Tasty Tomatoes: Seven Recipe Ideas

Tomatoes taste great (if you choose carefully and don't leave them in the fridge - they don't like the cold) and they're stuffed with things that are good for you, notably vitamins C, A and K, and the carotenoid lycopene. Many studies suggest that lycopene has powerful cancer-fighting properties and may also have a role to play in battling heart disease.

Of course it's foolish to think that a fruit (and it is a fruit) is a magic pill, but there seems little doubt that a healthy Mediterranean diet (which includes lots of tomatoes) is a good bet for a long and healthy life.With our tasty recipe ideas you can combine stocking up on your nutrients with scrummy, moreish meals.

1. Drunken Little Tomatoes with Citrus Dill Salt

Place 400g of small tomatoes (grape, cherry etc) in a shallow baking dish. With a toothpick, prick four holes in each one
- Pour 60ml of vodka over the tomatoes and let stand overnight
- Combine 1 tsp of sea salt, ½ tsp each of finely grated lime and lemon peel, and 1 tsp of fresh dill in a spice grinder and pulse until blended (or chop very finely)
-Roll the tomatoes in the salt mixture just before serving
Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 24 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g fibre, 239mg sodium, 0g protein 

2. Heirloom Tomato and Aubergine Stacks

Combine 100g soft goats' cheese, 2 tbsp basil and 1 tbsp thyme and set aside
- Prepare grill
- Cut one large aubergine crosswise into 2cm slices
- Place in a colander and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt; toss to mix
- Let stand for 10 minutes
- Rinse and pat dry
- Brush slices with 1 tsp olive oil and grill for four minutes; turn over and continue grilling for four or five minutes, or until tender
- Combine 2 tsp oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and ¼ tsp Dijon mustard; whisk to blend
- Stir in salt and pepper to taste
- Slice two heirloom tomatoes into four rounds each
- To assemble stacks, place 1 aubergine slice on a plate
- Top with an eighth of the cheese mixture and a slice of tomato
- Drizzle with  ½ tsp of vinaigrette
-Add another slice of aubergine, cheese, tomato and a final slice of aubergine; top with 1 tsp vinaigrette
- Let it stand five minutes so cheese melts
Makes 3 servings (stacks).
Per serving: 155 calories, 10g fat (5g saturated), 11g carbs, 1g fibre, 264mg sodium, 7g protein 

3. Roasted plum tomatoes with thyme

Heat oven to 250°F
- Halve 12 plum tomatoes lengthways and place on a shallow baking tray lined with baking paper or foil
- Drizzle tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves and ¼ tsp salt
- Roast until the tomatoes have collapsed
Makes six servings.
Per serving: 53 calories, 3g fat (<1g saturated), 7g carbs, 2g fibre, 112mg sodium, 1g protein

4. Pasta and Salsa Cruda

In a glass bowl combine 12 beefsteak tomatoes (cored and chopped into pieces), a good handful of torn fresh basil, 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, ½ tsp chilli flakes and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes
- Cook 200g penne pasta
- Drain and toss hot pasta with tomato mixture and ½ tsp salt 
- Add mozzarella and chopped olives, if desired
- Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 348 calories, 12g fat (2g saturated), 52g carbs, 5g fibre, 310mg sodium, 10g protein

5. Feta orzo stuffed tomatoes

In a bowl combine 170g cooked and cooled orzo (risoni) rice, 130g finely chopped peppers, 50g reduced-fat feta cheese (crumbled), small handful chopped fresh coriander, ¼ tsp finely grated lemon peel, 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper.
- Cut the top off 4 tomatoes and scoop out seeds and inner membranes.
- Stuff tomatoes with rice mixture and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 179 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated), 18g carbs, 3g fibre, 365mg sodium, 7g protein

6. Heirloom tomato and peach salad

Chop 6 medium tomatoes and 3 large yellow peaches into 2cm pieces
-Toss with 75g of cubed fresh mozzarella, a good handful of torn basil leaves, 4 tsp olive oil, ¼ tsp salt and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 219 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated), 26g carbs, 4g fibre, 268mg sodium, 9g protein

7. Blender golden gazpacho

Cut up five medium yellow or orange tomatoes and place in a blender with 300g chopped and seeded cucumber, 100g chopped green peppers, 50g chopped red onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp seeded minced jalapeño pepper, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and ½ tsp salt
- Puree the lot
- Chill for 30 minutes
-  Serve garnished with diced avocado, if desired
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 76 calories, 4g fat (<1g saturated), 9g carbs, 2g fibre, 357mg sodium, 2g protein