British Tomato Fortnight to celebrate a bumper crop

2020 has seen a bumper crop of British tomatoes and an abundance of varieties are hitting supermarket shelves

Celebrating the moment Britain’s tomatoes are at their best is British Tomato Fortnight, May 25th – June 7th, when the British Tomato Growers’ Association encourages people to buy British and enjoy the humble British tomato.

At the moment, four out of five tomatoes eaten in the UK are imported. With European tomatoes travelling overseas, it is no coincidence people complain about their lacklustre taste as they are simply not as fresh. By buying British, tomatoes stay on the plant longer and are as fresh as they could possibly be, meaning you regain the super sweet, juicy, wonderful taste.

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Containing vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and natural pigments, British tomatoes not only taste great, but are also very good for you.

Julie Woolley, Secretary of the British Tomato Growers’ Association said: “Considering the challenges our country is facing, it’s amazing this year’s British Tomato Fortnight is looking better than ever. Arriving on supermarket shelves are some of the freshest and tastiest tomatoes we’ve ever seen. We’re so grateful for everyone that’s made that happen – from our dedicated growers, nursery and packhouse staff, delivery drivers, to supermarket staff.”

As well as encouraging people to look out for British tomatoes, The British Tomato Growers’ Association is thinking about food’s role in bringing communities together. It’s asking anyone cooking with British tomatoes to consider sharing a portion with someone in their community – an older neighbour, a frontline worker, or someone finding lockdown difficult. As long as it’s done so safely and according to government guidelines.

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To get involved and share recipe creations, use #BTF20 and tag @britishtomatoes on Twitter or Instagram.

Here is one of the delicious recipes incorporating tasty British toms you can find using the tags above:

Banging Korean Chicken Kebabs with Tomato Chilli Sauce

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These amazing chicken and British cherry tomato kebabs are given a fabulous flavour of Korea – perfect served with a spicy tomato chilli sauce

Serves 4 Prep time: 10 minutes, plus marinating Cook time: 15 minutes

4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

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Approximately 30 British cherry tomatoes

3tbsp toasted sesame oil

2tbsp light soy sauce

2tbsp rice or white wine vinegar

15g fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4tsp dried chilli flakes

4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced

Pinch of salt, pepper and sugar

Toasted sesame seeds, spring onions and lime wedges, to garnish

Tomato Chilli Sauce:

300g British classic tomatoes, finely chopped

1 shallot, very finely chopped

1tsp finely chopped fresh red chilli

1tbsp rice or white wine vinegar

2tbsp chopped fresh coriander

1 Thread the chunks of chicken onto soaked wooden kebab sticks, alternating the pieces with the cherry tomatoes.

2 In a shallow dish, mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, chilli flakes and spring onions. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. Add the kebabs, turning to coat. Cover and marinate for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally.

3 Meanwhile, mix together the sauce ingredients. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.

4 Grill the kebabs for 8-10 minutes, turning often. Serve with the tomato chilli sauce, garnished with toasted sesame seeds, spring onions and lime wedges.

Cook’s tips:

Make the meal more substantial by serving the kebabs in warm wraps.

The best way to peel fresh ginger is to use a teaspoon – it works!

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Steve Ott
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