Posts tagged tomato

Chorizo & Butterbean Stew


his recipe is the absolute ideal for a balmy, summer provoking Monday night after work. My mind battled with the joys of staying out in the sun as long as possible and the equal craving for some kitchen relaxation that only stirring a pan with a wooden spoon can bring. Ideal for a speedy but flavoursome dinner that can be knocked up in minutes for one, for two, or for many and tomorrows leftovers.  Admittedly my holiday blues were kicking in….so the Med influence snuck back to the kitchen.

Mediterranean food is not usually my cuisine of choice but having spent last week in Corfu on a grounding, enlightening and entertaining yoga retreat (Just Relax Yoga retreats) dining on gorgeous vegetarian tapas and authentic Greek dishes, it solidified my theory that you only need just a few star ingredients to make a knock out dish. After many a beer one night in the Greek sun and a hunger like a pig on a diet, me and the yogis frantically ordered a table full of tapas. Now it may…may have been the hunger and hanger that made it more memorable but when a glutinous bowl of giant butter beans bathed and hugged in a smooth creamy tomato sauce was placed in front of me, I was in heaven. Devine. I’ll admit, the butter beans were twice the size in Greece but beggars can’t be choosers in London eh? After a week in Greece I was keen to get something similar into my regime…

Serves 2

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 400-500g chopped tomatoes (1 can or carton)
  • 150g chorizo, diced/cubed
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, light toasted then crushed
  • 1 x can butter beans, drained
  • Bunch basil and parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 x sea bream or a white fish fillet of choice.
  1. Soften the onion in a little olive oil in a saucepan for about 10 minutes until translucent and starting to caramelise.
  2. Add the chorizo and the garlic and cook for a few more minutes until the chorizo is beginning to crisp and release its oils.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, crushed fennel seed and some generous seasoning.
  4. Simmer until reduced a little for 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add the drained butter beans and heat through.
  6. Simmer until reduced to a stew like texture. Taste and season as needed.
  7. Finally add the lemon zest and herbs and stir to combine.
  8. Serve with fried or grilled fish and a scattering of leftovers herbs and lemon! (Gremolata is wanted)

Mediterranean Roasted Potato Salad


ith a holiday on the horizon it was time to use up the rest of the ingredients littering my fridge…I love this challenge.

Thats where the excellent ingredients that Odysea Greek produce come in handy – and ironically it was Greece where I would be destined for! Odysea sent me a glorious box of their devious samples last year and from this I have savoured some store cupboard gems, waiting patiently in the back of my cupboard until called upon and ready to pack a punch when called to the spotlight.

This salad was a mixture of fridge leftovers combined with a few cheeky purchases and of course, some glorious Greek flare. I used Odysea’s ‘Sun Dried Tomato Meze’ – a mixture of tomatoes, capers, and olives chopped roughly and combined in a gloriously flavoured oil. Similarily you can use the former ingredients alone and combine in your own combination but since Odysea did it so well, I figured I’d use their convenience pre-holiday….


his makes one large chunky roasted salad but feel free to sub in other ingredients to your taste. Serves around 2-3 as a side dish. I served mine with a lovely fillet of grilled sea bass, but some steamed or roasted cod with lemon and parsley would also be delicious.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 2 large potatoes, chopped
  • 1 x packet green beans
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • Bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 6 x large sun dried tomatoes (chopped), 1 handful olives (chopped), 1 tbsp capers OR 4 tbsp ‘Odysea Sun-Dried Tomato Meze
  • 10 slices thin chorizo OR 1/2 ring chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 2 handfuls rocket leaves
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Start by par boiling your potatoes for about 10 minutes until just tender. Drain, shake in a pan to rough the edges and then tip into a roasting tray. Season and drizzle over a generous coating of olive/sunflower oil. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden and crispy.
  3. Meanwhile while they roast, par-boil the green beans for a few minutes. Drain and cool them under cold water.
  4. Chop the spring onions, parsley and combine in a large mixing bowl with the  cooled beans, lemon zest, sun dried tomato mixture and season.
  5. Pan fry the chorizo in a dry frying pan until crispy.
  6. Once the potatoes are ready, remove from the oven. Top into the salad bowl with the beans and herbs. Add the chorizo.
  7. Finely, just before serving, add the rocket leaves and squeeze over the juice of half the lemon.
  8. Serve!


