Firstly, I just wanted to apologise to those who receive e-mail updates of my posts. This morning it certainly seemed like I was extra keen to post this recipe and share it with you all, unfortunately, there was a minor technical glitch and it was released a little earlier than expected.
This weeks recipe really showcases the beauty and importance of using good quality tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes come from the same family as the plum tomato, I find that these particular tomatoes are slightly sweeter and have a a thicker skin adding extra texture to this dish. Additionally, I have used chicken stock as I personally find that it makes the dish taste more rich and adds a little deepness. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan or just fancy a ‘non meat’ meal do switch it up for an alternative vegetable stock; it will be just as delicious.
300ml chicken stock
7-8 San Marzano tomatoes, cut into eighths
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato puree
Pinch of salt
Ground black pepper
Start by frying the garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Add the tomatoes, fry for a couple of minutes, add the tomato puree and fry for a further minute; season with salt and pepper.
Put in the the orzo and fry with the other ingredients for 50-60 seconds.
Pour in the stock, mix again and bring to a gentle boil. Finally, drop the heat to medium- low and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes, the liquid will have reduced and the orzo is al dente.
Pesto, tomato and burrata, I’m sorry but you really can’t get much better than that?!?! Gosh my mouth is watering so much. All I can really say is just give this a go, believe me, you won’t be disappointed!
250g sweet mixed baby tomatoes- halved
Basil Pesto (can use store bought or you can make your own)
150g Burrata cheese
320g ready rolled puff pastry
For the Pesto:
4 tbsp pine nuts
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large handful of fresh basil
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt (only if needed)
Preheat the oven to 200°. Remove the puff pastry from the fridge at least half an hour before use. Unroll it onto the baking tray of choice and score a border around the pastry.
To make the pesto: place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse gently. For this particular dish I didn’t blitz the pesto until smooth as having small pieces in the pine nuts bring added bite and texture. Taste the pesto before use and only salt if it is needed as I find that the parmesan brings saltiness itself.
Spread an even layer of pesto inside the pastry border, making sure every corner and area is covered.
Evenly distribute the tomatoes, with the flat side facing upwards.
Season the tomatoes with black pepper from a grinder to add extra bite and flavour. Drizzle a little olive oil on the tomatoes and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry has risen, is gold in colour and the tomatoes are looking blistered and juicy.
Using your hands, tear apart the burrata and place around the tart.
I flipping love Shakshuka! It’s so tasty, easy to make and just looks so divine and colourful when ready.
It’s traditionally a North African, Middle Eastern recipe that consists of eggs, tomato and peppers. I’ve mixed it up a little in this recipe as I have chosen to use a combination of tomato puree and fresh tomatoes instead of the traditional tinned tomato. It’s so versatile, which is why we have a cheeky addition of mushroom here; brilliant to absorb all the juices. Also, I didn’t add it to this version but something to experiment with if that suits your taste buds are tinned artichoke hearts; I swear to you, you will not regret it; juiciness overload! You can mix this recipe up as you fancy, adding as many vegetables as you like; fantastic if you have anything that needs using up.
Shakshuka ticks all the boxes, healthy comfort food, full of nutrients, so quick and easy to make; a recipe you’ll revisit time and time again.
1 large pepper, sliced into thin strips
3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, sliced into strips
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
100g baby button mushrooms, cut into quarters or halved (depending on size)
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
On medium-low heat, fry the onion and garlic until soft and lightly browned.
Add the mushrooms, pepper, tomato and all the seasonings and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomato puree and fry for a further minute.
Pour in the water, cover and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes; allowing the liquid to reduce and thicken. Once this has happened give it a quick taste and season again with salt and pepper if required.
Make 4 wells in the mixture and crack the egg directly into it. Then cover the pan and poach until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
One of the good things about lockdown is how much more time I am spending in the kitchen. Not going to lie… I am loving it. I have reduced the amount of meat that I am having at the moment so I am trying to get more experimental with more vegetarian and vegan recipes. Below is the recipe I used for my simple chickpea curry which I served with basmati rice. Hope you enjoy 🙂
1 can of chickpeas (drained)
1/2 can of peeled plum tomatoes- chopped into pieces
Couple of handfuls of spinach
3 cloves of garlic- chopped
1tsp of grated fresh ginger
1 shallot- chopped
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1tsp of mild curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (you can add more if you’d like more spice)
In a pan put a couple table spoons of olive oil and the garlic, ginger, shallot and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes and stir occasionally.
Add the spinach and cook down until wilted.
Pour in the coconut milk and add the curry powder, cayenne and salt and pepper. Mix this together consistently for 2-3 minutes.
Then leave the curry to infuse for 10-15 minutes- stir occasionally.
Finally, remove from the heat and serve with rice.