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Entries in tomatoes (51)


lamb meatballs with peppers and feta

this was a bit of a random meal – i knew that i wanted to make meatballs and i had a plan to serve them with pitta breads, hummus, salad and pickles, but when i went shopping i got distracted and completely forgot about my plan.

so, a change of direction. a tomato and red pepper sauce flavoured with cumin and coriander, which the meatballs were cooked in after i’d grilled them for 10 minutes (turning regularly) to brown them. the meatballs were flavoured with preserved lemon, harissa, some smoked garlic and parsley and i added an egg to help bind everything together. feta scattered over the dish before it went into the oven for half an hour – covered in foil for half the time and open for the remaining 15 minutes – and all served with some lemony couscous.

the dish is based on this recipe, but much scaled back to make it quicker to pull together.


chestnut & cavolo nero pasta with ricotta


i’ve not been feeling particularly creative in the kitchen recently, relying on old favourites, not least due to the arrival of autumnal favourites such as cavolo nero, crown prince pumpkins etc. however in an attempt to shake things up i decided to put a focus on using up some of the things that have been sitting for too many months, unloved, in my cupboards.

the starting point for this dish was a pack of cooked chestnuts and jacob kennedy’s recipe for chestnut and mushroom pasta. his recipe is much more involved, requiring homemade chestnut pasta, but given this was a mid-week supper i kept things simple. i also wanted to keep it vegetarian, so swapped the original pancetta for sundried tomatoes. the end result was a richly flavoured dish, with the chestnuts and ricotta adding a creamy earthy flavour that contrasted nicely with the slow-cooked cavolo nero and savoury tomato.

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stuffed courgettes

my oversupply of fennel was accompanied by an abundance of courgettes – i got over-excited and ordered three different types and then had to work out ways to use them up! i mostly relied on this courgette and double-tomato pasta recipe, which i’m a bit obsessed with this year. however, for the round courgettes i wanted to retain and make use of their shape. stuffing them seemed to be the obvious thing to do.

i decided to keep things (mostly) vegetarian and while the scooped-out courgettes were roasting (20 mins at 200c, having rubbed with oil and seasoned their insides) i fried some shallots and garlic with the courgette flesh, some finely diced aubergines (i was making a batch of this aubergine and lentil salad so kept the ends for my courgette dish) and some nduja (this is the non-veggie component but you could easily use harissa paste or fresh chillies).

once this had softened i added some diced sundried tomatoes, a handful of toasted pine nuts and torn basil leaves. i wanted to bulk everything up a bit more so rehydrated a handful of couscous and added this to the mix. this was used to stuff the partly cooked courgette cases, with a hidden surprise of smoked mozzarella in the middle; i also topped each courgette with a little extra mozzarella (omit this, as well as the nduja, if you want a vegan version). another 15 minutes in the oven and this was ready to serve.

we ate this with anna hansen’s lemongrass braised cherry tomatoes and warm ciabatta, to mop up the tomato juices.


ofm top twenty: bacon and egg pie


another egg focused recipe, although hen’s rather than quail this time, not least because i accidently ordered a tray of 30 eggs rather than my usual box of 6! still, this margot henderson egg and bacon pie, which is part of the ofm top twenty, has made a decent dent in my stash as it uses 11 eggs.

the recipe is described as “an old school pie from new zealand: you are not a proper mother if you don't pack your kids off with bacon and egg pie for their sports day” so i was intrigued as my childhood eggy packed lunch, and much-loved it was, was my mum’s cheese and onion pie

so, how did i get on?

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new season tomatoes

i’m loving the change of season – it’s taking place slowly and feels like it is arriving very late but the fact the sun is shining, it’s feeling warm enough to open some windows and i’m able to walk around the house barefoot rather than cosied up in fluffy slippers, are all signs of good things to come.

so too is decent-tasting tomatoes. these beauties were a sneak preview of some of the deliciousness that foodari will is getting into stock, having been grown down the road from london, in kent. we had them as part of a simple salad with some wonderful croutons, buffalo mozzarella, shallots and a thyme, balsamic and red wine vinegar dressing. delicious. and, to add to the excitement, apparently the kentish asparagus harvest should be kicking off in the next week or so too…