Mango-chilli Salsa and Halloumi

I don’t know where the first week of March has gone but I can surely say that it officially feels like spring! The suns been out and daffodils are starting to infiltrate their way onto desks and kitchen tables. Time for spring clean of the same old lunch time menu (i.e. soup) and a refreshing recipe….

Serves 2 (for a good lunch)

  • 1 mango, cut into 2cm cubes
  • About 8 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • ½ red chilli, chopped finely
  • ½ small red onion, chopped finely
  • Bunch coriander, chopped
  • Bunch mint, chopped
  • Bunch basil, chopped
  • ½ pomegranate, seeds
  • 1 lime
  • 6 slices halloumi
  • Runny honey
  • Handful sesame seeds
  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and muddle together with the juice of the lime. Season with salt and pepper. Add a splash of extra virgin olive oil
  2. Heat a frying pan until hot and add a small drizzle of oil. Fry the halloumi until golden on both sides. Turn the heat off and add a tsp of runny honey and the sesame seeds and coat the halloumi for about 30 seconds before removing from the heat.
  3. Serve the salsa topped with the warm halloumi slices.



Quinoa Salad



I love grains and pulses like quinoa, bulgur wheat and lentils. I’ve always had an appreciation for good food and using interesting ingredients, solidified even more so after painfully watching 3 years-worth of university flatmates religiously eating and buying couscous, pasta and pesto for most meals. So, I thought I’d draw attention to other grains that can offer a little more interest than couscous. Don’t get me wrong, I know couscous is cheap and goes a long way…but its not particularly nutritious. Just by mixing grains like quinoa, bulgur wheat, rice or lentils with a few tasty additions like herbs and lemon with some protein packed nuts and some greasy cheese is a healthy and hearty lunch!

Serves about 2

  • About 120g quinoa/bulgur wheat or a mix (or as pack instructs)
  • Bunch basil leaves, chopped
  • Bunch of mint leaves, chopped
  • Bunch coriander, chopped
  • ½ red onion, diced finely
  • 1 large tomato, de-seeded and diced
  • Handful of pistachios
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • Olive oil
  • Halloumi
  1. Prepare you quinoa/bulgur wheat (or even couscous?) as instructed on your pack. Usually about 10 minutes in boiling water.
  2. While still a little warm, mix with the tomato, onion, lemon juice, a small drizzle of olive oil and mix well and season to taste
  3. Add the herbs and the pistachios and mix.
  4. If serving with halloumi, fry chunky slices in a splash of oil until golden and serve alongside.

Roasted Tomato Soup



This is an extremely rustic soup which fittingly suits the weekend Autumnal lunches that are just a halloween pumpkin away from steeling the warm summer season for another year. Although it has been surprisingly warm recently….its unnerving. With enough tomatoes in the greenhouse to put the Heinz empire to shame, it was time they were used creatively. They were sacrificed and chucked in the oven and roasted with some other tomato friendly ingredients but feel free to change quantities etc to taste or add anything else you like.

Serves 3

  • 700g-1kg very ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large red onion, chopped roughly
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Large bunch of basil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

    Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  2. Simply combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic and the stalks from the basil in a large roasting tin in one even layer. Season generously and drizzle with some olive oil. Spoon oven 1-2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and roast for 20 minutes until soft.
  3. Leave to cool slightly before placing in a food processor and blitzing with the addition of the basil leaves. You can blend it as coarsely as you like.
  4. If a little thick, add a splash of hot water but the roasting juices from the tomatoes should be enough to get a soup-like consistency.
  5. Serve scattered with basil. I also used some balsamic pearls I had lurking around and some oil-soaked salty croutons…!

