Heirloom Tomato Salad

I can't resist a colourful display of heirloom tomatoes, their pretty tones and knobbly shapes tempt me so. Summer time is the best time for tomatoes of any description as they are at their sweetest & juiciest. In Ireland it's really the only time of year that you will get any kind of a crop from your garden or greenhouse. I have a few pots growing in my patio garden at present but am yet to reap the rewards. I will definitely revisit this recipe once again once my home crop appears.

HeirloomTomatoSalad

Ingredients:

 

  • 500g heirloom tomatoes, a mix of colours, shapes and sizes
  • 1 ball buffalo mozzarella
  • Sea-salt and black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh oregano, torn

 

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Sea-salt and black pepper

 

Method:

 

  1. Lay the tomatoes out on a serving platter. Tear the mozzarella into bite size pieces and scatter over the top of the tomatoes.

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, sea-salt and black pepper together. Pour the dressing over the top of the salad.

  3. Scatter the torn oregano over the top and serve.

 

 

Shakshuka

If you haven't yet heard of Shakshuka or Shakshouka, it is a Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It's a great breakfast or brunch to serve a large number of people as you can bring the pan to the table and have everyone serve themselves. The tomato sauce is delicious for dipping and is also full of lycopene which is a potent antioxidant. It's one of those dishes that you seem to be able to whip up when you think you have 'nothing' to eat apart from a box of eggs & a few other store cupboard ingredients. It's a firm favourite in my house! 

  Serves 5

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red chilli, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3 handfuls of kale, washed and torn
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 5 free-range eggs

Method:

  1. Heat a little olive in a large frying pan or skillet. Add the onion, garlic, chilli and spices and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the kale and cherry tomatoes, continue to cook until the kale has wilted.
  2. Add the tinned tomatoes, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Create 5 small dips in the sauce in which to place the eggs, then crack them in carefully. Cover the pan and continue cooking for about 8 minutes or until the eggs are nicely cooked through.
  4. Serve with some crusty sourdough bread drizzled with a little olive oil.

Rye Pumpernickel Avocado Toast

Avocado toast has really been having a moment over the past year or so, from Pinterest pictures to brunch menu's. It's really quick and easy to throw together and contains lots of good fats stemming from the avocado. The radish sprouts used in this version also provide some extra nutrients, including Vitamin C & B Vitamins. Feel free to mix up the toppings, adding anything that tickles your fancy. This is something I have regularly for lunch, if you're making ahead to take in your lunch-box just make sure to use plenty of lemon juice over the avocado to stop them from discolouring.

Rye+pumpernickel+avocado+toast

Serves 1 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 avocado, peeled and de-stoned
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 radishes, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • Handful of radish sprouts
  • 1 slice rye pumpernickel bread, cut in half and toasted
  • Sea-salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of olive oil

Method:

  1. Mash the avocado and mix through the chilli flakes and coriander.
  2. Spread the mashed avocado over the toasted pumpernickel bread.
  3. Scatter over the radish, spring onions and radish sprouts.
  4. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with sea-salt and black pepper to taste.

Pea & Mint Soup

Pea & mint soup is the perfect Summer soup, light, fresh and full of flavour.  It makes for a great light meal or starter. Peas are full of fibre which helps you feel full and regulates blood sugar levels so you don't have blood sugar crashes and crave sugary foods. Peas are also a good source of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. Mint is a digestive aid and is a really easy herb to grow in your own garden even if you only have space for a couple of pots.

Pea+Mint+Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large potato, scrubbed and sliced
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • 500g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 2 handfuls fresh mint, chopped
  • Sea-salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and fry until the onion has softened. Add the potato and vegetable stock and some seasoning, bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the peas and mint and cook for a further 3 minutes, no longer, as you want to keep the vibrant green colour.
  3. Puree the soup using a stick blender, taste and add further seasoning if necessary.

 

Mini Asparagus & Herb Frittatas

These mini frittatas make the most of the local asparagus season. They are perfect for breakfast and lunches on the go. Serve them with a simple green salad for a tasty and nourishing meal.

Serves 6 (individual frittata per person)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 asparagus spears
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 8 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 handful fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Sea-salt & black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Lightly grease and line a 6-hole muffin tray with small squares of baking paper. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for a minute.
  3. Chop the asparagus stalks, leaving the tips to top the frittatas. Add the asparagus to the frying pan with the onion and garlic. Continue frying until the asparagus has softened. Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and natural yoghurt. Add the chopped herbs and season to taste.
  5. Once the fried mix has cooled tip it into the egg mix and stir well to distribute the vegetables and herbs.
  6. Pour the mix into the prepared cases, transfer to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through.