Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

This is a very different kind of dish than just a salad and makes for a nice refreshing, quite light, starter. Works well when having pasta or pizza, but I often have it as a salad amongst a range of other salads.

It’s also really easy to make. Take a beef tomato, and slice into thin slices. Doing this makes you realise how important a really good sharp knife is in the kitchen. You can of course use other tomatoes, I quite like using small ones.

Having cut your tomato, now get some mozzarella. I do prefer buffalo milk mozzarella, but this is about twice the price of cow milk mozzarella. Slice the mozzarella into slices and place with the tomato on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil, white wine vinegar and then add some freshly ground black pepper.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

I really do enjoy roasted vegetables either as a meal in itself or as an accompaniment to another dish.

On this platter I have roasted squash, red onions, red pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergine, parsnips and sweet potato.

The method I used for this was in the roasting pan I placed the squash, the parsnips, red onion and sweet potato with a good splash of olive oil. This was then roasted in the oven for about 15 minutes. I then added the mushrooms, tomatoes, aubergine, courgette, red pepper and another splash of the olive oil. This was then roasted for about 15-20 minutes.

Simple and delicious.

Pasta with Tomato and Rosemary

Pasta in a tomato and rosemary sauce

This was a quick pasta dish I threw together recently which was enjoyed by all around the table.

I took some tricolour fusilli pasta, you know the one with plain, green (spinach) and red (tomato) pasta spirals. There I cooked in a large pan of boiling water.

MushroomsIn the meantime in a large frying pan I cooked some mushrooms. When they cooked I added the tomato sauce. For the bulk of the sauce I used a jar of Red Onion and Rosemary Pasta Sauce from Jamie Oliver. The rosemary was quite strong and certainly overpowered the tomato and I couldn’t distinguish any hint of red onion. Now I like rosemary, so I quite liked the sauce, but I can imagine that if you don’t then you wouldn’t, but you probably wouldn’t buy a jar like this anyhow!

After cooking the pasta, I drained and added the sauce to the pasta before serving.

Mozzarella, Tomato & Pesto Salad with Rocket & Pine Nuts

Fancying a salad for lunch I found this Mozzarella, Tomato & Pesto Salad with Rocket & Pine Nuts in Sainsbury’s.

Pesto Pasta with Mozzarella and Tomato

It was quite nice. The pesto wasn’t overpowering, there was enough to cover the pasta and there were ample pine nuts too. The pasta was the right texture, the sunblush tomatoes were nice and the mozzarella was fine.

Overall it was a nice packaged salad and certainly much nicer than a sandwich.

Breakfast

A traditional English breakfast usually consists of bacon and eggs with sausages, beans, fried bread and maybe a portion of tinned tomatoes. Obviously there are other things you can add such as grilled kidneys, black pudding, mushrooms, hash browns.

Actually the more you think about it, a cooked breakfast can be quite diverse and much more than just bacon and eggs. Eat a little later and it turns into Brunch.

I quite like a cooked breakfast now and again, but very rarely go down the traditional route. This was the basis of a recent breakfast and consisted of grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.

Cooked

I took some cherry tomatoes and halved them. If you halve them with the stalk point at the top then they will always look nice. If you slice them through the stalk point then they may (well usually) don’t look as nice. I splashed a little olive oil on them and some torn basil leaves.

Grilled Tomatoes with Basil about to go in the oven

For the mushrooms I trim the stalks and then spread a small knob of butter on them and some freshly ground black pepper.

For the onions I just again splashed a little olive oil and more black pepper.

These were all then roasted in a hot oven for about 10-15 minutes.

I served them with some toast and a poached egg.