Tomato Consomme

This looks like a bowl of dishwater right? Maybe with a mild tomato flavour? That’s what my mum was thinking as I tried (hard) to convince her that it would taste good. A tomato consomme sounds fancy but this one is simple. It is basically (without sounding pretentious) a clear bowl of tomatoey ‘essence’ or broth that is packed full of natural punchy tomato flavour, chilled and served as a lovely soup/palate cleanser. In the hot summer months when the tomatoes are bursting and ripe it is great alternative recipe for tomatoes if you’re fed up of pesto and mozzarella.

Serves 3-4

  • 1kg ripe juicy tomatoes
  • ½ small clove garlic
  • Large bunch basil (reserve a few small leaves for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  1. Roughly chop the tomatoes and place in a food processor with the garlic, basil (including stalks), salt and pepper and the red wine vinegar and blitz until slushy. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Line a bowl with a couple of pieces of fine muslin and pour in the tomato slush.
  3. Pull together the corners and secure with a knot. Hang above the bowl and leave to juices to drip through. Hang in a cool place or in the fridge (a little impractical so where ever is easiest). Don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag, as you want it to drip naturally in order to get a really clear liquid.image
  4. Leave to drip for about 7 hours or until you think most of the juice has been collected. You can gently push the muslin if you like at this stage.
  5. Once collected, taste and add salt to taste. Pour into a clean jug and chill until needed. Serve in bowls or cups with some small purple or green basil leaves to garnish.

NOTE: This is a stripped back recipe from a Jamie Oliver interpretation where he infuses horseradish and adds a splash of vodka for a Bloody Mary inspired version.



Bloody Mary Prawn Salad

One of the reasons I have a huge but justified love of Jamie Oliver is his casual, instinctive and rustic approach to cooking which is what inspired me at a young age to cook. This recipe is just those things, rustic and casual and can be instinctively thrown together with a few alterations in flavours or ingredients that you love. Using his basic concept, I tweaked a few bits to make it the perfect starter at a recent dinner party. If you’ve got guests who enjoy fish, nothing excites and pleases them more than being presented with a platter of succulent shellfish with a tangy dressing and lemon for all. This is light and perfect to kick start the meal although in greater quantities it was all agreed we could have eaten it for mains as well…..

(Serves 6-8 as a sharing starter)

  • 2 small cos lettuce
  • 2 red chicory
  • 1 punnet cress
  • 1 large handful chopped dill
  • Celery leaves from celery tops
  • 2 ripened avocados
  • 2 slices of stale bread, cubed into croutons size
  • 400g cooked, juicy prawns
  • 200g brown shrimp
  • Crevettes (enough for one each)
  • Green lip mussels (enough for one each)
  • 200ml ‘Big Tom’ spiced tomato juice
  • 2 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 heaped tsp creamed horseradish
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Splash of vodka
  1. Clip the leaves off the lettuces so that you get ‘edible cups’ from the leaves to nestle your prawns and dressing. Scatter these over a couple of serving dishes.
  2. Scatter the prawns and brown shrimp over the top filling the cups.
  3. Make the dressing by placing the big tom juice, mayonnaise, lemon juice, horseradish, vodka, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some seasoning in a processor and blend to combine. Taste and add a touch of whatever it is lacking for your tastes like Tabasco. However, make sure it is a bit too punchy and a bit over the top as when it is combined with everything else it will be blunted slightly and hold its own.
  4. Get a griddle pan on a high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Cut the avocados into thick slices and char on the griddle, seasoning generously with salt and pepper, for a few minutes each side to warm through and soften. In another pan, heat some more oil and add your cubed bread with some seasoning and fry until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Scatter the hot avocados and croutons over the salad and prawns. Drizzle with the Bloody Mary dressing and scatter with the chopped dill, cress and celery leaves. Place the crevettes and mussels boldly on top and serve with lemon wedges as a sharing platter for an indulgent starter or light lunch…..

