoes have denser flesh with fewer seeds and a low juice content which enables them to be cooked down to a silky smooth sauce, perfect for pizza or pasta. Plum tomatoes such as Giulietta and San Marzano are best suited to sauces, frying or grilling.

EleganceElegance is another tomato well suited to grilling so will work well with those burgers you’ll be popping on the BBQ this summer.

If you enjoy roasted tomatoes then hopefully you’ve grown Artisan F1 Bumble Bee Mix. These tiny quirky little fruits are perfect roasted or fried whereas Principe Borghese is perfect for drying in the sun or the oven. Pop in a jar, cover with olive oil and you’ll be enjoying them for months.

We can’t ignore the big boys. Beefsteak tomatoes such as F1 Brandy Boy and F1 Crimson Blush are wonderful stuffed and roasted or sliced and used in sandwiches. Anyone for a BLT?

Hopefully you won’t have suffered tomato blight this year but if you have then perhaps make a note to try Suttons Crimson Crush next year – the world’s first fully blight resistant tomato and exclusive to Suttons!

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