Mediterranean New Potatoes (serves 4)

Mediterranean New Potatoes (serves 4)

This dish can be eaten hot or cold and can be a nice side dish for any meat or fish or else can be a stand alone potato salad.

Just boil 3/4 pound potatoes until cooked.

Place 1/2 cup passata/tomato puree 1/4 cup veg broth/stock, 1 tbsp. chopped sundried tomatoes and 8 black olives – pitted and finely chopped in a saucepan. Bring passata mixture to boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over potatoes.

Advertisements

New Potatoes Bravas (serves 4 as a side dish)

New Potatoes Bravas (serves 4 as a side dish)

Potatoes Bravas are popular as a Spanish tapas, in which case I think I would serve them with toothpicks. But, they could easily be a fiery little side dish. New potatoes are a good choice as they don’t become mushy. I found a jar of Calabrian Chiles in Oil at Williams Sonoma and they are well worth it as they will last for ages – a little goes a long way. Can also be added to sauces, pizza sauce. Think you could find something similar at Italian delis under names such as Crushed Hot Chili Peppers or Dried Hot Peppers in Oil. The Calabrian chiles are also know as pepperoncini, but I am talking about the red ones not the green ones. Anyway, long story short, if you don’t have any I would substitute some red pepper flakes and Tabasco – go easy and taste and add more until you get the ‘hotness’ you like.

The other special ingredient is Smoked Paprika (mine is labelled Smoked Picante Paprika). It is different from regular paprika – the smoky flavor smells delicious. I shall be using it in many recipes from now on. The Spanish use it in paella, for example.

8 oz new cooked new potatoes

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 of a large onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – finely chopped

1 teasp. Smoked Paprika

1/2 teasp. Calabrian Chiles in oil (taste sauce and add more if needed)

Cut new potatoes in half

Add oil to skillet and when sizzling add onion.

After a few minutes add garlic.

When onions are softened add smoked paprika and Calabrian chiles and cook for 5 minutes.

Pour sauce over new potatoes and mix well.

1/2 teasp.

Roasted Tomato and Spinach Puree (serves 4)

Roasted Tomato and Spinach Puree (serves 4)

I bought the ripest, sweetest grape tomatoes and placed them in a roasting dish with olive oil and whole cloves of garlic. After about 30 minutes they were bursting their skins, a little browned and the tomato juices had mixed with the olive oil. They went into the food processor and produced a lovely, rich tomato sauce (you could stop at this point and just have tomato sauce). I rinsed some fresh spinach and cooked it in just the water that was left on the leaves after washing. When just cooked I laid it on a dry t-towel to absorb the water, then I added it to the tomato puree in the food processor. This puree is a really healthy side dish and can also be served on top of chicken, chicken sausage, steak or lamb too. Diluted with veg. broth/stock it might make a good soup.

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 dry pint of ripe, grape/cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic – peeled
8 oz cooked baby spinach – well rinsed

Place seasoned olive oil in a roasting dish, add tomatoes and garlic cloves and toss well.
After 15 minutes of cooking give them a good stir.
Place rinsed spinach in a skillet or cast iron casserole dish with a lid and cook for a few minutes until tender.
Place tomatoes in food processor and when nice and smooth add the spinach.

Okra Ratatouille (serves 4)

Okra Ratatouille (serves 4)

Have only cooked okra once or twice and not memorably! Have eaten it cooked by other people and it was delicious, so I had another go at it. The key is not to boil it as it will become very slimy. It is better with other ingredients as it is not very flavorsome by itself. This dish can be eaten hot or cold, as a sidedish, as a vegetarian meal by itself or in an omelette. I spiced it up with red pepper flakes and harissa paste. I used roasted red peppers from a jar.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion – finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic – finely chopped
1 x carton of Pomi crushed tomatoes (26.5 oz/750g)
2 cups vegetable broth/stock
1/2 pound of okra – topped, tailed and sliced
2 x red peppers (equivalent from a jar) – sliced
1 tbsp. harissa paste
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Heat oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onion and garlic, turn down heat and cook till onion is softened.
Add crushed tomatoes and veg. broth/stock and stir.
Add sliced okra, red peppers, harissa paste and red pepper flakes, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovies (serves 4)

Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovies (serves 4)

Anchovies and cauliflower are a great pairing – only thought of it because I had half a tin of anchovies left over (funny how recipes seem to only require a few anchovies and you are left wondering what on earth to do with the rest – other than repeat the recipe!).
I also had half a left over cauliflower. So I roasted the florets (which had been tossed in extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper) in the over for half an hour or so until just tender. I chopped the anchovies finely and sprinkled them over the cauliflower. So simple and so delicious. Can imagine it with roast lamb.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Tuna, Celery and Red Onion (serves 4)

Tomatoes Stuffed with Tuna, Celery and Red Onion (serves 4)

Quick, easy, healthy, portable. Take insides out of tomatoes and reserve for another occasion. Cut celery and red onion in to very small pieces. Break up tuna (I use the kind of tuna that comes in a glass jar and is packed in spring water). Mix all together with juice of half a lemon and 2 tbsp. olive oil. A bit more fiddly but could be done with cherry tomatoes.

4 x medium tomatoes – take out the middle of tomatoes and set aside to use for something else. Keep the tomato tops to put back on later.
3 x sticks of celery – finely diced
1/8 of a red onion – finely diced
1 x 6.7 oz jar of tuna (use canned if you can’t find it)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place celery, red onion and tuna in a bowl.
Pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, season and mix together well.
Divide mixture among the tomatoes and place tomato tops back on.

Jo’s Baked Beans (serves 4)

Jo’s Baked Beans (serves 4)

Most baked beans contain a lot of sugar – in a can or homemade. Unaware of this, in the past I would have them on toast or in a full English Breakfast (even, to be honest, straight out of the can!). Have experimented with making them myself and the first time they were good but not good enough. But I now have a recipe that I can share!

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x good size onion – chopped
2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
1 x 26.46 oz carton strained tomatoes (Pomi brand)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 x 15.8 oz cans of cannellini beans
4 sun-dried tomato pieces – finely chopped
1 tbsp. harissa paste

Heat oil in cast iron and when sizzling, add onion and garlic.
When softened and a little browned, add the remaining ingredients.
Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.