Gruyere and Onion tarts

This recipe (that is religiously made every year on Christmas eve in the Wardlaw house), is courtesy of Delia and has always been the most deliciously simple combination. For some reason we didn’t make it this Christmas eve, so feeling cheated I found myself whipping out a batch for a warming lunch in this Christmas provoking weather….


  • 2 eggs
  • 75ml single cream/creme fraiche
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 75g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 25g butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • Cayenne pepper


  • 175g flour
  • 75g butter
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  1. For the pastry, rub the butter and flour together and add the cheese, mustard and cayenne pepper. Add enough water to bring together to form a dough and then wrap and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease some small tart tins. Roll the pastry out thinly and line the tins. Bake the cases blind with baking beans and parchment for about 15-20 minutes until turning a pale brown. Remove the beans/parchment for the last 5 minutes to cook the base. Leave to cool in their tins while you do the filling.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sweat the onions until soft and beginning to turn a golden colour. Do this slowly to get a good flavour (about 20-30 minutes). Set aside.
  4. Mix the eggs, cream and mustard powder together in a jug adding a pinch of cayenne according to taste.
  5. Fill the tart cases with the onion and grated gruyere and fill with the egg mixture. Scatter over a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before tucking in.

I made a tomato salsa to top mine by finely chopping a mixture of coloured cherry tomatoes, some bruised thyme leaves, salt and pepper and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil. Leave to infuse and serve at room temperature atop your tarts with a green salad.

Spanish-style Fish Stew



I should really call this ‘30 minute Spanish-style fish stew’ as it really is quick. It is probably one of the most flavourful dishes you will get out of such a small amount of cooking. The spicy chorizo flavour provides a punchy character suitable for even the most headstrong bull-fighting Spaniard with delicate but robust enough chunks of meaty fish. It won’t take you hours to knock out and I frequently glam it up for dinner party occasions with extra shellfish or topped with a butter basted piece of crispy fried seabass. Alternatively, keep it hearty and rustic as I did here, which my student budget no doubt appreciated this week. I can guarantee it will leave you satisfied and happy as I feel right now writing this after a hearty bowl….

(Serves 3 generously)

  • 1 large bulb fennel or 2 small ones, halved and sliced (fronds and green tops reserved for garnish)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 100g chorizo, sliced into chunks
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 500g tomato passata
  • 1 pint hot, good fish stock
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Meaty fish e.g. Haddock/cod/monkfish or a mixture
  • (Optional) Handful of cleaned mussels/prawns/sliced squid
  • Croutons to serve
  • Flat leaf parsley to serve
  1. Begin by heating some olive oil in a large casserole dish. Gently sweat the chopped onion and fennel for about 15 minutes over a low heat until soft and beginning to caramelise.
  2. Add the fennel seeds and fry for a few minutes to release the flavour and then add the garlic.
  3. Add the sliced chorizo and cook just until the oils begin to be released.
  4. Turn up the heat and de-glaze the pan with the white wine and simmer away for a few minutes.
  5. Add the tomato passata and the fish stock and stir to combine.
  6. Simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened (adding more stock for a thinner base if prefered) Season to taste with salt and plenty of heavy handed black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. Cut you fish into bite sized chunks. If using mussels and prawns, add these, and the chopped fish to the hot stew and cover with a lid. Simmer gently for a matter of minutes until the prawns are pink, the mussels are open and the fish is just starting to flake.
  8. Serve in oven warmed shallow bowls, garnished with chopped flat leaf parsley, the chopped fennel fronds and a handful or crispy croutons.

Alternatively serve with some fresh french bread, sourdough croutons and punchy rouille (see here). This is also lovely served at a dinner party glammed up with more shellfish and squid and topped with individual pieces of crisp fried seabass fillets.

WINE: Absolutely delicious served with one of the countries crispy whites – try this Lagar de Cervera, 2014 Albariño, Galicia available at Armit Wines.



WINE: Absolutely delicious served with one of the countries own crisp whites – try this Lagar de Cervera, 2014 Albariño, Galicia available at Armit Wines

Jess - Albarino