I was musing on the lazy gardener's dream one day and found myself musing out loud on Twitter.....
Twitter is such fun - thank you Mr. Welford and littlerobbergirl - and inspirational too - today I did try a gooseberry lasagne!!
Stew's stated position on food is that he won't eat anything that's been in the ground! But when he tells me that he doesn't want pudding in his first course he's often not joking any more. So I set about making our usual vegetable lasagne for tea (fairly standard lasagne; onions, peppers, courgettes, aubergine, chillies and tomatoes layered with lasagne sheets and a white sauce and topped with cheddar cheese) but before I added the tomatoes I set aside a portion of the vegetable mixture for my experiment.
I'm not crazy - or original! Gooseberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to mackerel, Jane Grigson described cooking gooseberries with veal and you can find gooseberry salsa recipes online (although these are sometimes asking for cape gooseberries which are at least in the same botanical family as tomatoes - unlike the true gooseberry).
Here are my cold-hardy perennial tomatoes!
Ribes uva-crispa - the gooseberry
I can't quite bring myself to show you the photo of the uncooked vegetable sauce with the gooseberries because it turned a rather upsetting shade of blancmange pink. But here is the finished result...
Here's the tomato one for comparison...
A taste comparison? Well you won't be surprised to hear that gooseberries don't taste like tomatoes, not even when cooked up in a lasagne - but on its own terms it tasted good to me - a little fruity admittedly (strangely apple came to mind rather than gooseberry!) but none the worse for that - quite good grub! Stew had a taste - to be fair I have to report that he didn't agree.
So I guess the search for a cold-hardy perennial tomato will have to go on. Now I do have a friend who says cooked rosehips are the thing for a 'just-like-tomato' flavour - rosehip lasagne anyone?
N.B. I sell a range of perennial vegetable plants on my website.