There’s nothing quite like a plump vine-ripened tomato, bursting in your mouth with the flavour of pure sunshine. While immensely versatile, and celebrated in a wide variety of cuisines, there’s one thing that holds true across all interpretations: less is more.
Pulling back on all the flashy extras and letting the tomato shine is way easier when you have an exceptional product, so always try your best to source your tomatoes locally. It isn’t too hard these days, with a number of quality local greenhouses providing top-notch tomatoes year round. Pop by your local farmers’ market and connect with your grower to access high quality product and explore new varieties.
Brad Smoliak, KITCHEN, Edmonton
We asked Brad Smoliak of Kitchen, in Edmonton, to share with us one of his favourite tomato recipes. And, let’s face it, a man who has spent more than two and a half decades training; consulting at not one, but two, Olympic games; advising on a Board of Directors of Edmonton’s hottest, largest and oldest outdoor farmers’ markets; wowing viewers as a guest chef on television; leading and entertaining at culinary parties,; and writing his own cookbook… is there anything Brad hasn’t done?! This guy definitely knows his way around a tomato.
Tajdeen Ali, Lina’s Italian Market, Calgary
Maybe one of the most classic ways to honour a beautiful ingredient is to turn to Italian cuisine. The Italians just have a knack for keeping it simple and letting the tomato shine.
Tajdeen Ali started his career in hotel management in India, traveling to Dubai, France, Italy, and Spain, before landing on a luxury cruise line to travel the world seven times over. It was there that he cultivated his passion for cooking, and perfected techniques before moving to Canada. He’s now the chef at Lina’s Italian Market, wooing us all with his irresistible Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup. A classic that never loses its delicious appeal.
Play with different tomatoes, there are hundreds of varieties and each has its own unique, subtle flavour. And each one lends itself to a style of cooking; whether you’re keeping it simple with a fresh tomato salad, making a fresh batch of homemade salsa, or canning a luscious tomato sauce, there is no limit to finding what you love most and loving the hell out of it!