I’m beyond happy I’ve found these spinach and quinoa stuffed tomatoes because they are incredibly tasty. For this recipe I’ve picked some ripe tomatoes from my veggie garden, I removed their cores, I stuffed their cavities with a pesto, spinach and quinoa mixture and and I baked them just until wrinkled. The result was such an elegant yet rustic entree. I must confess the stuffing is so rich and flavorful that I’d gladly devour the whole bowl, but paired with the acidity of the tomatoes, it gets somehow better. Such a simple yet delicious vegan dish!
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
⦁ 8 medium ripe tomatoes
⦁ 60g uncooked quinoa
⦁ 250ml vegetable soup (divided)
⦁ 1 Tbsp olive oil
⦁ 1 medium red onion (75g)
⦁ 150g fresh spinach
⦁ 4Tbsp vegan pesto – recipe here
1. Quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 160ml vegetable soup and 1/4 tsp sea salt and bring to a boil over high heat. When the soup begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork.
2. Spinach. Peel the onion and chop it finely. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet and sautee the onion over low heat until translucent (about 5 minutes). Wash the spinach, pat it dry and chop it. Place it in the skillet, cover with a lid, and sautee it until wilted (for about 5 minutes).
3. Tomatoes. Take one tomato and cut 3mm off the base to give it stability. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes with a teaspoon, but be careful not to cut through to the base. Proceed the same with the rest of the tomatoes.
4. Stuff the tomatoes. Place the quinoa and the pesto in the skillet and give it a stir. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes in a ceramic tray and season well with salt and pepper. Stuff each tomato with 1 Tbsp of quinoa mixture, place it in the tray and cover it with its top.
5. Bake the tomatoes. Place about 6 Tbsp of vegetable soup in the tray and place the tray in the preheated oven. Bake at 200C / 400F (gas mark 6). Bake for 20 minutes (or until the tomatoes are soft and wrinkly).
6. Serve & leftovers. I served my tomatoes warm with a slice of homemade bread and some pesto alla genovese. Place the leftovers (if any) on a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Chicken lollipops are always a great idea, whether you have to prepare a party buffet or a simple lunch. Underneath their crispy crust lays a tender, juicy and flavorful meat. It is a wonderful dish, yet quite simple and budget-friendly.
I make lollipops very often and every time I use only the drumettes (the thick part of the wing, the part that has only one bone). I generally marinate the drumettes with a lemon, olive oil, garlic and sage mixture and I refrigerate them overnight. Yesterday I did the same thing and this morning I prepared some flavorful, tender and adorable lollipops. They were simply amazing but I decided to serve them with a spicy tomato and chili sauce which made them even better.
Ingredients (for 6 servings):
- 12 drumettes
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp milk
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
for the marinade:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- juice and zest from half a lemon
- 1 tsp soft brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves
- 7 sage leaves
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Prepare the marinade by mixing in a large bowl all the ingredients above.
- Prepare the drumettes. Grab the thin part and cut the skin and the ligaments surrounding the bone. Scrape the bone with a knife and pull the meat up, towards the thick end. Carefully pull the meat over the fat to create a sphere (picture).
- Place the drumettes in the marinade bowl and toss to cover. Place them in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Remove them from the refrigerator and take 3 bowls; place the flour in the first bowl, the bread crumbs in the second bowl and the egg, milk, salt and pepper in the third.
- Roll the drumettes in the flour, dip them in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumbs.
- Deep-fry them at 340°F/170°C for 7-8 minutes, until golden brown.
- Carefully remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel.
Tomato soup with smoked sausage and poached eggs, a rustic soup with a great flavor profile. Nothing reminds me of my childhood more than this soups. It’s the soup of those sore – throat mornings and it’s the soup of those long days of July. It’s definitely a soup of contrasts, the refreshing tomato juice, the fragrance of the basil, the earthiness of the shallot and the smoked sausage. The perfect geometry of the homemade square noodles and the imperfect beauty of the poached egg.
