DAVID SMITH: A stylish starter for those with too many tomatoes

Tomato gazpacho with torn olive bread
Tomato gazpacho with torn olive bread

Surrounded by a glut of tomatoes and not sure what to do with them? Then try this delicious starter from senior sous chef David Smith at the Arora Hotel, Crawley...

We’re at that time of year when home-grown crops are in abundance, especially tomatoes.

Arora's senior sous chef David Smith

Arora's senior sous chef David Smith

But if you have had your fill of salads and already packed the freezer with homemade pasta sauce, tomatoes might be starting to lose their appeal. Don’t panic, our new tomato starter on The Grill menu ticks lots of boxes – it is perfect for vegetarians, can be made in advance, and the smooth gazpacho can also be frozen and warmed through as a soup when the weather turns cooler.

We call it Tomato Three Ways as we serve the gazpacho, with tomato coulis and oven-dried tomatoes, with parmesan crisps and crumbled olive cake.

And if you want to show off to friends that you have grown a variety of tomatoes, make individual gazpacho with each variety to give a ray of colours on the plate.

The Grill in the Arora is Crawley’s only AA-rosette restaurant. To book, phone 01293 530000. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook Arora Hotel Gatwick Crawley.

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Tomato gazpacho with olive cake

Serves four

For the gazpacho:

200g heritage tomatoes – or tomatoes from your garden

Half a peeled and deseeded cucumber

2 slices of white bread, crusts removed

Salt, white pepper and a pinch of caster sugar to taste

For the olive cake:

100g softened butter

100g sugar

2 eggs

100g self-raising flour

75g black olives puree

pinch of salt

4 large tomatoes for serving


First, make the olive cake by blitzing the olives into a puree. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the eggs.

Fold in the flour and then add the olive puree and salt.

Oil a small microwaveable cup and pour in 40g of the mix. Microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Leave to cool slightly and tip out the olive cake. Repeat until you have four little cakes.

To make the gazpacho, put the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. To serve, cut the top off the large tomatoes and scrape out the seeds. Fill with gazpacho and serve with torn olive bread.

Chef’s tip

We keep the gazpacho simple so you can taste the full flavour of the tomatoes. But if you like your gazpacho with a little kick, just add a dash or two of tabasco. The olive cake mix will keep in the fridge for up to three days so you can make cakes whenever you need – delicious with cheese and chutney, dipped into hummus or eaten with soup.

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