This time of year in Australia, tomatoes are abundant. Whether you grow your own or shop for them at your local fruit and vegetable market, tomatoes are in their prime in the summertime making this the best time to make the most of their sweet flavour.
It just so happens that basil is also in its prime in summer. Not only are they perfect companions in the garden (plant them next to one another for a great crop), their flavour compliments one another on your plate too.
So I use my abundant crops of tomatoes to bake with my carpet of oregano (and also in-season garlic) and make a roast tomato sauce which I jar and freeze to use as the base of another meal. Another summertime staple and family favourites are a Tomato and Basil Bruschetta. It’s quick and simple to make and it’s just so flavoursome.
Why is it healthy?
Tomatoes are a rich source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a wonderful antioxidant, important for cardiovascular and bone health. Basil has exhibited protective effects against DNA damage, is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Like tomatoes, it also contains cardio-protective nutrients.
5-6 large vine ripen tomatoes, at room temperature is when they are most flavoursome
½ cup basil, leaves picked from stems and torn or finely chopped (preferably with a ceramic knife so they don’t oxidise or blacken)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 pieces organic sourdough or a sprouted loaf (or my grain and gluten-free Breakfast Bread)
1 large clove garlic, peeled
This is delicious with shaved parmesan or buffalo mozzarella.
Grain- free, gluten-free and meaty
This is delicious as a salsa over a thin slice of beef fillet, grilled fish or chicken to replace the bread.
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