Why I love tomato soup with smoked sausage and poached eggs:
- it’s simply delicious, it’s hearty and fragrant
- it’s ready in less than 30 minutes
- it prepares almost by itself
- it takes about 5 budget-friendly ingredients
- it’s great all year round
Continue reading Tomato Soup with Smoked Sausage and Poached Eggs
Shakshuka is an absolutely delicious North African dish. Under this adorable name hide some eggs poached to perfection in a decadent tomato sauce. Shakshuka is usually served for breakfast, but nothing keeps you from serving it for lunch or even supper. One pan. Some olive oil, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika and tomatoes. Five eggs poached for five minutes. The beauty of this dish is the fact that all the story takes place in one single pan.
Why I love Shakshuka:
- it’s so easy to make, it’s mouth-watering, healthy and packed with protein
- it’s perfect for brunch
- it’s ready in about 20 minutes
- it takes just one single pan
- it has a charming rusticity
Continue reading Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)
Quail eggs boiled to perfection, served in a velvety and decadent butter and beetroot sauce, scented with ginger and Garam Masala. It does sound appealing, doesn’t it! The fact is I’m seldom dazzled by a combination of flavors, not because I’m a person hard to impress, but because I try really hard to content my emotions, at least culinary-wise. But this flavor profile mesmerizes me, it fascinates me to the point I drag myself to the kitchen at 1 am, in my pijamas, just to enjoy that taste again.
The starting point of this recipe is in fact Murgh Makhani, a delicious Indian butter chicken curry. About three years ago I substituted chicken with quail eggs and the recipe made so much sense, that I’ve made it only with quail eggs ever since. I often make this recipe with ghee, the Indian clarified butter, a very nutritious ingredient, but since I make my own ghee and I happened to run out ot it, I decided to use regular butter. And yes, that gorgeous chick in the picture is one of my quail-pets. On this note, how cool is the fact that my pets also provide breakfast? Continue reading Quail Egg Butter Curry
Confit is a French cooking technique used for preserving poultry (duck, goose, rooster) which also involves roasting the meat in its own fat. The meat is seasoned to perfection and roasted slowly on low temperature in duck fat. The meat becomes incredibly tender, so tender that it simply melts in your mouth. This technique is also used for fruits and vegetables. The main difference is the fact that the cooking liquid is not an animal fat, but a vegetable fat for veggies or a sugar-based syrup for fruits.
Tomato confit is a wonderful way to cook these lovely veggies. The tomatoes are seasoned generously with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs. After that, they are slowly roasted on low temperature until they are tender, juicy and slightly caramelized on the edges. This technique brings out their own sweetness and concentrates their own flavor. This simple and humble ingredient can elevate almost every dish, from pasta, polenta or risotto, to sandwiches or crostini or can even be served as a side dish. Even though the tomato confit can be time-consuming, the effort definitely pays off! Continue reading Tomato Confit
Today we’ll talk about tomato soup, a simple soup yet fascinating in its simplicity. I think tomatoes are the most versatile vegetables (or fruits, if we approach the problem in a scientific manner), they taste so good in so many combinations, this is why there are hundreds, even thousands of extremely tasty tomato soup recipes out there. I have two recipes, one suitable for cold weather, and one for hot weather. The first one is a tomato soup with homemade quadretti pasta, smoked sausage and poached egg. The second one is a tomato cream, flavored with roasted garlic and fresh basil and served with laced parmesan chips.
The cream of tomato soup is so welcomed during hot summer days, when the tomatoes are in season. It is a veritable flavor, color and texture symphony and it is so easy to make. I half or quarter the tomatoes, depending on their size, I drizzle them with olive oil and I roast them until they caramelize; this extra step augments the soup’s flavor. I serve this soup with adorable parmesan chips, which give the dish not only flavor, but also an elegant touch. Continue reading Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Chips
I’ve been cooking chilli con carne for about 5 years, but this recipe is (hands down) the best. It is hearty yet light and has a lot of bold flavors. Let’s be honest, chilli con carne isn’t precisely the healthiest dish you can imagine. So, for a healthier choice, I served my chilli with Greek yogurt, instead of sour cream (to cut down fat and bring some protein), and with brown rice instead of white rice (for some extra fiber).
Continue reading Chilli con Carne and Brown Rice
Minestrone is a soup of Italian origin made with seasonal vegetables and pasta or rice. This soup often contains tomatoes, carrot, celery, onion and beans. It’s such a lovely and heart-warming soup. And the great part is that there’s no recipe for this amazing soup, so the sky is the limit… It is thick. It is tasty. It is… perfect.
Continue reading Minestrone Soup