Tomato Time

By Andrew Quigley

Jan 12, 2022

Tomato Time

Is it just me or does fictional food always sound so damn tasty?


Reading is hungry work - especially when the author starts waxing lyrical about the character's fantasy dinner. Even when Game of Thrones characters are digging into a sheep stew I think it's gotta be better than my dinner.

I mean, Edmund risked it all for the White Witch's Turkish Delight...that's gotta be the bomb. Frodo and Sam trekked across Middle Earth on Lembas bread - Weetabix eat your heart out.

What is the ultimate fictional food? Reply to this email and I'll feature the top 5 in next week's Nibble.


P.S. Mine is 'Popplers' from Futurama - until you find out that they're alien babies 🤢

This week's tip: Tomato Time!

from Kerth Gumbs, former head chef of Ormer Mayfair


Is there anything more soul-destroying that chopping loads of cherry tomatoes? Especially when you've got something burning in the pan.

This tip will CHANGE THE GAME. Hold a handful of tomatoes steady against the chopping board with your palm, and chop sideways while applying gentle downward pressure.

If you're worried about your arteries, use a plastic lid like in the pic above.


Disclaimer - Neither me nor Banquist are responsible for your arteries.

This week's recipe: the ultimate baba ganoush

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi...bastardized by Banquist HQ.


This is a favourite at Banquist HQ. This weekend the Banquist boys are having a BBQ and it will absolutely feature as one of the first things to make it on the table. Serve with toasted pitta and watch grown adults fight over mushy aubergine.

​Serves 10

  • 6 aubergines
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 2 lemon
  • 3 tbsp thick natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 big handfuls chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of paprika

  1. Preheat oven to 180.
  2. Wrap your garlic in tin foil with a glug of olive oil and a big pinch of salt.
  3. Cut aubergines in half lengthways, score flesh, and place cut-side down in a roasting tray.
  4. Put both the garlic and aubergine in the oven for 50 mins.
  5. Once cooked, peel away the aubergine skin and squeeze the flesh in your hands to get the water out. Put the flesh into a mixing bowl and squeeze in the roasted garlic. Add the juice of 2 lemons (careful not to make it too sloppy) and your yoghurt.
  6. Stir in the rest of your ingredients. If you want to be extra fancy, finish the top with a dash of parsley/dill, paprika, and olive oil.

Your questions answered

by Theo Randall, Michelin-Starred magician behind the Banquist pasta course

"Please pleeaase help my poached eggs! I just end up with wispy whites and boiled yolks!" from Josh


There's about a million tips on how to poach an egg, and there's lots of really detailed guides on the internet so I'm not going to tell you stuff you already know.

But here's a sneaky tip that not many people know, and should fix the 'wispy whites' problem.

There's 2 main parts to the egg white - the inner and outer albumen. It's the watery outer albumen that goes all wispy and foamy when you're poaching eggs. The fresher the egg, the thicker the albumen, and the better it is for poaching.

Before poaching, crack the egg into a sieve and let the outer albumen drain through for a few mins. The inner albumen clings much closer to the yolk, giving a better result when poaching.

This week's recommendation

We're sticking with the egg theme this week!

Big, dense yolks are so important when cooking. Whether your poaching eggs or making pasta, it's the rich yolk that does all the heavy lifting. You're looking for fresh eggs with a big yolk to white ratio.

Clarence Court is head and shoulders above anything else that's available in the supermarket. They feed their birds a vegetarian, enriched diet which results in an outstanding yolk. Not to mention the fact the hens have a bloody great time frolicking about totally free range.

It's a bit more expensive that your average egg, but worlds apart in quality.

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