Posts Tagged tomatoes
My friend, Liz, recently posted her recipe for Gazpacho. It looks wonderful but if I’m honest Gazpacho isn’t something I eat as I have an issue with cold soup. I confess I can’t really even bring myself to try it. I’ve had shots of cold soup while dining out which was fine and I wish I felt differently but a whole bowl, for a meal isn’t really for me. As I was reading Liz’ recipe I was inspired and found myself thinking that all of those lovely ingredients would make a great salad! Of course I’m not the first to have this idea but as salad is my go to lunch at the moment I thought Id try this idea out and I’m glad I did! It made a delicious, fast lunch. It was nice to have a salad without any leaves for a change!
This Gazpacho salad is made in a jiffy! Chop all of the ingredients, whisk together the dressing and its done, you have the base of a meal in just a few minutes! I left the skin on my cucumber, partly as I like it that way but I also think the crunch it adds is nice. The chilli is to my taste, it can easily be left out or increased. I used oregano as it was to hand. I will try with dill next time but I think any fresh green herb would work. To get the maximum flavor from the tomatoes use them at room temperature. This is especially important at this time of year when tomatoes are decidedly less tasty! Tomatoes stored in the fridge have no flavour. I had salmon with my salad but this Gazpacho salad is the perfect side to fish, prawns (shrimp), chicken or bread!
Gazpacho Salad (serves 2)
- 2 large tomatoes. chopped
- 3 inch piece of cucumber, chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, diced finely
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1/4 fresh chilli or some chilli flakes
for the dressing
- 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
- 2.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- some fresh oregano leaves, chopped finely
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- First assemble the ingredients for the dressing. Peel and smash the garlic clove and put into a jug or jar. Add the olive oil and vinegar and leave to sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Chop the rest of the salad ingredients and add to a bowl.
- Fish the garlic out of the olive oil and discard. Add the salt and pepper and whisk together.
- Pour over the salad ingredients in the bowl and stir well to cover all the vegetables in the dressing, check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve at room temperature accompanied with bread, salmon, chicken, or prawns (shrimp).
I love chickpeas any which way, cooked in stews and curries, cold in salad, even sprouted. This salad happened one evening when I realised I had no pitta bread to go with the falafel we were having for dinner. The tomato salad I was making now needed substantiating as it was now going to be the only thing to be served alongside the falafel, especially if I was going to try to keep my husband happy. Somehow I felt just falafel and tomatoes would be too healthy and not enough for my hard-working man! The can of chickpeas I saw in the cupboard was the answer. Happily we both liked this salad so much it has now replaced the pitta when we have falafel.
I admit the addition of kale goes in at the end only for me, that would be a healthy step too far for my green fearing husband! That is how I know that this salad also works with out the kale but it is better with it, my husband doesn’t know what he is missing! Spinach, if kale isn’t available, makes a good substitute. Chickpeas are a good source of fibre, low in fat and can help lower cholesterol levels so I’m so happy that my husband not only eats but likes this dish!
The tsp of chilli flakes make this fairly hot, use less if you don’t like so much heat.
Chickpea, Tomato and Kale Salad
- 1 can Chickpeas, drained
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, at room temperature, rinsed
- 3 Spring onions (scallions), trimmed, rinsed and sliced into small rounds
- 1 heaped tbsp Basil, rinsed and chopped finely
- a handful of Kale, rinsed and chopped into small pieces
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
- Sea Salt to taste
- Cut each cherry tomato in half and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.
- Add the spring onions, basil and the kale to the bowl.
- In a jug mix together the lemon , vinegar and olive oil until blended.
- Add the chilli flakes and salt, mix in and pour over the salad.
- Toss together and season more if necessary.
This stores really well in a Tupperware in the fridge and the recipe can be doubled to make a good make ahead lunch to take to work, the kale leaf is robust enough not to wilt too much, in fact some may prefer it a day or so after it has softened a little.
Cinco De Mayo (the 5th of May) doesn’t mean much in the UK, unless you are my cousin Celia whose birthday it is today! In America Cinco De Mayo is a holiday celebrating Mexican heritage. Growing up I remember doing the Mexican Hat Dance at school and looking forward to whacking the pinata at the end of the day, the eventual explosion of sweets/candy so exciting! We had tacos for dinner at home, it was a day of yummy food, like most celebrations!
As it is Cinco De Mayo today I thought it was the perfect day for a little salsa! This is just a few ingredients which quickly combine to make a salsa that will liven up anything from crisps to sandwiches or as a little spice on the side of your plate! Fresh salsa does not compare with the ready-made version in a jar, this will blow your taste bud socks off! It’s easily played around with if you want it hotter, milder, less onion. The olive oil isn’t essential, not traditional but, I think, adds a nice flavour and softens the sharpness of the lime and onion.
- 1 large beefsteak tomato (or 2-3 medium), chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped, seeds too if you dare
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- Splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Small handful of fresh Coriander, finely chopped
- Sea salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Add all of the chopped ingredients to a bowl and gently stir to combine.
- Test for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.
This will keep for several hours, covered in the fridge. It is best eaten on the day its made.
With the coriander used in this recipe in mind I am linking this with the Herbs on Saturday blog challengeon @KarenBurnsBooth blog Lavender and Lovage.
After a two week holiday of over eating unhealthy types of food I am in need of cleaning up my diet. All good things must come to an end! One of my favourite summer dishes is tomato salad. So easy, tasty and healthy. It goes with everything.
I first experienced tomato salad many years ago on a holiday to Greece. We were served the most delicious tomatoes and bread with every meal. This was back when mass-produced tomatoes in the UK had lost all flavour, thankfully, if you look carefully tomatoes have improved since then. I asked in one of the tavernas how they made the salad and was surprised to find only 4 ingredients, yep just tomatoes, local olive oil, salt and local oregano. This was also back in the day when you could bring litres of olive oil home in your hand luggage, which of course I did! If I can get it I like to use olive oil from the Kalamata region of Greece, its peppery taste takes me back to Stoupa every time!
I recommend having tomatoes at room temperature, the fridge kills their flavour! Any tomatoes will work, large or cherry just choose the ripest/reddest you can find, the cost doesn’t matter as long as they are good and ripe. If the basics range in the supermarket look redder than the organic, best of range then get the cheap ones! Even expensive tomatoes can be duds!
Tomato salad for 2 (easily doubled)
- 300 gram (11 oz) room temperature tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Pinch dried oregano (Greek if you can get it)
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Wash and chop the tomatoes into large chunks or is using cherry tomatoes chop in half, add to your bowl.
- Pour over the olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt, oregano and pepper.
- Stir gently and leave for a minimum of 10 minutes to let the flavours infuse. The salt will also draw the tomato juice out which is delicious for dipping bread into.
Serve with bread as a simple lunch or alongside grilled chicken or fish for a healthy main meal.