Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tomatoes in Paradise

So, to find yourself on a desert island, the most perfect desert island that is, and have to cook dinner - well it isn't such a hardship considering the colour of the sea, the purity of the sand and the simplicity of the sky all roll into a neat ball of beautiful loveliness. The only small challenge attached to such assignments tend to be the produce available. We can make fire pretty much instantly, but when there isn't a market or store, what you find is what you've got. This is on of the raw beauties we tend to overlook and take completely for granted given the lifestyles we find comfort in, so there is little more refreshing than to be presented with a limited larder and a hungry belly, and know that this will work out better than if we were spoiled with a limitless supply of ingredients to spoil and waste.

I have a thing for tomatoes anyway, and although your classic castaway island should be teeming with exotic fruit, I went for the tom as centre stage of the dessert. A fruit it is, and as a fruit it shall be treated, in an 'odd but it makes sense' kind of way. We'll call this number 'Tomato 21" as there were 21 ingredients filling it before the slow baking process took place. Of course you needn't go to this number, but a nice balance of nuts, fruits, spices and sweeteners to blend together inside the tomato without drying out is the goal.

Apart from the tomato itself, which I cut the top off and carefully removed the insides without splitting the skin before filling and replacing his hat, here are the 21 fillers, in no particular order of importance.

Pistachio, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, dried plums, dried apricots, sultanas, dried figs, prunes, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, star anise, mixed spice, orange juice, pineapple juice, brown sugar, honey, butter and fresh pineapple. All diced or crushed quite small where appropriate and blended together to fill the fruit.

If there is surplus liquid left over, this is perfect for the basting, if not blend together a bit more of the juices and the honey for this, then pop all into a baking tray and into an oven at 60 c for 8 hours, basting every 30 minutes or so.

Serve hot, with a spoonful of the basting juice and if you have an ice cream machine on your desert island, a scoop of vanilla on the side would be an acceptable luxury.


  1. Where is this place? When am I going? Why haven't I been invited already??

  2. Can I come in anybody's suitcase please?