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8 delicious summer tinned tomato recipes

8 delicious tinned tomato recipes for summer

by Great British Chefs 01 August 2019

We’re all drawn to tomatoes in summer, but some recipes are just better made with tinned tomatoes rather than fresh ones. These recipes are the reasons why we always have a few tins of tomatoes in our cupboards!


Of all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that summer brings, tomatoes are always top of our wish lists. Some of those tomatoes come straight from the vine, ripe with the gentle scent of pepper and bursting with sweet flavour, but our cupboards stay well-stocked with tins of tomatoes too. If you’re making a salad, of course you’re going to want the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find, but what about a pizza, or a pasta sauce? There’s no replacement for the richness and flavour of good tinned tomatoes.

Tinned tomatoes still have a bit of a reputation for being lesser in comparison to fresh, but often in the UK that simply isn’t the case. If you’re buying your fresh tomatoes from supermarkets, chances are they have been off the vine for many many days before they reach your basket. By comparison, good tinned tomatoes from well-known brands such as Cirio are often picked and tinned within twenty-four hours, so by the time they get to you, they still have almost all of their flavour.

Tinned tomatoes are essential in the winter, in part because good fresh tomatoes simply aren’t available, but also because they’re ideal for all your favourite soups, stews and braises. That said, we find that we go through just as many tins in the summer. Scroll down and you’ll see what we’ve been cooking – eight recipes that we can’t go without in the summer!

Barbecued pizza with passata, anchovies and goat's cheese

With a decent barbecue and a pizza stone, you can create wonderful pizza, as Emily Watkins demonstrates. After bringing together a simple dough, Emily rolls out her pizza base and dresses it with tomato passata, goat’s cheese, anchovies, rosemary and olives, then slides her pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Just a few minutes later, the pizza is cooked, complete with blistered dough around the edges and melted cheese in the middle. You can make this in the oven instead if you like, just get your oven as hot as you can and cook the pizza for a little longer on a baking sheet.

Fasolakia – Greek green beans

These Greek-style green beans are so simple but so delicious, and make a brilliant versatile side to any al fresco lunch or dinner. They’re also a great way to beat to beat the green bean glut, if you have loads of them hiding in your fridge – just sweat down your onion and garlic, then braise the beans in plenty of good quality olive oil and tomatoes. Throw in some potatoes and Kalamata olives and this becomes a hearty vegan meal in it’s own right!

Seafood and tomato tagine

The great advantage of a seafood tagine is that you can make something delicious in a relatively short amount of time, as the mussels, squid and prawns only need a few minutes to cook! Nargisse sweats onions then adds peppers, carrots, celery, tinned tomatoes and a whole host of spices to create her tagine base, before cooking the seafood. After that, a crumbling of feta finishes the dish with some gentle acidity and richness. A lovely recipe for a family lunch in the sunshine.

Roasted broccoli with hazelnut, tomato sauce and tahini

Forget your bland, squishy boiled broccoli – roasting is the way to go with this tasty, ubiquitous brassica. Dress it in oil, salt and pepper and roast it in a hot oven for fifteen minutes, and the results are fantastic – the florets go crispy, whilst the stalk cooks but retains a nice bite. The tomato sauce needs a bit of love – the balsamic vinegar is essential, as the sweetness balances the bitterness of the tahini dressing – but if you have a spare hour, you can easily whip up this delicious dinner.

Agnolotti pappa al pomodoro with basil

Whenever we’re looking for a simple, delicious pasta recipe, we turn to Limewood’s Luke Holder – and his agnolotti pappa al pomodoro doesn’t disappoint. We’d recommend making everything in advance before you start filling your agnolotti, as you want the filling to be as cold as possible; once you get into a rhythm, you’ll be flipping agnolotti into your semolina like a seasoned old nonna.

Egg rougaille

Rougaille is a Creole dish, the Mauritian equivalent of something like a menemen in Turkey, or a shakshuka in north Africa. A sauce of sweated vegetables and chopped tomatoes becomes a bed for eggs, which are cracked into the sauce then simultaneously braised from underneath and grilled from above. A cracking summer breakfast.

Baked salmon with tomato, mushroom and mascarpone sauce

Nothing beats a bit of salmon in the sun, but Ren Behan takes this summer classic to the next level with her creamy sauce of tomato, mushroom and mascarpone. She finishes the sauce off with plenty of chopped dill, and serves with potatoes and greens for a simple summer lunch. With the salmon taking just twenty minutes in the oven, you can get home from the shops and have this on the table in just half an hour.

Sicilian-style pizza

Sicilian-style pizza is made with a dough that resembles focaccia more than pizza dough – as a result it has a light, fluffy crumb, on top of which goes cheese, then tomato sauce (in that order). Finish with your choice of toppings, then get the oven as hot as you can and bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Slice it up and you have a fantastic barbecue side.

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