Fifty shades of red (the best way to smuggle… raw tomato)

There are some current trends that I’m managing to avoid. One Direction, orange jeans, and MKR have been easy to skip. The Fifty Shades of Grey e-book though, piqued my interest as soon as I heard it classified as ‘mummy porn’. Realising that I’m their target market and determined to do my best to stay up with the trends I downloaded it IMMEDIATELY. Admittedly around page 40 when first introduced to the ‘playroom’ I had second thoughts. I don’t want to seem like a prude but I’m a bit of an Elizabeth/Mr Darcy kind of a girl and 480 pages of bondage wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind. Still I’ve done my best and have gallantly just finished book 2. I’ve stuck with Grey and Annnnaasssttaaaaassssssia through romps in bed, in the boathouse, on boats and in the playroom (eeewwwwwww).

As a way to spend some time, it’s somehow reminding me of a sexed up, book version of ‘Escape to the Country’ – I’m glued with promises of the next scene, the next escapist fantasy, a new reception room (where of course they will stop for a dalliance). Basically a bunch of absorbing snippets that compile to make a vaguely dissatisfying whole. At the end I’m feeling slightly hoodwinked and not sure why I’m spending any of my life consuming it.

Anyway despite posts on porn film food, and an admission that I had inadvertently introduced my toddler to internet nudity, this blog is supposedly about good food, not erotica and the real point of today’s post is to tackle a tricky ‘best way to smuggle’ – raw tomato.

Unlike other vegies that are easy to sneak into gorgeous meals (like spinach, mushrooms & cauliflower), raw tomato with its high acid content is pretty tricky to hide. While the kids like a mushed up raw tomato pasta sauce, gazpacho isn’t quite floating their boats just yet. And hiding it raw can be tricky, so my best option is to dress is up, Fifty Shades style, with a delectably kinky dressing.

My hubbie concocted this quick salad and my kids LOVE it. Dolloped into wraps, and onto burgers – it’s been a real success. And yes, before you email me with outrage, I know that it has SUGAR in it (the irony is not lost on me that porn will make none of you irate, but sugar is akin to the devil). It melds with the balsamic and cuts through the acid. I have no qualms about the sweet content – anything that gets mouthfuls of vitamin rich, raw tomato into my children’s tummies is just fine with me.


Dressed up, with somewhere to go.

Adam’s ‘dressed up’ tomato salad

8 roma tomatoes (or equivalent quantities of cherry, grapes or vine tomatoes)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
Salt & pepper (be generous – they are essential to balance out the sweet/salty combo)

For the adults: chopped parsley.

Chop the tomatoes finely, pour over the vinegar, sprinkle the sugar, season generously and stir. Garnish with parsley if you like.

5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Barbara Good said,

    This is one thing I never have to worry about, my finicky Miss Two LOVES raw tomatoes and eats them as fast as I can chop them for a salad. We grew lots of cherry tomatoes this year and she munched her way through the patch pretty much every day in the course of her outdoor adventures. Unfortunately she has a particularly bad adverse reaction to all high acid foods so spent most of the summer with a terrible, raw-red (now there’s a shade you weren’t thinking of I bet) rash all over and face.

    And just for the record, I’m fine with the sugar too. I’m not sure when exactly sugar became the food devil, isn’t it all good in moderation?

    • 2

      wendyblume said,

      Yes, I managed cherry toms this year too – I’m generally a rubbish gardener – and even my boy will eat those (especially if he’s picked them himself) – they are so much tastier.

      Glad to hear you’re not a sugar-hater. It bugs me when people get upset about me including sugar in recipes – I have two fit and healthy children with no weight issues and a bit of sugar is just fine as long as I’m concerned. I’m all for everything in moderation.

  2. 3

    Vikki Blyth said,

    Sounds lovely. I have found a great way to create ‘aged’ balsamic which adds the sweet, sour taste all in one. Use a large bottle of cheap balsamic & add 2-4 taps sugar (yes sugar). Put on to simmer & reduce until thick & the consistency of runny honey. Adds a real sophistication to salads & desserts & tones down the acidity if the vinegar. Have tasted 50 years yes balsamic, nor much difference 🙂

    • 4

      wendyblume said,

      Sounds good Vikki! I’ll have to give it a whirl. Do you mean 2-4 tablespoons or teaspoons?

      • 5

        Vikki Blyth said,

        teaspoons but you can add to your taste. I don’t like it too sweet but you may find you need to add a little more. Start with 4 tsps and then you can add a little more before it gets to the sticky stage!

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