Don’t be daunted by that diva de­meanour – Fri­day’s very own chef Sil­vena Rowe is happy to an­swer all your kitchen queries To add more flavour to straw­ber­ries, sprin­kle them with vanilla ex­tract and lemon juice

Friday - - Domestic Diva -


I buy toma­toes, they of­ten look ripe and juicy but taste bland. How can I sal­vage them? AThe

best thing to do is roast them. This de­hy­drates the toma­toes and in­ten­si­fies their flavour.

Pre­heat the oven to 120°C. Now chop up the toma­toes – this should be done ac­cord­ing to the va­ri­ety, which means beef toma­toes should be cut into thick roundels, roma toma­toes should be halved length­wise, and cherry or grape toma­toes should be left whole.

Place the toma­toes in an even layer on a bak­ing sheet that is lined with alu­minium foil. Next, sprin­kle some sea salt and finely chopped herbs over the toma­toes and roast them for about 2 hours. You can even add gar­lic for a more ro­bust flavour.

When the toma­toes are cooked, let them cool down and then trans­fer them to a clean jar. Pour some good-qual­ity olive oil over them and re­frig­er­ate. They should last a cou­ple of weeks. Use them in sal­ads, with fresh cheese, on cros­ti­nis or in quiches with other veg­eta­bles. They are ab­so­lutely de­li­cious!


on sale seem like a bar­gain but they don’t taste re­motely like the real deal. What do I do with them? AIf

you were to ask your mother, she’d prob­a­bly tell you to chop them up, sprin­kle them with su­gar and set aside for about half an hour. It’ll not only sweeten the straw­ber­ries, but soften them and make them juicier. But if you want more flavour, then sprin­kle over a few drops of vanilla ex­tract and lemon juice. And if you still want some more flavour, add a pinch of ground cin­na­mon or car­damom. Freshly chopped mint or basil com­ple­ment straw­ber­ries well, too.


I heat or cook foods with a strong odour in the microwave, I end up with a smelly microwave for a long time. What’s an easy, chemical-free way to en­sure that my microwave smells squeaky clean?


lemons be your saviour! Put half a lemon in a microwave-proof bowl that is half-filled with wa­ter. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 5 min­utes with the set­ting on high. Re­move the bowl. Now wipe in­side the microwave with a clean damp cloth and voila! You will have a microwave with a won­der­ful cit­rusy fra­grance.

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