This week I am

enjoying summer cooking. It hasn’t been much of a summer yet in Melbourne, but summer vegetables are looking good. I am preparing for the Tomato Festival http://melbournetomatofestival.com that will be held on March 1 at Farm Vigano at South Morang. Lots of great people involved in talking, cooking, demonstrating, selling food, and I’m involved, too – part of the opening ceremony. There’s a tomato battle somewhere, too, somewhere in Melbourne a day or two before, based on the festival somewhere in Spain, but I really don’t like the practice of throwing food about. Throwing tomatoes? Make salsa, instead.

So I’ve been thinking about tomato dishes, and experimenting. These are some my favourites. Gazpacho. Tomato soup with leeks and rice. Fresh bread with butter and sliced tomatoes. Toasted sourdough, rubbed with garlic, a thread of EVOO, and some tomato slices. Ratatouille. Shakshouka (another tomato and other vegetables, with eggs). Chicken sauteed with tomatoes and red peppers. Tomato salads – various ways. Lots of tomatoes, or only one variety. With basil. With basil and fresh burrata and mozzarella. Slow roasted tomatoes. Grilled tomatoes topped with mixed herbs and grated parmesan.

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