We have just harvested the last of our outdoor tomatoes and what a bumper crop we have had. Tomatoes are a great fruit (not a vegetable) as they are high in fibre, potassium and vitamin C.
Tomatoes are fruit as fruit are ripened from a flower ovary and contain seeds, much like cucumbers.
Part of the nightshade family along with peppers, potatoes, eggplants and tobacco. Nightshades don’t just grow at night as they require heaps of sun to grow! Eggplants need 100 days of sun to grow fruit. They are called nightshades as they produce a compound called solanine. Solanine is part of these plants natural defence system, acting as a nerve poison on insects that try to eat the plants.
Since us humans are a lot bigger than an insect we are pretty safe!
Tomato baked beans with meatballs and eggs
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 300g beef mince
- ¼ pumpkin, grated
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 500g ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 x 400g tin white haricot beans, drained
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 eggs
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180*C.
Mix the mince, mustard, pumpkin and thyme in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Roll the mix into 30g balls. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and shallow fry the meatballs, just enough to colour the outside. Set aside.
Now add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the onion and garlic. Add the tomatoes, beans and Worcestershire sauce, cook for 5 minutes. Pour this mix into a large baking dish (about 50cm square). Drop the meatballs into the tray then gently crack the eggs in around the balls.
Bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes or until the egg is cooked.