Cooking tomatoes local

Cooking Tomatoes April 2017

Cooking tomatoes local

Late summer, the end of daylight saving, but PEAK for TOMATOES.

Tomatoes love nothing better than bask in full sun all summer, and longer if they can get away with it.  Provided they’ve had lots of fertiliser (chicken and duck manure, fish emulsion, seaweed) to give them flavour, sun will bring out the ripeness.

Alas, many commercial tomatoes are not ripened on the vine.  Instead, they are picked when green – and before they go onto the supermarket shelf, they are ripened in the coolroom using ethylene.  No wonder they taste like nothing, and last for about 3 days.  By contrast, tomatoes that have been ripened on the vine have a huge amount of flavour, and should last (out of the fridge) for 2 weeks.

Some tomatoes – usually near the peak of the season – are left on the vine until they are almost over-ripe, and these so called cooking tomatoes contain less liquid but loads more flavour.  They’re available from March to June, and are perrrfect for home-made pasta sauce, tomato soup, bruschetta and casseroles.

Unfortunately we seem to be wedded to canned tomatoes – and really, we just don’t get it:

  • More often than not, cans contain imported tomatoes
  • Imagine the energy – not to mention greenhouse gasses – used to manufacture the steel cans, process the tomatoes, and then transport them around the world!
  • Many – if not most – steel cans are lined with a plastic that contains BPA (Bisphenol A): this is a hormone disruptor that can seep into the food, and can have adverse health effects. Many plastic bottles and containers also use BPA. Although the research is far from conclusive, there seem to growing evidence of people with high levels of BPA running a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and lower fertility. As with many things in life: prevention is easier than the cure.
  • Canned tomatoes are almost always more expensive than fresh tomatoes: a typical 440g can of Ardmona tomatoes costs $1.40.  That works out at $3.18/kg.  By contrast, our fresh cooking tomatoes cost $2.50/kg, or even $2 a kg if you buy 2kg.  That’s a saving of 37%.
  • But above all, fresh cooking tomatoes taste so much better than their canned cousins.
  • Read more on imported canned tomatoes 

So there you have it: better tasting, cheaper and healthier.  You can find cooking tomatoes under Veature Veg. See recipes Authentic Gnocchi tomato sauce;Basic Gnocchi;Tomato Hummus Dip

Indian Spaghetti Bolognaise

Homemade Spanish tomato sauce


Indian Spaghetti Bolognaise

Indian spaghetti bolognaise
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Harvest Hub
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 7 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 zucchinis, grated
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 10g mixed dried Italian herbs
  • Olive oil
  • [b]OPTIONAL: [/b]1 kg premium mince, pre-cooked
  1. Heat oil in frypan over a medium heat then add the onions and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger with one tbsp water and cook. Then add spices and cook then stir in the tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes.
  2. Add mince and/or the zucchini, carrots, herbs. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

Homemade Spanish tomato sauce

Homemade Spanish tomato sauce
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Harvest Hub
  • 500gm tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 Lemon, juice
  • 1litre vegetable stock
  • A bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley
  • 3 tbs concentrate tomato puree
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Fry off your onion in the olive oil on a medium heat until soft. Reduce the heat and add the garlic. Cook for a further five minutes stirring. Add the chopped tomatoes to the mix. Add them to the mixture. Add the Rest of the ingredients and cook on a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take out the bay leaves and discard. Whizz the tomato sauce in a food processor or blender until it is fairly smooth.



Cooking Tomatoes buy fresh local same price as imported

Cooking tomatoes

Cooking Tomatoes buy fresh local same price as imported

In season now February and offering them this week and next.


To provide our members access to cheap locally grown cooking tomatoes that taste better anyway – and have had fewer food miles than the imported ones. Read about imported tomatoes.

The dollar spent here stays in our economy, supports our local growers.


Veature Veg #5
Cooking tomatoes x 1kg more info…
Sold per: piece. Price: $2.50 per piece, or $2.50/Kg


2kg cooking tomatoes for less than $2/kg, cheaper than virtually any of the imported canned tomatoes

Quick way to find items: When ordering use CTL F  (find) and type in cooking tomatoes. It will go straight to them. If there are two descriptions just use SHIFT to go to next one.

Here are some great recipes to use.

Authentic gnocchi tomato sauce

Basic gnocchi

Tomato Hommus Dip


Authentic Gnocchi tomato sauce
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Harvest Hub
  • 10 cooking tomatoes
  • 2 red onions, finely peeled & sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 tbs fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 50g parmesan grated
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, then add the onions and cook over low heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions begin to colour. Add the tomatoes, then basil, stir, then add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have become a thick sauce. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Basic  Gnocchi

Basic Gnocchi
Recipe Type: Pasta
Author: Harvest Hub
  • 200g potatoes, boiled and passed through a ricer
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 75g Italian ’00’ flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30g apple, finely grated
  • 2 tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs oil
  1. Mix the potato, egg yolks, flour, salt, apple and parsley together in a bowl until it just forms a soft dough. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Divide the mixture in half and roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a long sausage shape, about 1cm diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut each sausage into 2.5cm pieces of gnocchi. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop the gnocchi into the water and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and place onto a plate lined with kitchen paper.
  3. Heat a frying pan until hot, add the oil and the gnocchi and fry for 1-2 minutes until golden-brown and just crisp. Drain onto kitchen paper.


Tomato Hummus Dip
Recipe Type: Dip
Author: Harvest Hub
  • 1 cup Fresh chickpeas, soaked and boiled
  • 1 cup tomatoes, steamed
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • ½ lemon juice
  1. Place in a food processor and blend.