I don’t buy fresh tomatoes in summer. Not only are they hideously expensive, but they taste watery and have little flavour – it’s tastier and cheaper to use the tinned variety.
If you’re a gardener (or you shop at New World!), now’s a great time to plant tomatoes too. I always have some in a pot, but I tend to supplement with extras from the shop – especially early in the season, when mine haven’t had a chance to grow yet. (Actually I haven’t planted them yet. It’s on the to-do list!)
All is not lost however, as the good ones are starting to appear in the supermarket now. I know spring’s on its way when I see the little goodies start to appear again! The little Ruby’s Jellybean tomatoes are always a welcome sight, not just because they taste great, but because I know we’re heading back to the season where the kids have ready access to an easy bite of healthy goodness in the form of a cute wee tom any time they want. They are also perfect for one of my favourite snacks in the world – a cocktail stick with a baby tomato, a slice of good mozzarella and a single basil leaf. YUM!
Top Tomato Tips
- When planting tomatoes, take the soil up to the first leaves – this way, they develop roots up the stem, which creates a stronger plant.
- Remove lower branches as the tomato grows, so all the plant’s energy is channelled into the fruit.
- Plant tomatoes with basil, parsley or garlic; keep tomato plants well away from brassicas like kale and spinach.
- Don’t keep tomatoes in the fridge. They taste much better if left out in a cool spot in the kitchen. (It’s also much easier for the kids to grab them as an easy snack!)