Recipes: Cherry tomatoes, toasted crumbs and mozzarella, roasted vine tomatoes, and marinated tomatoes on toast

Last updated 05:00 08/02/2017
Maarten Holl

Cherry tomatoes, toasted crumbs, and mozzarella with lemon basil dressing.

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Forget flowers and chocolates. Say no to the awkward restaurant dinner. And don't even think about buying them undies. No, if you really want to spoil someone on Valentine's Day, you should splash out on some proper tomatoes.


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Real tomatoes, the sort that hint at golden summers and handsome Italians bearing dishes of insalata caprese and… oh, sorry, I got carried away there for a moment. Anyway, forget the Italians and make like the French, who originally called tomatoes "pommes d'Amour" (love apples), and believed they had aphrodisiac powers. It's got to be worth a try, right?


Serves 3-4 as a side dish

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

A new take on a traditional combination – all the best flavours of summer. Use the most flavoursome tomatoes you can find (you get extra smug factor points if they're home grown).

3 cups torn-up pieces of stale sourdough bread or baguette

1 tablespoon New Zealand extra virgin olive oil

2-3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half if large

125g ball mozzarella, torn into small pieces

For the dressing:

½ small clove of garlic, crushed to a paste with ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons New Zealand extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup packed basil leaves

Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Scatter the torn-up bread on a baking tray and drizzle over the oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until it is crunchy and golden. Set aside to cool.

Make the dressing while the bread is roasting. Put all the ingredients into a small food processor or blender (or use a jar and a stick blender), and whiz until smooth. Taste for seasoning – add more salt, oil, or lemon juice as necessary.

To assemble the salad, put the toasted bread on a serving platter. Scatter over the tomatoes and mozzarella, then drizzle liberally with the dressing. Serve at room temperature.


Serves 3-4  as a side dish 

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

The tart-sweet bite of pomegranate molasses will pep up the most watery tomato (but this dish is even better when made with good ones). 

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12 vine tomatoes, preferably still on the stalk

2 tablespoons New Zealand extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the tomatoes in a small ovenproof dish and nick the skin of each with a sharp knife. Mix together the olive oil and pomegranate molasses, then pour over the tomatoes, turning them to coat. Season well with salt and pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Serve immediately, or at room temperature.


Serves 1-2 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

As a long-time fan of tomatoes and Marmite on toast, I was a bit dubious about this combination, but it's a real winner. Use fat slices of beefsteak tomato for best results (the little ones just slide off the toast), and feel free to add some sliced avocado.

2 thick slices bread – wholegrain, sourdough or baguette

2 tablespoons best quality peanut butter

1 large beefsteak tomato, cut into 1cm slices

1  teaspoon New Zealand extra virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon soy sauce

¾  teaspoon caster sugar

A generous pinch of dried chilli (or a few slices of fresh red chilli)

Salt and pepper

Put the tomato slices in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, soy sauce, sugar, and chilli flakes, and mix gently. Set aside for five minutes to marinate.

Toast the bread, then spread generously with peanut butter. Top each slice with tomatoes, then drizzle the rest of the marinade on top. Season well with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, and serve immediately.

For more of Lucy's recipes, visit

- Stuff


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