Red Peppers Stuffed with a Tomato Mixture and Topped with Griddled Halloumi Cheese (4)

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Rather a mouthful of a title but an apt description of the recipe. The red peppers are roasted in the oven and during that time the tomato mixture is cooked on the top of the stove in a skillet and the halloumi cheese is prepared, if possible, on a ridged frying pan which gives the cheese a nice striped look. When all three components are ready it is time to assemble the dish. Spoon the tomato sauce into the red pepper half and top with the griddled halloumi cheese (I can tolerate sheep’s halloumi cheese, if you can’t then omit). Can be a side dish or a vegetarian main.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2 red peppers – halved lengthways, de-seeded and de-membraned, brushed inside and out with olive oil and seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound of ripe tomatoes – skinned

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 tbsp. fresh basil – finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh oregano – finely chopped

4 slices of Halloumi cheese

Place the red peppers in the oven on a baking tray for 3/4 hour until tender .

While peppers are cooking, boil kettle of water and pour over the tomatoes. Leave for a minute and slit skin with a knife (it should curl up and then you know it is ready to peel).

When peeled, dice the tomatoes.

Ten minutes before the peppers are done place seasoned oil in a skillet and when nicely hot add the garlic and cook just until you can smell the garlic.

Add tomatoes and herbs and let simmer until peppers come out of the oven.

At the same time place the slices of halloumi cheese on a hot griddled pan and cook for a short time on each side until you have nice brown griddle marks.

Divide tomato mixture up between the four pepper halves and top with a slice of halloumi.

Serve immediately.

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Tomato and Avocado Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette (4)

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Growing up in England in the 60’s and 70’s the idea of a salad was a far cry from the salads of of today. The English salad was a handy dish because it was cold. It was sometimes served on Sunday evenings after the woman of the house had slaved over preparing Sunday lunch for the family often when the man of the house decided a few pints at the local pub was in order and he returned home only in time to take his place at the head of the table and demonstrate his carving skills. On Sunday evening a no-fuss meal of salad might be provided and of course it was a good way of using up the cold, left-over meat from lunch. A salad could also be left for the man of the house to eat if his wife had to be out in the evening. Said man didn’t have to heat¬† anything up as he was left a plate with some lettuce and slices of tomato, hard-boiled egg, cucumber and beetroot from a jar and a couple of slices of cold meat. The dressing was Heinz Salad Cream – still to be found today and, indeed, when there was talk of this product being discontinued a nostalgic furore ensued – today Heinz is still making Salad Cream!

When I came across mention of this vinaigrette the combination of flavors instantly appealed and the dressing didn’t let me down when I tossed tomato slices and chunks of avocado in it.

2 x beef tomatoes – sliced and each slice cut into quarters

1 x avocado – diced

For the dressing:

3 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 largish garlic clove – grated

1 tbsp. of chopped basil

Place the dressing ingredients in a largish bowl and whisk together so that they emulsify.

Add tomatoes and avocado and toss well together.

 

Jo’s Feta Pesto

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Pesto has been off my menu for several years but since I have recently found I can eat sheep/goat cheese happily because no cow milk is involved, I have been experimenting. I made this pesto and spooned it over baby new potatoes accompanied by thin slices of flank steak and, honestly, it was delicious.

2 cups basil leaves

2 large cloves of garlic – roughly chopped

2 oz. feta cheese – roughly chopped

1 1/2 oz. pine nuts

1 1/2 oz. chopped walnuts

1/2 cup olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper (no salt needed because of saltiness of feta cheese)

Place basil, garlic, feta, pine nuts and walnuts in a food processor.

Turn on food processor and add the oil gradually. Process until mixture is smoothish.

Season with pepper.