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Caramelised Cherry Tomatoes

While I've never been a fan of a sloppy tinned plum tomato, I'm quite happy to tuck into a fresh grilled slice on the side of my bacon and eggs, or a tasty steak. Tomatoes are also brilliantly good for you containing loads of the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene, vitamins A and C for eyesight and immune functions, B2 aka Riboflavin for the transfer of energy, folate aka B9 for vital cell manufacture, potassium for lower blood pressure and strong bones, and chromium for metabolic processes and maintaining a steady blood sugar level. See what I mean? That's a lot of bang for your buck!

It's all too easy to just open up a can of baked beans as a simple side to our fried breakfasts which can be high in sugar, and although listed as one of the holy grail five-a-day worthy foods they're relatively devoid of vitamins bar calcium, potassium and little iron. Since a fried breakfast is already seen as the villain of heart health, it's surely better to opt for cardiovascular supportive tomatoes instead and with bacon and eggs on the menu you won't be in much need of the extra protein from beans – and these jammy delights will have you toe-curlingly happy you did! Of course if meat isn't on your menu then keep the beans...

Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow in containers on a sunny windowsill, and for some varieties even hanging baskets, so you can celebrate summer by picking the freshest and sweetest little tomatoes possibly available to you.

Do you want to know the best thing about this recipe? It's not even a recipe! All you need is the tomatoes. See below for the instructions:

 

All you have to do is take your cherry or plum tomatoes and cut them in half, or into ½ inch slices if slightly larger specimens.

Next sear them in a frying pan on a high heat until slightly blackened on either side (think charred not burned to a crisp!) then turn the heat down low and let them slowly cook through until they've started to collapse into themselves.

Carefully flip them over to caramelise fully on the other side then serve piled alongside your chosen dish, preferably somewhere close their best buddy bacon! ;) 

That being said, you really don't have to have bacon at breakfast, pair these gooey toms with an egg, mushrooms, a hash brown/fried bread & some beans and you have all the morning protein you need with more than enough flavours to entertain your taste-buds!

The cooking process renders the natural sugars from the flesh to leave you with a pile of tomatoes that are gooey and sticky like jam. Just like good caramelised onions. By frying in a dry pan you get the lovely charred flavour that you enjoy from a posh pub grilled tomato. They will stick to the bottom slightly so make sure you're using the pan with the best non-stick properties you have to work with, if you think you need to use the very lightest drop of oil to help it along.

Since the pan will blacken, allow a minute to scrape the pan down if needed next for other parts of the breakfast (black eggs aren't pretty!). I usually make my tomatoes first whilst gathering together the rest of the kit and ingredients it takes to make my chosen fried breakfast (or cheeky yum lunch!). They only take around five minutes which is perfect to have everything else in place for the manic juggle that a Full English tends to be!

I originally mispelled cherry as 'cheery' whilst typing the draft for this and it occurred to me to be the best nickname for this recipe since they sure make me smile!

 

Don't let your imagination stop at siding these with just breakfast - slip some alongside a juicy steak, smear on some wholemeal toast as a hot bruschetta, stick em' in your sandwiches (best not-ketchup ever!), on a pizza, cast into the fluffy centre of a quiche, omelet or other egg and cheese creation... I'll let you decide what else they'd be great with in the comments below!

 

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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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