A Classic Italian Marinade for Courgettes.

Courgettes with Italian Marinade

London, 10th August 2013 – Our allotment is finally full of vegetables and fruits. It was very hard work to prepare the ground and then cultivate, weed and water the plot. I feel very happy when I look at the results of our work.

Courgettes are often abundant in allotments and this is my favourite recipe. You can use marinated courgette slices in many different dishes. I serve them room temperature, either as an antipasto (starter) with bruschetta, as a side dish or as a main. Try them combined with fresh mozzarella cheese, or add a little more chopped parsley and oil and make a quick pasta dressing!

If you wish to make a healthier version try to grill or barbecue the courgette slices.

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Italian Aubergine Balls are a delicious alternative to traditional meatballs: I serve them with tomato sauce and spaghetti

Italian Aubergine Balls and Spaghetti

London, 18th July 2013 – Aubergine balls provide a good alternative to traditional meatballs. I like to serve them with a simple onion and tomato sauce, pasta and fresh basil.

 Italian Aubergine Balls

There are many different versions of this dish. Some people fry the aubergine cubes before shaping them into a ball, others bake the aubergine until soft. Aubergines absorb a huge amount of oil when they are fried and shrink considerably when they are baked. I decided to boil them and then fry the aubergine balls in a frying pan with a minimum amount of oil.

 Italian Aubergine Balls

The result is an aubergine ball with a soft centre and a mouth watering crispy crust.

Cooking with Herbs

I’m entering this recipe into the July’s Cooking with Herbs Challenge (Herbs on Saturday) which is organised by Karen from Lavender and Lovage.

 

 

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Salad with Fried Polenta Squares and a few cooking tips – Morrisons’ World Food Range review.

Salad with Fried Polenta Squares

London, 08th July 2013 – Morrisons is extending its World Food category and introducing new Mediterranean food and drink including Dina Mediterranean flat breads. I have been asked to visit my local supermarket and review their products.

Morrisons productsI was glad to find my favourite store cupboard essentials: I use Semolina Coarse when cooking pizza or focaccia bread. I sprinkle it over the baking tray before rolling the dough onto the tray. The Semolina prevents the dough from sticking to the baking tray and it also adds a pleasant crunch to the crust texture. I use Semolina Fine to make eggless homemade pasta.

I found potato starch (called Farina) which is often used in Italian baking. I usually replace about 20% of the flour with potato starch. This makes cakes soft and fluffy.

I also bought Cornmeal fine polenta. This type of flour is ideal for preparing a quick-cooking Italian polenta. Traditional slow-cooked polenta (made with no pre-cooked polenta flour) is mainly eaten warm with a topping, while instant polenta tastes better if it is fried, baked or grilled, after simmering. I fried a few pieces and added to a salad (pictured above). This was a delicious light lunch: fresh salad combined with crunchy polenta squares.

Disclosure: I received a voucher from Morrisons to buy the World Food products to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Slow-roasted tomatoes: Crispy on the outside and moist and succulent in the middle with fresh herbs on top.

slow-roasted tomatoes with herbs

London, 22nd May 2013 – This is the British Tomato week and I celebrate it by posting a tomato recipe. British growers put time and effort into growing this amazing fruit which likes dry and sunny weather.

tomatoweek2013 In Britain tomatoes are mainly grown in glasshouses, where the desired sweetness is obtained by ripening fully on the plant before harvesting.

I also grow my own tomatoes and my young plants are ready to be moved into the glasshouse. I will also plant a few tomatoes plants outside and hope for a dry, sunny British summer…

young tomato plants

These roasted tomatoes are crispy on the outside and moist and succulent in the middle. In order to obtain this result I slow-roasted the tomatoes in the oven at 140 degrees without using the fan mode and being very careful not to overcook them. The roasting time depends on the tomato size; for this recipe I used tomatoes with a diameter of 6 cm, and I roasted them for two and a half hours.

slow roasted tomatoes with herbs

The topping is a flavoursome spread made with many herbs blooming in my garden at the moment, and with Mediterranean sundried tomatoes and capers.

Slow-roasted tomatoes are perfect for a tasty and elegant starter. Any leftovers can be roughly chopped used as a pasta condiment with a bit of oil and plenty of Parmesan for lunch the next day.

I enter this recipe into the May Herbs on Saturday challenge which is organised by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and this month is hosted by Anneli over at Delicieux.

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Disclosure: I have no affiliation with the British Tomato Association and all opinions expressed here are mine.

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