Tomato consommé with crab, marinated tomatoes and brioche croutons

6 of the best cherry tomato recipes

by Great British Chefs 10 May 2019

With British Tomato Fortnight on the way, we’re celebrating the flavourful cherry tomato with a look at six of our favourite cherry tomato recipes, from a delicious buttery tarte Tatin to a cool, calm and collected tomato, watermelon and mint salad.

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If you needed any more proof that British tomatoes are finally getting the attention they deserve, just look at British Tomato Week, which has evolved this year to become British Tomato Fortnight (which begins on 20 May). That means a whole extra seven days of celebrating delicious British-grown tomatoes. Though the continent still rules the roost when it comes to growth and consumption of tomatoes, British tomatoes are no longer something to be sneered at. As a nation we now grow 92,000 metric tonnes of tomatoes a year, and we eat nearly 500,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes over the course of twelve months – that’s a number that pales in comparison to the likes of France, Italy and Spain, but still far higher than ever before.

There’s no question that British tomatoes are as good as they’ve ever been – by starting off the plants in the greenhouse to avoid frost damage, then moving them outside for the summer, the British climate can be easily navigated to give you a bumper crop of sweet, juicy tomatoes.

Alongside regular tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are equally easy to grow and provide a burst of sweetness and acidity to all sorts of different dishes. They’re real all-rounders of the tomato world, just as delicious eaten raw in a salad as they are slow-roasted alongside a joint of meat. With the threat of frost now firmly in the rearview mirror, we can all look forward to a few months of delicious cherry tomatoes – here are a few of our favourite recipes.

Piccolo tomato consommé with crab, marinated tomatoes and brioche croutons

If you’re looking for a classy starter that celebrates the very essence of tomato, a consommé is surely the way to go. Matt Tomkinson uses the vines and green tops to give his consommé a peppery boost, blending his mixture and straining through muslin to end up with a beautiful clear tomato essence. A bowl of this on its own would suffice for us, but Matt’s garnishes are fantastic – lightly marinated cherry tomatoes, fresh white crab meat and crunchy brioche croutons, which all come together to make this a fantastic dish for a summer dinner party.

Piccolo tomato tarte Tatin

We normally think of dessert when we think of a Tatin, but flip it on its head and a Tatin can easily become a flaky, buttery, delicious savoury dish. Louise Robinson combines classic flavours of cherry tomato, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan and thyme to make hers; first she layers the tomatoes, thyme and balsamic in the bottom of the pan, then sprinkles Parmesan over the top and finishes with a layer of puff pastry. Bake in the oven for twenty-five to thirty minutes and voila – you have a beautiful centrepiece ready for the table.

Roasted mussels with Piccolo tomatoes and chorizo

The idea of cooking mussels in a dry oven might seem a little unusual, but it allows the mussels to cook in their own juices, giving you a delicious, concentrated mussel stock at the end. Rachel Phipps combines her mussels in a roasting tin with juicy cherry tomatoes and rich chorizo; as the mussels open up and cook, the tomatoes split and their juices mingle together. After ten minutes they're ready – just scatter over some chopped herbs and eat with some crusty bread.

Piccolo cherry tomato, watermelon and mint salad

Tomato, watermelon and mint sound odd on paper, but it’s one of the combinations we look forward to the most over the summer, especially if you throw some feta cheese into the equation. Food Urchin keeps things simple in his version of this classic summer salad, marrying the freshness of watermelon and tomato with plenty of salt and pepper, the crunch of pistachio and a hit of sourness from creamy quark. A fantastic summer side, but tasty enough to serve for lunch on its own.

Mushroom shorba with Piccolo tomato chutney

This mushroom shorba is a delicious, warming soup of sorts that’s perfect for those summer days that don’t quite deliver (of which there are many in the UK!). The soup is built on a foundation of onion, garlic, chilli, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, which gives it a lovely warmth, and the cherry tomato chutney really lifts all those deep, savoury notes. The chutney is so easy to make – it just needs ten minutes on the hob to break down the tomatoes – and you can keep it jarred in the fridge, ready to use on practically anything.

Oxtail stew with allspice, scotch bonnet and Piccolo tomatoes

Stews are often pigeon-holed as winter food, but this is such a delicious dish that we’d happily eat it all year round. The oxtail stew is taken to the next level by marinating the meat with a host of classic jerk flavours, including scotch bonnet chilli, garlic, ginger, allspice, cinnamon and brown sugar. If a good marinade is the first step to a great stew, the second is the browning of the meat – make sure you get plenty of colour all over your oxtail, then let it bubble away gently in beef stock until tender and falling off the bone. Adding tomatoes both at the beginning and end results in a contrast in texture and flavour – the tomatoes at the beginning add richness and body to the sauce, whilst those added at the end give a burst of flavour and freshness when you bite into them.