Entries in tomato (26)

Friday
Sep072012

aubergines with tomatoes and coriander 

 

last week i had four aubergines that needed using up. thankfully i remembered this wonderful nigel slater dish, which used up half of them.

he describes it as a “hot, clean and vibrant, a mouth-popping stew for scooping up with soft warm naan, or rice” and it is the sort of dish that i can easily become obsessed with – i think i made it weekly when i first found the recipe (back in 2003 apparently) and go through phases when i remember it and overindulge then need a break.

aubergines can be tricky and this is the first dish that i remember making which cooks them quite quickly and still tastes delicious – previously i’d had problems with quick-cook dishes and had decided that long and slow was the way forward. i think part of the reason this dish works so well as “a quick dish” is because the aubergines are salted and set aside for half an hour before rinsing and then cooking. traditionally aubergines were salted to draw out bitter juices, which is something that modern varieties don’t need. however, it does soften them and this is why it’s a step worth keeping in with some recipes (this being a prime example).

the chillies i used in this were fierce which meant i needed to add some greek yoghurt to cool things down. whether or not you need or want to do the same is up to you. ideally i’d make it without.

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Friday
Aug312012

a special mozzarella and tomato salad

the buffalo mozzarella and vine tomato salad that i had at the little gloster has been on my mind a lot. thankfully a version of it has also been on my table a lot over the past week.

at the heart of this dish are three things:

  • rich, creamy buffalo mozzarella - or you could use burrata for a double-dose of indulgence.
  • delicious tomatoes - not so easy to find with the dreadful weather we’ve had (my tomato bushes have barely got going this year) but i’ve been using isle of wight oak-roasted tomatoes to bump the flavour of the dish as  whole (slow-roasted or sunblush would also do the trick).
  • a dressing of lemon zest, chopped fresh mint, chopped red chilli, a little garlic (i’ve used smoked garlic or black garlic to soften the flavour) plus good olive oil

sometimes i’ve added a few dressed salad leaves and other times i’ve left it just as tomatoes and mozzarella. if you can manage it, don’t use all the mozzarella or dressing as these, left overnight to marinate, make a wonderful toast topping.

and if you want another recipe for tomato and mozzarella salad, try this version, which is oomphed up with  parmesan, mint, basil and tomato jam.

Wednesday
Aug012012

slow-roasted lamb with mediterranean vegetables and feta

this is the perfect dish for a hot sunny day when you really don’t want to have to put too much effort into knocking up something delicious. it was inspired by a picture i saw in a magazine and is very simple to make.

slow roasted lamb is the starting point – i used neck (which has the advantage of being cheap) which was roasted with onions, garlic, lemon and herbs. having said that, i have plans to repeat this dish next weekend, when our house has filled up with olympic visitors, using a shoulder of lamb. you can also use leftovers – just wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven, i don’t think the meat needs to be particularly hot.

about 40 minutes before the meat is ready and you want to eat, put a tray of chunked mediterranean vegetables into the oven – aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, peppers, fennel were my choices. season with salt, pepper and a few chilli flakes plus the juice of a lemon (add the lemon to the tray as well, sliced into centimetre pieces – it will caramelise and add a lovely flavour) and olive oil.

once everything is ready i piled the vegetables onto a serving platter, topped with the lamb (take it off the bone if you use a leg or shoulder), plus crumbled feta cheese, grated lemon zest and some shredded mint and/or basil. serve with a green salad, some hummus and flat breads, for scooping everything up.

Monday
Apr092012

salmon with cherry tomatoes and black garlic

this pasta dish was just lovely when we had the recent spell of mild sunny weather. i marinaded some salmon in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and then grilled it until it was just cooked. the flaked salmon and its juices were mixed with chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, black garlic (roasted would also be nice), a little red chilli and some pasta. add extra olive oil or lemon juice to taste and then tuck in.

Monday
Mar122012

spring salmon with lemon, basil and broccoli

the weather in london was wonderful this weekend – bright, mild and dry which meant i got to spend a couple of hours in the garden, tidying it up after several wintery months of neglect. and then we had a late lunch, outside, while we enjoyed the final bits of sunshine – so exciting to be eating in the garden again!

this dish was inspired by a lovely lunch that friends cooked for us last week. in an ovenproof dish i put chopped chilli and garlic, tenderstem broccoli, chunks of red peppers, cherry tomatoes, the juice of a lemon plus the squeezed lemon cut into chunks, a couple of chopped anchovies, some capers, a handful of basil leaves plus a glug of both white wine and olive oil. oh, and some black pepper.

i cooked this for 10 minutes at 180c and then added my salmon, which was wrapped in smoked pancetta, and cooked it for another 15 minutes. a final few minutes under the grill to crisp up the pancetta and it was done. serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.