Tag Archives: cherry tomato

Tatin of tomatoes, basil and fresh cheese

This dish was devised to make use of the sometimes quite insipid but otherwise good looking cherry tomatoes you find around the supermarket aisles in all seasons nowadays!

They look lovely in this simple tart and their taste is enhanced by the toffee flavour of the sauce they have cooked in. This is indeed a savoury take on the all too traditional Tarte Tatin. You need to cook it in a pan that can both go on the hob and in the oven. I use a cast iron Le Creuset one with small side handles.

You will bake it with the crust up and then put a large plate over and turn it upside down to present it with the crust down! No need for Houdini’s skills: this is quite a simple manoeuvre  if your pan is not too heavy.

Ingredients list:

  • Cherry tomatoes, 500g
  • Roll of puff pastry (all butter)
  • Sugar, 1 Tbsp
  • Wine vinegar, 3 Tbsp
  • Mixed herbs such as thyme, rosemary or fennel seeds
  • Basil leaves
  • Grated parmesan
  • Black pepper to taste
Herbs and tomato tart

Herbs and tomato tart

Melt some butter and olive oil with one spoonful of sugar: Get it to a light caramel point. Chuck some wine vinegar in and reduce.

Fry the tomatoes in the caramel, whole, and leave them to steep for auntil soft. Cut some basil leaves over, grate the parmesan and add a little pepper. Shake the herbs all over.

You can also put a few dollops of fresh ricotta or goat cheese around the tomatoes. This stage is optional and the version shown on the picture did not include this: In fact you can modulate the Tatin theme by serving it with fresh cheese on the side, as you would serve an apple Tatin with fresh cream.

Lay the sheet of puff pastry over, tucking the sides in like a traditional tatin.

Bake for 30 min at 18O until nice and brown.

This I made several times this season for dinner parties and it’s always turned out   pretty and tasty. All you ever want dinner party food to be!

Perfect gems

Perfect gems

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Roast monkfish in pancetta corset

Monkfish is a bit of a luxury but it is the most delicious fish and has NO bones, making it one of the best choices for families. This recipe is super simple and looks brilliant!

Monkfish tail in its bright corset

Ingredients list:

  • Monkfish tail
  • Enough pancetta slices to cover it up
  • Ground pepper
  • cherry tomatoes, a baker’s dozen!
  • ground pepper
  • a little olive oil
Get the fishmonger to remove the skin.
Lay the tail in an oven proof dish and warm the oven.
Wrap it in several strips of bacon or pancetta.
Scatter clean cherry tomatoes around.
Drizzle a little olive oil, season with pepper.
Put in a hot oven (180°) for 15 minutes max – depending on size.
Best way is to carve it like a roast, in thick slices.
Nutrition note: Fish is a very healthy source of protein. This is lean and full of vitamin Bs, omegas, phosphorus and selenium. So great against ageing!

>Roasted cod loins with cherry tomatoes

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I love fish but these days you are sometimes made to feel somewhat guilty for advocating such irresponsible tastes… So to get to the bottom of it (no pun intended), I went to see the amazing Natural History museum current exhibition “The Deep”  and immediately afterwards searched the Internet for the Marine Conservation Society which is responsible for updating a list of “dos and donts”  on http://www.endoftheline.com. Consulting their Good Fish guide, I was happy to learn that being a responsible shopper does not mean you have to forgo fish altogether but just that you need to be informed of what to buy when and from where.

Ingredients list:
Wild caught Pacific cod (The Atlantic one is scarcer so caution is advised when buying it)
(Choose firm loins – 200g per person)
4 streaky bacons
A spoonful of pesto
Ditto for Harissa (chilli paste)
Handful of fresh parsley and coriander
Juice of one lemon
Handful of roasted cherry tomatoes
Chopped sun-dried tomatoes
8 to 10 cherry tomatoes

This is quick and needs to be messy so don’t hesitate to use your hands: Smear the fish loins with pesto and Harissa, sprinkle the herbs and baste generously with the lemon juice. Especially if you have been a bit too keen on the Harissa.

Wrap the streaky bacon around each piece of loin, put in an ovenproof dish and scatter the tomatoes around. Sprinkle a bit of olive oil and pop into the oven (grill mode) for 10 minutes max- More if cooking from frozen. The dish comes out with a lovely, spicy sauce and melting tomatoes, infused with all the flavours of the sea…

Enjoy the healthiest protein around with a clear conscience.

Soba salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers

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If you have enjoyed my Soba Salad with King Prawns, you will love this mediterranean vegetarian take on it!


Ingredients list:
Soba noodles (buckwheat japanese noodles)
Whole cherry tomatoes 5 to 6
Red pepper 1
Avocado 1
cucumber 1/2
spring onion 1
Soya sauce 2 tsp
Crushed ginger 1 small bite
Pressed garlic 1 clove
Rice vinegar
Rapeseed oil
Fresh chopped basil
Optional: dried seaweed Hijiki for decor (pre-soaked)

First boil the Soba noodles 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse under cold water. They must be still firm but cooked.

Fry your cherry tomatoes and sliced red pepper in a wok or cast iron pan with a spoonful of rapeseed oil. Throw in the drained pasta, season with soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger or 5 spices. Shake around the wok until coated with the sauce and warm.
Reserve and start dicing the avocado, chopping the cucumber in strips (ideally with a mandolin or grater) and slicing the spring onion finely lenghtwise.

Assemble all the vegetables in a dish then throw the noodles in and season with some more soya sauce and crushed ginger, the pressed garlic and  rice vinegar. Add a dash of olive or sesame oil if too dry. The salad must be generously dressed and have a certain bite! Tear some basil into it and serve at room temperature or cold.

>Filo pie with tofu and cherry tomatoes

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This is a simple dish full of the tastes and colours of summer, for when you only have 20 minutes in the kitchen.

Ingredients list:
Filo pastry (several sheets)
Tofu 200g
Ricotta 125g
1 egg
Passata a small glass
30 or so Cherry tomatoes
Anchovies
Basil, coriander
Olive oil

Lay several sheets of Filo into a pie dish. I use about 5 or 6 of them and overlap each layer. Brush with a bit of olive oil.

Mix the tofu and 1/2 a tub of ricotta or 125 g. Blend in one egg, a small glass of Passata or crushed tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the mix inside the pie and arrange the halved cherry tomatoes on top. Decorate with a generous amount of cured anchovies. Add some basil, coriander and a few sun-dried tomatoes if you have them. Fold the sheets edges back onto the pie and sprinkle with  a small spoonful of olive oil before putting in a hot oven (250°C) about 20 min.

Nutrition notes:
A low fat dish full of good quality protein (in the tofu) and vitamins, it is perfect if you are watching your waistline pre-bikini season and the taste is VERY indulgent!
I love using filo instead of more robust pastry in my pies because you get the taste without the calories and it looks dainty and festive on the table.