Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

When I was at school Mama used to make this regularly over summer when there were more tomatoes in the garden than we could possibly eat. Although somehow, prepared this way, you can always eat more...

A simple, fool-proof meal that is bound to be a favourite.

Slice ripe tomatoes in half or quarters.
Add a good amount fresh basil, chopped garlic, chilli, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle with a healthy amount of extra virgin olive oil.
Bake in a moderately low oven until perfectly caramelised - this usually takes a couple of hours.

Serve with pasta or a crusty sour-dough loaf, which is particularly good for soaking up every skerrick of flavour.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pear and Rocket Salad

This is one of Mama’s many amazing salads. Originally a 'napkin recipe' copied down while dining at a cafe, it has since become one of many favourites. 

It's quick and delicious and can be easily varied depending on your taste and what you might have available. At times, I swap the pear for apple, parmesan for fetta, and for those non-vegetarians, it’s great with crispy baked prosciutto.

So, here it is...

Baby rocket (or a rocket and spinach mix)
Pears, sweet but still firm, cut into narrow wedges
Shaved parmesan (I prefer crumbled fetta)
Candied walnuts (or mixed nuts)
Crispy prosciutto (optional)

Spiced pear paste (or quince paste)
Verjuice (or ½ lemon juice, ½ white wine vinegar)
Macadamia nut oil
Salt and pepper
(Add a little water to thin if necessary)

Candied Walnuts
Lightly toast nuts in sauté pan.
When hot, add some brown sugar and a little butter.
Stir until sugar and butter start to congeal, being careful not to burn the butter.
Set aside to cool and then break apart.

If you’re adding the prosciutto, gently fry the prosciutto in a non-stick pan with a little ghee until golden.
Set aside to cool then gently break apart. 

Bon appetit!