IF tomatoes be the food of life, read on... Because this week we are celebrating all that is great about the deliciously sweet red vegetable.

From Monday (May 19) to May 25 it is officially British Tomato Week, so what better time to take revisit old recipes we know and love, and think of a few new ones too.

A household vegetable, the tomato is an essential ingredient in cooking not just at home but across the continents, from cuisine to cuisine.

But, they are often overlooked as a ‘basic’, when really they are the oxygen of the food world.

What would ketchup, pasta sauce, ragu, ratatouille, salsa, soup or simply salad be without tomatoes?

An unlikely match of healthy and comforting, the possibilities for this versatile veg are endless.

Not simply because there are so many kinds and colours within the tomato world itself. Whether it’s plum, cherry or beef, there’s a tomato for any occasion.

Head to Powells Greengrocers, Sedbergh, to get your tomatoes. They have mini plums at 69p for a 250g punnet, cherry tomatoes on the vine at £1.70 for 1lb and normal salad tomatoes at 84p for 1lb.

Why not try out their Wye Valley at £2.50 a bunch. Roast the two together, drizzle balsamic vinegar over and crumble goats cheese on top.

Country Harvest, Ingleton, have Cumbria-based Silver and Green’s sun-blushed tomatoes at £1.75 per 100g. These semi-dried tomatoes in sunflower oil are ideal with drinks and olives.

Why not follow their advice and roast them with courgettes and sweet peppers and serve on a bed of pasta with mozzarella on top?

For a non-vegetarian option chop up some chorizo or sausage and roast those too. Get your sausages from Bowland Bridge Stores.

They have cumberland and pork sausages from their own farm just a mile up the road from the shop, which range from £2.95-£5. To make more of a sauce, grab a jar of Suma passata at £1.19 for 690g.

If you have any sausage left, chop them up and make a rich and warming cassoulet.

Cook this classic French haricot bean and tomato-based stew using a Gressingham duck at £14.99 per kilo from Steadmans Butchers, back in Sedbergh.

They also have Aberwen, a tasty Welsh cheddar at 89p per 100g.

For the casssoulet, add maple cured back bacon from Greenlands Farm Village, Carnforth, priced at £2.99 for 454g.

Alternatively, use the sausages and bacon for a traditional English fry up and enjoy with the usual tomato ketchup, or make some of your own.

If you’re wanting hassle free, try Swiss style pork meat balls in Italian tomato sauce at £2.49 for a tray. The pork is locally sourced and the packs themselves are made up at Greenlands.

Peter Hutchinson, Greenodd, have a side of Herdwick mutton at £40, which can be cut to customer requirement. They also have lamb chops at £11 per kilo.

Take inspiration from the Middle East, Morocco or India and create a delicious rich and tomato-based curry, tagine or sauce.