Two Tomato Dish with Red Peppers (serves 4)

Two Tomato Dish with Red Peppers (serves 4)

Roasting the cherry tomatoes is the only real cooking needed. The other ingredients – roasted red peppers in garlic and oil and sun-dried tomatoes – come from jars. This recipe can be served hot or cold and makes a fully-flavored side dish or you can serve it under fish. I think you could also add black olives.

So this idea of mine is not so much a recipe as a suggestion of ingredients which combine to make something tasty – it is the sun-dried tomatoes that really boost the taste.

Roast 1 dry pint of cherry tomatoes tossed in seasoned olive oil until the skins are slightly blackened and bursting.

Remove from oven and add some chopped, drained sun-dried tomatoes and some red peppers marinated in oil and garlic and cut into strips.

Combine all together and serve warm (could put back into oven for a short time) or leave to cool.

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Tricolor Melon Salad (serves 4 )

Tricolor Melon Salad (serves 4)

A summer fruit salad that is really light and refreshing and captures the essence of summer. The lime juice adds an extra dimension and is not sharp at all as it blends with the melon juices. Serve for lunch or dinner, take along to a picnic and I also eat it for breakfast.

Just take an equal amount of ripe watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melons and chop into small chunks.
Pour over juice of 1/2 a lime and mix well together.
Cover and let stand for a while so flavor develops.

Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Soup (serves 4)

Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Soup (serves 4)

I needed to poach a couple of chicken breasts so I boiled a kettle full of water (4 cups) and added carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, a handful of parsley and salt and pepper – basically all these vegetables were in my fridge and needed using up. When the chicken breasts were cooked I leg them cool in the broth. Then I set the chicken aside, took the bay leaves and parsley out of the broth and transferred the rest of the broth to a food processor. Finally I added a can of cannellini beans (next time I will soak dried cannellini beans ahead of time to reduce the sodium content) and seasoned the soup with some celery salt. I re-heated the soup later that day for dinner (it is a real comfort food soup).

The nice thing about this recipe is that you get two healthy recipes out of one process and the chicken tastes better because it was not just poached in water and the broth tastes better because the chicken adds a certain flavor too. You can make the broth any time you poach chicken and use as a basis for an endless variety of soups.

2 x chicken breasts
4 cups boiling water
2 carrots – sliced
3 stems of celery – sliced
1 medium onion – cut into 1/8ths
Handful of parsley
3 x bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 x can of cannellini beans – drained

Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the chicken breasts.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Let chicken and broth cool before removing the chicken.
Remove parsley and bay leaves from broth.
Process the rest of the broth in a food processor.
Add cannellini beans.
Add a pinch of celery salt.
Re-heat soup thoroughly before serving.