If I had to choose one store cupboard item I couldn’t live without, it would probably be tinned tomatoes.
Tomatoes have a tumultuous history. Originally thought poisonous due to their close relationship to deadly nightshade, tomatoes are native to Central and South America. They were a prime candidate for canning due to their high acidic nature and were canned more than any other vegetable or fruit by the late 19th century.
Today, I buy organic tinned tomatoes in cans with BPA free lining. If you get whole tinned tomatoes, they are even less processed than the diced variety. And this is one organic item that the majority of us can afford.
There are so many ways to put tinned tomatoes to use. Perhaps the most obvious is in an Italian stew or a soup, to enrich the flavour or thicken the sauce. But there are other cuisines where tomatoes can come into play – curries for example, or a slow-cooked dal. I also use them on a weeknight for quick baked eggs. Fry half an onion and some sliced garlic, add a tin of tomatoes, and then break a couple of eggs into the sauce. Transfer to a hot oven for 6-8 minutes and hey presto – there’s dinner. It might not be fancy, but it’s fast, doesn’t break the bank and it’s healthier and cheaper than take-away.
Want a quick salsa for chips? Whiz a tin of tomatoes with an onion, garlic, and some dried chilli flakes. Stir in some fresh coriander and jalapeños for an extra kick.
We’ve got a number of recipes on the website that use tinned tomatoes, but here’s a couple of my favourites:
By Victoria Thaine,