Tomato and pomegranate tubule for high summer

Somedays, working from home is bearable. By bearable, I stop long enough between video meeting, telephone consultations and letter dictations to get some food to eat. On this particular weekday, I decided that I wanted to make another Honey and Co recipe from the book I received as a birthday gift last year. I have previously made the green tabule for spring and I noted that there was an option to make the same recipe but with tomatoes, celery and pomegranate seeds. I thought it would make an interesting combination so tried it.

It is certainly spectacular to look at – all the bright colours are a joy to behold. It also tastes nice, the pomegrante seeds popping in the mouth like bubbles of sweet goodness.

eaten with a spinach and feta quiche

Ingredients

100g cooked coarse-grind bulgar wheat
100g fresh pomegranate seeds 
100g tomatoes, cut into small dice
1 large bunch of parsley (about 30-40g), picked and chopped
3 sprigs of mint, picked and chopped
1 green chilli, seeded and chopped
2 inner stalks of celery
Finely sliced zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Mix everything together in a bowl and adjust the seasoning to taste. Eat straight away.

Roasted romano peppers, chickpeas, olives, roasted tomatoes and cumin

I am back to enjoying recipes from Honey and Co, well I never stopped, I just became too tired to cook, explore and experiment. My hairdresser is opposite Honey and Spice on Warren Street and I often wander in their before or after my appointment for a nosey around to see what’s new and remind myself of of things past and glorious.

On this particular Saturday the shop was selling a delicious looking chickpea salad. I didn’t want to buy it because I wanted to get back home but I made a note of the recipe from the book (at home: Middle Eastern recipes from our kitchen) that the salesperson in the shop showed me.

Fairly easy to make and I enjoyed roasting the peppers!

The result? Some intense flavours to work through – very lemony and cuminy.

Definitely one to try again and adjust to suite my palate.

Ingredients

2 tins of cooked chickpeas

5 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt🧂

2 tablespoons of ground cumin

4 garlic cloves 🧄, peeled and crushed

1 1/4 cups/200 grams/7oz cherry tomatoes

4 – 5 sprigs of thyme

A pinch of sugar

3 red Romano peppers

1 bunch of parsley 🌿 , leaves picked

2/3 cup/60g Kalamata black olives pitted and sliced

Juice of 2 lemons 🍋

Instructions

1. Drain the chickpeas well, then place in a pan of fresh water and bring to the boil.

2. Drain the boiled chickpeas and while they are still hot season with two tablespoons of the olive oil, the salt, half the cumin and one of the crushed garlic cloves (keep the rest for later). Mix well, tip into a large serving bowl and leave to cool.

3. Place the cherry tomatoes in a frying pan with the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil, the thyme sprigs and the three other garlic cloves. Fry on a high heat until the tomatoes start exploding, then sprinkle the sugar. Remove the garlic cloves and thyme sprigs and pour the the tomatoes and oil onto the chickpeas.

4. Roast the peppers in a very hot oven (240oC/220oC fan/475oF gas mark 9) or directly over a gas flame until they are charred all over. Place them in a sealable plastic bag or closed container to steam as they cool. When they are cool enough to handle, peel, deseed and tear into long strips. Add to the chickpeas and tomato bowl.

5. Finally, just before serving, add the parsley, olives, the remaining tablespoon of ground cumin and the lemon juice. Mix well and serve.

Reference: At home: Middle Eastern recipes from our kitchen, Honey & Co, page 210

Kiwi and coconut upside-down cake

I am still decluttering despite doing this multiple times before we moved. It appears to be never ending. However it is all good and I will not complain. I found a recipe card from Waitrose in all the clutter and I thought I might make these lime, coconut and kiwi fruit cupcakes.

They were quite easy to make and very tasty. I found that the kiwi pieces did not really stick to the little cakes and I had to unstick them out from the bottom of the tins. Also didn’t have lime, so I used a lemon instead.

The verdict – very coconutty! Very chewy, the kiwi fruit adds a nice touch and taste and makes them visually quite interesting. I did think that next time I make them (and yes, there will be a next time) I might place the kiwi friut slices on the actual top of the cupcake, maybe stick them on with some jam. When you turn them upside down (hence the name and design of the recipe) the cupcakes roll around on the plate/platter they are on because they are resting on the domed end. I did consider slicing the ‘bottom’ (it’s really the top, but you get what I mean) off but that seem like a waste of good cake and precious time.

All in all – lovely

Ingredients

75g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
115g light brown muscovado sugar, plus 3 tbsp for sprinkling
3 Waitrose 1 Perfectly Ripe Golden Kiwis
160ml can coconut cream
1 lime, zest, plus extra to serve (optional)
2 large British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
50g desiccated coconut
175g self-raising flour

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C, gas mark 3. Liberally grease a 12-hole muffin tin and sprinkle the extra 3 tbsp sugar between the holes. Trim the ends off the kiwi fruit, then remove the skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut each fruit into 4 slices widthways and sit a slice inside each muffin hole.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar using electric beaters until light, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the coconut cream and lime zest, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the desiccated coconut and flour to make a smooth batter.

3. Divide the batter between the muffin holes and bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes to loosen and turn out onto a chopping board. Carefully ease out any pieces of kiwi that have stuck to the tin and place them back on top of the cakes. Scatter with extra lime zest, if liked. Lovely served warm with a dollop of coconut yogurt or ice cream, if liked, or cooled to room temperature and served with tea. 

Raspberry, lemon and almond bake

It’s the tennis and football final weekend. I must admit I’m not particularly invested in either tournament but I cannot ignore the buzz and excitement that is all around me both real and virtually.

I made this cake a few weeks ago and I thought I might make it again this time with raspberries.

It’s still nice! The raspberries are soft, sweet and a lovely complement to the lemony tanginess.

Haha, my current ‘go to’ cake until the next one comes along!

Ingredients

125g (4 1/2 oz) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

75 g (2 1/2 oz) ground almonds

150g (5 1/2 oz) butter, diced

200g (7 oz) caster sugar

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 large eggs

200g (7oz) fresh raspberries

Icing sugar, for dusting

Methods

1. Preheat oven 180oC. Line base and sides of tin with baking parchment. Shift flour into bowl, add the baking powder, and almonds and mix well. In a pan mix the butter, sugar and lemon, stirring until well combined.

2. Stir the syrupy mixture into the dry ingredients, then mix in the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Pour into the tin, then scatter the raspberries over the top. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden and skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

3. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving. To serve cut into rectangles.