Tomatoes fit for Simon Gault

Yesterday afternoon I hung out with chef and Masterchef NZ judge Simon Gault. Yep, it was just me and him. And his publicist. And a sound guy. And, oh, about 85 other people who had queued up to listen to him talk. Of course, it was work for him – he’s on a tour spruiking his new book – and it was work for me (I guess I was helping him spruik his new book) but it was really good fun.

If you think I’m being a terrible namedropper by throwing his name into conversation, you should have heard him. He’s swum with some pretty big culinary fish and made some big cheese connections as a result. And he has some incredible stories to tell about all of them. He reckons he’s not into celebrity chef culture but he’s definitely got a tell-all book in him. Or at least a film.

But my favourite bit was when he was talking about tomatoes, and bemoaning the horrible ones on sale in supermarkets. It was all I could do not to go up to him afterwards and say, ‘check out my tomatoes’. But I can say that to you, can’t I?

This is yesterday’s harvest: nine fleshy heirloom tomatoes, two rather stunted ears of sweetcorn and one juicy strawberry. I planted the tomatoes in November – which is pretty late – but our endless summer has been kind to them. It’s supposed to rain hard today (with water restrictions looming we are all keeping our fingers crossed) so I thought I better pick them just in case. We ate most of them last night, fried in olive oil and drizzled with red wine vinegar. Tomato heaven.

How is your garden growing at the moment?



  1. March 18, 2013 / 2:22 am

    i've pulled most of my summer crops out now, as they were finihsed – so i have only a new row of silverbeet, a row of borlotti beans and one of green string beans. it's sad to see a fairly bare plot but i still have work to do improving the soil then letting it rest until next spring!

  2. March 18, 2013 / 8:50 am

    They look wonderful nothing like eating your own home produce Lucy. I'm ordering my seeds today but I think it'll be mostly herbs and edible flowers this year. It snowed yesterday so it's lovely to look at such a sunny picture…thanks for posting.
    Oh and we don't mind a bit of name dropping…it's interesting to read who you're hanging out with these days.
    Have a great week

  3. March 18, 2013 / 9:44 am

    My harvest has been pathetic this year. I think it's to do with the non-pollination that comes from growing them inside. Not enough promiscuity in the conservatory. : (

  4. March 19, 2013 / 6:15 am

    I had a shocker this year too, but probably due to neglect. I had 1 (one) tomato from two plants. And it wasn't even perfect.

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