Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Cookbook Challenge - Week 10 - Cool

This weeks theme for the Cook Book Challenge was cool and I thought it would be nice to include a savoury & a sweet dish for the week.  The challenge is inspiring me to create as many recipes as I can for each week,  if time permits, I may even make 3 in a week one of these days.

Cool was an easy theme given that we have had such warm and sometimes too hot weather (minus the surprising cold spell that snuck in).  Salads and frozen/refrigerated desserts have been big on my menu regardless of the challenge so I didnt have to look to far for my recipes.

I have had an abundance of tomatos in my garden so each week I am on the hunt for new and interesting recipes to use them all up.  Nigella Lawson's  Express had this great recipe for cherry tomatoes and a salad to use them in.  She calls them 'moonblush' tomatoes as you cook them overnight in an oven that isnt even turned on, very clever.  I only thought of making them the morning I wanted to use them and 6 hours or so in my oven seemed to be perfectly enough time.  This is a fantastic way to use up cherry tomatoes, you get a nice little semi dried tomato with lots of bite.  I used dried oregano as I dont keep dried thyme in the house as I have enough growing out the back to keep me going continuously, I actually have oregano too though sometimes I prefer using this herb dried depending on the recipe, this was one such case.  To cook them you heat up the oven to 220c and then as soon as you put the tray in you turn the oven off, pretty amazing, I didnt think the heat would keep going for that many hours to keep them cooking but it sure did.  For the salad it was a very simple mix of some salad leaves, goats cheese, mint, lemon juice and the tomatoes, lovely.  These tomatoes would work well thrown in most salads or served simply on their own as a side, tossed through pasta, in a sandwich, the possibilities are endless.

Moon Blush Tomatoes - Nigella Lawson - Nigella Express

500g (about 24) cherry or any small tomatoes
2 teaspoons maldon salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 x 15ml tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 220c.  Cut the tomatoes in half and sit them cut side up in an oven proof dish or tray.  Sprinkle with the salt, sugar, thyme and olive oil.  Put them in the oven and immediately turn it off.  leave the tomatoes in the oven overnight or for a day WITHOUT opening the door.

Slow Roast Tomatoes, Goat's Cheese & Mint Salad - Nigella Lawson - Nigella Express

200g rocket or spinach salad
2 x 100g tubs soft goats cheese ( I used marinated myself)
1 x 15ml tablespoon lemon juice
1 x 15ml tablespoon olive oil
2 x 15ml tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Arrange the salad leaves on a large dish and then scoop out spoonfuls of the goats cheese and dollop it here and there.  Add the tomatoes.  In the same dish the tomatoes cooked in, whisk together lemon juice & Oil and pour over the salad.   Scatter with the chopped mint and serve.

My second dish was a very simple watermelon granita from Bill Granger's holiday.  Apart from the fact that I didnt chop my watermelon small enough and some of it wouldn't process properly, this was a breeze and even more delicious than a luscious slice of  watermelon on a hot day, why wouldn't it be with the addition of sugar, lime juice & a bit of freezing action, highly recommended.

Watermelon Granita - Bill Granger - Holiday

Serves 10-12

2kg Seedless Watermelon
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice

Cut the watermelon flesh into bit sized chunks and freeze for 1-2 hours in zip-lock freezer bags.  Put the frozen watermelon in a food processor and mix until completely  smooth.  Add the sugar and lime juice and process again until completely incorporated.

Transfer the mixture into an airtight container & freeze for 3-4 hours or until firm.  Once frozen, scrape into crystals with a fork & serve immediately.


Rilsta @ My Food Trail said...

Great work doing 3 recipes this week and getting the blog post up so fast!

Feel free to throw some tomatoes my way if you find you have too many! :P That's interesting that the moon blush tomatoes are left in a closed oven for so long!

The watermelon granita looks very cool! Perfect for a hot day!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Ange these tomatoes look incredible! I'm quite fond of the look of that granita too, especially with the weather we've been having here.

Elizabeth. said...


A man came into my shop yesterday looking for "sunblush" tomatoes.. I wonder if he meant these moonblush ones??


Ange said...

Rilsta - Thanks & if my crop gets way out of hand I will let you know - for now I am focusing on finding recipes that use a large qty each week - tonight I am making canneloni with a home made tomato sauce

Conor - thanks - they both tasted pretty good too

Elizabeth - You are right, Nigella compares these to store bought sunblush tomatoes & these are her take on them

Gastronomy Gal said...

the granita photo has left me wanting some!!

penny aka jeroxie said...

HOme grown tomatoes are the best. And I love granitas in this weather.

Agnes said...

That's a great way of doing the tomatoes! And good work doing two recipes.

Cherrie Pie said...

Those slow roasted cherry tomatoes looks so red and delicious. And your watermelon granita... WOW. Just looking at your photo makes me feel cool.

Bri said...

In a couple of weeks I am going to have a crazy amount of ripe tomatoes in my garden, I'll definitely try this moonblush recipe - thanks for posting it!