Store oven-roasted tomatoes in oil and use in salads or pasta dishes.

Top tips for tomatoes

From oven dried tomatoes to tomato leaf pesto, and not forgetting the ultimate fresh tomato Bloody Mary – read our chef’s top tips for tomatoes.

From oven dried tomatoes to tomato leaf pesto, and not forgetting the ultimate fresh tomato Bloody Mary – read our chef’s top tips for tomatoes.

Tomato leaf pesto

It’s not just the fruit that can be used up – try this unusual twist on pesto and use up the tomato plant leaves, too. 



1 handful of small tomato leaves

15ml red wine vinegar

200ml olive oil

1 small garlic clove

15g pumpkin seed


To make:

Blend all ingredients together

Tomato stock

1 ltr water

1 handful tomato leaves and stalks

1 clove garlic

½ small onion

½ carrot



To make:

Boil all ingredients together and strain through a sieve.

Oven dried tomatoes

These oven dried tomatoes are a foolproof way for preserving a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes. Stored in olive oil they are a great addition of intense tomato flavour to pasta, roasted veg, with eggs for breakfast, an appetizer or an amazing gift.

Make sure to dry them cut side up as the tomato juice collects and concentrates instead of dropping out.

Storing them in oil will preserve their shelf life and leave you with a tomato-infused oil to be use after, so don’t throw it away! Drizzle over ricotta on toast with some capers.

To make:

Wash the tomatoes and pat dry. Slice in half, length ways, and remove as much of the seeds as you can with a spoon. Season with salt and lay cut side up on a cooling rack or a tray with grease proof paper, making sure they’re not touching. Put in the oven at 100 degrees for 3-4 hours until they are shrivelled. Cool the tomatoes to room temperature. Transfer them to a jar and cover with olive oil. You can store in the fridge for 1-2 months.

Tomato and black pepper vodka ‘Bloody Mary’

Spice up your life with this recipe for a Bloody Mary cocktail with fresh tomatoes.

Bloody Mary


30g black peppercorns

230ml vodka

5 cherry tomatoes

½ tbsp lemon juice

½ tbsp sugar syrup

Pinch of salt

To make:

In a jar combine the vodka and peppercorns, give it a good stir and refrigerate for 2 days. Strain and discard the peppercorns. In a glass of cocktail shaker combine the tomatoes, lemon juice, sugar syrup and salt then with a muddler or wooden spoon crush and stir to combine. Add 50ml vodka and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass and enjoy in the sun.

Tomato dressing

This dressing adds an amazing fresh tomato flavour to your salads through the summer. You could mix with tuna, anchovies, olives, soft boiled eggs, gem lettuce, spring onion and chives for a Nicoise-style salad.




black pepper

90ml of extra virgin olive oil

40g of cherry tomatoes

30ml of balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove

To make:

Crush the cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves with a pestle and mortar, then add the oil and balsamic vinegar slowly, using the pestle and mortar to mix and emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.

Green tomato chutney

This is a great use for tomatoes that stubbornly won’t ripen. If you’re not using new jars, to help prevent re-used jars smelling of their previous contents, add a little bicarbonate of soda and hot water, leave for a couple of minutes, then rinse well before using.

Green tomatoes

To sterilise jars: wash and leave to air dry. Place cold jars on a baking tray in a cold oven. Heat to 150C/Gas 2 for 15 minutes. Sterilise lids by boiling for 10 minutes then leaving to dry thoroughly before using, or once you’ve potted your chutney, pop on clean, dry lids and invert the jars for 10 mins to let the hot chutney sterilise them, before turning right way up. Always pot hot chutney into hot jars. This recipe should make about 1kg chutney.


750g green tomatoes, washed and chopped

350g shallots or onions, chopped

200g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped

300ml malt vinegar

2 red chillies

Small piece fresh root ginger, peeled

A few yellow mustard seeds (optional)

100g raisins

1 tsp salt

200g brown sugar


To make:

Put the tomatoes, shallots or onions and apples in a large, heavy-based, non-reactive pan, with half the vinegar.

Bring to the boil then gently cook for about 30 minutes, until tender. Tie the chillies, ginger and mustard seeds (if using) in a muslin bag. Bruise with a heavy rolling pin or hammer and add to the pan with the raisins.

Cook on a low heat, stirring from time to time, until the mixture thickens (about 1 hour).

Add the salt, sugar and the rest of the vinegar, stirring well until the sugar dissolves. Con-tinue cooking until the mixture has thickened.

Remove the muslin spice bag. Pot into sterilised jars while the chutney is still warm. Seal. Leave for 6 weeks to mature.

For more foodie inspiration, follow @theriverfordfieldkitchen and @lewis_glanvill on Instagram. 


Leave a Reply

  1. Todays tomato leaf pasta receipt says 73 eggs! is that right or a slip of the pen?
    Thankyou for the receipts. I’m off to the green house. First time I use the leaves. They smell delicious. I’m a wild food foraging, home food growing, waste nothing’ve opened a yummy wide window on my world – to be shared. Power to the Earth and all Her children, especially those whoarewise and kind and behave themselves

    1. So sorry! Thank you for letting us know. The correct quantities are : 400g flour – 3 large eggs – 60g tomato leaves. Hope you really enjoy the recipe.

  2. And please, is that really 200ml of oil to so little of everything else for the tomato leaf pesto?
    Thanks, when confirmed I might try it, as my tomatoes are a thicket perfect to do some thinning to let the sun and air to the fruits. In N Derbyshire I have only just removed the fleece [yes, ex Riverford, do you remember selling lengths of it?] which I stretched around the south side of the newly planted out rather shallow rooted Freecycle plants to give them a chance against days and days of desiccating wind here. I did plant them down to root from the stems but still needed to protect them; it worked well too on the two 40degree days. So I haven’t been de-sideshoot-ing them under the cover.


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