H is for heirloom tomatoes

Normal tomatoes and me are great friends. I could happily champ my way through a box of cherry tomatoes like they were sweets. But heirloom tomatoes? Not so much. Aren't they just tomatoes with delusions of grandeur and a whacking great price tag?

But when I saw a great big pile of these bad boys down at Borough Market, I knew I had to take them home and cook them up. Did you ever see a prettier bunch of veggies? (Yeah, I know they're fruit really, but I've never put them in a fruit salad yet!)

But what do with them? Luckily, a few ingredients on the turn in the back of the fridge gave me some inspiration and I decided to keep things simple with a creamy sauce and a gratin topping.

This is something of loose recipe, and as it wasn't quite there, I leave it in your hands to fix up.

Heirloom tomato gratin

500-600g of heirloom tomatoes
One large white onion, finely chopped
Two cloves of garlic, sliced
Vegan margarine
Vegan cream equivalent (I used Alpro single cream)
Pinches of celery salt, sugar, and white pepper
25g of pine nuts
One or two slices of bread

How you do it

Switch your oven on to 200C.

Fry the onion in generous amounts of vegan margarine for 10 minutes or so, or until soft. Add garlic
and cook for another couple of minutes.

While that's cooking, slice the tomatoes into thick, 2cm slices.

Find a large Pyrex dish, and spread half the slices over the bottom in one layer.

Sprinkle a pinch of celery salt and sugar on top, then grind over lots of white pepper.

Get a spring or two of basil, and tear the leaves over the top.

Once the onion and garlic is cooked, spread that over the top of the tomatoes too.

Put the other half of the tomato slices over the top, then repeat with the celery salt, sugar, white pepper and another spring or two of basil.

Pour over as much cream as you fancy - you don't need it coming to the top, a little over half way should do it.

Bake for 15 minutes.

While that's on the go, use a blender or similar and turn the bread and pine nuts into crumbs.

Once the 15 minutes is up, spread the pine nuts and bread crumbs over the top, and bake for 15 minutes more.


  1. Those toms look so perfect! And I love the idea of a tomato gratin - thank you so much for sharing the recipe (I feel like I'm going to keep doing posts inspired by your blog!)

  2. Yum, I'll have to save this recipe for when my heirloom tomatoes ripen! I planted a Black Russian a few weeks ago, I'll keep my fingers crossed for a good crop so I can try this.

  3. looks fab, I've never seen heirlooms in a shop here. I often dream of going to borough market though!! haha

  4. I love heirloom tomatoes. So many different flavors and wonderful tastes.

  5. They look lovely. Have you got a Lidl near you? They do an organic punnet of fancy mixed tomatoes. I don't know if they would be classed as Heirloom but they are amazing colours and really tasty too and only about £1.50 - less than normal tomatoes in a lot of other places.

  6. I'm practically drooling over here! The au gratin looks amazing.

  7. i love heirloom tomatoes and this gratin is perfect!

  8. Those heirloom tomatoes look so freaking beautiful. I first had 'em last summer on the west coast and deemed them truly worthy of a higher price. Maybe that's because I hardly ever see them around here? Either way, this is a good-looking dish!


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