It’s British Tomato Week from 21st to the 27th May and some of the city’s top chefs are using this as an inspiration for new summer menus.
Steve Love of Loves Restaurant says, “I love the smell of tomatoes, as it brings back childhood memories of going into my father’s greenhouse, and getting a massive hit of fresh tomatoes. Over the past few years that smell and taste has come back to tomatoes on vine which you can buy in the supermarkets. I still prefer to buy tomatoes from my local farm shop as they are not mass produced, they’re not all perfect to look at but taste amazing. I think the best tomatoes are those that have a balance of sweet and tartness to the tomatoes.”
Steve has come up with a new menu that features tomatoes in every course. His menu has a starter of aromatic cherry tomatoes, tomato jelly, feta cheese, Bloody Mary sorbet, basil puree with a tomato and ginger espuma. The main course is a Cornish plaice fillets with plum tomato gnocchi, tomato fondue, broccoli lemongrass and kaffir lime sauce. Dessert is a Brookhall Farm goats curd cheesecake with honey roasted heritage tomatoes, orange and thyme sorbet.
Steve has had a tough challenge to come up with three great tomato dishes but it’s been a satisfying one.
Steve Love is supporting The Tomato Growers’ Association, who represents British commercial tomato growers. British tomato crops are grown in glasshouses, protected from the cold but able to soak up the sunshine of the past few weeks. The problem is that four out of five tomatoes now eaten in the UK are imported. Is it a coincidence that people complain that tomatoes don’t taste like they used to? They don’t think so. British fruit has never tasted better, with a fantastic range now available, from super sweet cherries and baby plums to buxom beefsteaks, both on and off the vine.
Steve says, “my favourite way to use tomatoes is to not cook them too much before adding flavours to them that intensify the natural flavours of the tomatoes keeping the result as fresh tasting as possible. Great flavours which go well with tomatoes are thyme, ginger, orange, lemon, rosemary and garlic.”
It’s not often that something which tastes good is also good for you. Tomatoes contain lots of health protecting nutrients – vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and natural pigments, not least lycopene, the stuff that makes ripe tomatoes red.
So go ripe red this May! You can enjoy Steve Love’s new Tomato menu at Loves Restaurant.
To book call 0121 454 5151.