Three Tomato Salad with Basil

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Sometimes, the simplest things are the best. I hope you guys like this recipe. The quality of the tomatoes is key. If they are either organic or close to being organic, come from a garden, or a small producer, and grew with a lot of sun, they should taste so good you don’t even want to add any dressing! Don’t worry though, I have two different dressings here for you, and as I’m spending some time with my parents at the moment, my mum took part in preparing lunch and told me it would probably be nice to mix both dressings together. I disagreed, but without telling me, she did it (stubborn much?), and it was a great surprise! Very nice and flavoursome. A pure taste of summer, perfect to eat whilst listening to the cicadas in the shade of a pine tree :-)

Ingredients:

  • 1 big black tomato
  • 1 big red tomato
  • 1 big yellow tomato
  • Half a red onion
  • basil leaves, finely chopped

Dressing 1:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper

No need to prepare in advance, just add on the top of the salad all the ingredients before serving.

sauce mousseline

Dressing 2 (mum’ sauce mousseline):

  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper
  • 6-7 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  1. In a bowl, combine the mustard, salt and pepper
  2. Add the oil gradually, slowly while whisking.
  3. Carry on whisking, the sauce should start to foam.
  4. To finish, add the vinegar, only as much as you think tastes right. Vinegar tends to counteract the effect from the previous ingredients and the foamy aspect of the sauce may decrease. That’s why you only need a tiny bit, just for the taste (1 to 2 tsp).

It’s a bit of a gamble to manage to keep it foamy, the sauce mousseline will still taste nice if it didn’t work, but it’s best when foamy.

Strawberries, goat cheese and green leaves

The tastiest recipe I’ve made in a while. I found it on Pinterest from this website: http://www.skylineempire.com/avocado-strawberry-spinach-salad-with-poppyseed-dressing/

My version is a bit different because I couldn’t find baby spinach leaves and I prefer goat cheese to blue cheese. So here it is:

Serves 3

  • half a bag of young mixed leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • about the same quantity of strawberries, washed and cut in halves
  • half a small red onion
  • 6 or 7 slices of goat cheese log
  • a handful of almonds, chopped
  • nothing more nothing less, it’s perfect just like that!

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 to 4 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider viegar
  • 1 tbsp of poppy seeds
  • half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together until combined. Toss the salad, add the dressing and serve. If you fancy a bit of animal protein, the salad goes well with Parma ham.

Enjoy!

Cooking with a sea view

Homemade Hummus Nice & Easy

Home Made Hummus

Hello food-loving friends!

Today I am writing to you from the south of France where I am spending the summer. London is a fantastic place to live but nothing beats the south of France for summer holidays!

Holidays… I love cooking while on holidays. I can’t find anything more relaxing than cooking with a sea view, something healthy, something tasty.

Last night I made hummus from a recipe found on BBC Good Food. Ingredients were:

  • 200g/7oz canned ckickpeas

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or more

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • salt

  • 100ml/3½fl oz tahini (sesame seed paste) optional

  • 4 tbsp water

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • But I didn’t have any cumin or paprika so I used turmeric instead and it worked just fine.

Basically, just throw everything in a bowl and blend using an immersion blender. Taste, add more lemon juice, salt, or oil if needed.

Have you tried eating hummus with carrots instead of pitta bread? It’s a great combination in terms of taste and texture, and carrots are very rich in beta carotene (in vitamin A), which, among other things, is good for your skin and is thought to be useful to prepare skin before sun exposure. And guess what: its absorption is enhanced when eaten with fat. Great news since hummus is made with olive oil !!

Carrots are also a good antioxidant, rich in vitamin c, and contain vitamin B-6, calcium and magnesium in smaller amounts.

I’m going to be cooking with a sea view until the end of August, so come back for more summer recipes soon!

And Bon Appetit bien sur!

Home Made Hummus

Simple Summer Fruit Salad

3 ingredients: nectarine, strawberries and raspberries

2 salads:

  • Add a tbsp of orange juice and 3-4 basil leaves and you have the perfect refreshing summer desert

Simple Summer Fruit Salad + basil

  • Add 2 spoonfuls of organic plain yoghurt, mixed seeds and a Brazil nut (crushed) and you have the perfect summer breakfast or mid-morning snack.

Simple, isn’t it?

Courgette Slices and Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce

Last week I found a delicious-looking recipe on this blog: http://marcelamatallana.com/2013/07/15/meatless-monday-recipe/ : Eggplant Cannelloni

It inspired me to make the recipe I am blogging about today with what I had available in my fridge / cupboard. It was the 1st time I made such thing and, you know, it takes a bit of practice to master a new recipe, so I’ll give my feedback as well.

Courgette, goat cheese, tomatoINGREDIENTS (for 1 to 2 servings)

2 courgettes

125g soft goat cheese

olive oil

1/2 onion

rosemary

pepper

SAUCE:

half a can of chopped tomatoes (approx. 200g)

2 shallots

basil leaves

olive oil

1 garlic clove

salt

pepper

(If you have time to roast or steam a pepper, try adding one in the sauce for more flavour)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1st things 1st: Preheat your oven to 180 C (350F / Gas 4)

Start by making the sauce:

  1. Fry the shallots in 1 to 2 tbs of olive oil
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil leaves, crushed garlic and salt and pepper
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then put to rest on the side

Then, the filling:

  1. Fry the onion in olive oil, until soft and lightly brown
  2. In a bowl, mix the cheese, onion, rosemary, and pepper together

Cook the courgettes:

  1. Slice the courgettes, about 3 to 5 mm thick
  2. Then, either spray them with olive oil and cook them on low heat in a pan or steam them until soft for a healthier version. Olive oil is the healthy oil, sure, but we’re using a lot of it here!

Finally, put about a tsp of filling at the end of each courgette slice and roll. Empty the bowl of sauce in a baking tray and add all the courgette rolls. Cook in the oven for maximum 15 mins and finish with the grill if you would like them to look nice and brown.

When serving, if you have a bit of filling left, why not crumble it all over the plate. Looks nice and if like me you love cheese, you can never have enough!

Feedback: The extra cheese filling mixed in the tomato sauce tasted really good but maybe I’m just a cheese addict! I will definitely try again with a red pepper and maybe some chilli pepper too next time. If you do make this recipe and add your own twist to it, I would love to know how it turned out!

My French Tabbouleh

French TabboulehSummer is here, I want nice, refreshing food. Tabbouleh is a good one!

INGREDIENTS FOR 2 (preferably organic):

150g wholegrain couscous

1 to 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 tomatoes

2 mini sweet peppers

a bunch of mint

3 spring onions

the juice of 1 lemon

salt (unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt are best because they contain lots of minerals)

black pepper

Ingredients tabbouleh

INSTRUCTIONS:

Boil some water and pour over the couscous in a bowl, to the point where the water just covers the cousous. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop all the ingredients, including the mint.

When the couscous has cooled down, add the ingredients to the bowl, with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and put in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow flavours to develop.

Serve at a BBQ with home made burgers or sausages, YUM!

Bon Appetit !!

Lemon Water With Mint

What more than water can refresh and hydrate you on a hot sunny afternoon? And look like a cocktail to drink at a BBQ in the early evening?

Just add the juice of half a lemon, lots of ice and mint to still or sparkling water and you’ll get a fantastic summer drink with no calories!!