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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with cherry tomatoes

06Jun 12

Blinis with apricot and cherry tomatoes topping

BlinisBlinis are similar to crepes, but the main difference between a blini and a crepe is that yeast can be used in blini, but not in crepes. Blinis is the traditional Russian mini pancake and is eaten during Shrovetide, a festival which coincides with similar festivals such as Mardi Gras or Carnival a week before Lent.

Blinis are usually served with caviar and sour cream, but really you could use endless variations of toppings. Here is a recipe for Blinis with an apricot and cherry tomato topping that can be used as an appetizer, finger food, or as a light snack before bedtime.

I have added dried apricots to this recipe, not only because they are sweet and delicious, but also because they are an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, a great antioxidant, which will help to retain healthy eyesight as we age. Being a heavy reader, I am a big fan of foods that help me protect my vision – I am always on the lookout for ‘eye-friendly´ ingredients, and it´s just an extra bonus if they happen to be as scrumptious as the apricot!

Leave the blinis as they are or cut into triangular slices for more of a ´finger-food´ feel, as I have done in this recipe. Since the apricot and tomato mixture goes on top, you could also it to top oat and buckwheat pancakes for a heartier snack.

What we need:

  • 2 blinis (normal size)
  • 80g of tuna
  • 5 dried apricots
  • 200g of natural yoghurt for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon of grainy French mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (according to taste)
  • a small handful of parsley for topping

How to make them:

1. Place the yoghurt in a bowl and add the tuna.
2. Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes into small pieces. Add to the yoghurt.
3. Cut the apricots into thin small slices and add to the yoghurt along with the mustard and honey.
5. Mix all the ingredients carefully.
6. Heat the blinis for a few minutes in an oven or in a microwave.
7. Cut them into triangles and add a teaspoon of the yoghurt mix on each piece.
8. Top it off with a branch of parsley on each triangle for decoration.

Serves: 2
Time needed: 15 minutes
Level: Very easy

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11Apr 12

Linguine with garlic and cherry tomatoes

Linguine with garlic and cherry tomatoesOne could write a book about all the different kinds of pasta that the Italians have invented. Wait, they probably already have! Here is a recipe using just one of those pastas in this linguine with garlic and cherry tomatoes. (Also try this chilli garlic pasta.)

Linguine means ‘little tongues’ in Italian, due to them being flatter and wider than spaghetti. My recipe combines linguine with cherry tomatoes, garlic and balsamic vinegar and really couldn’t be easier to prepare. Perfect as a quick dish to whizz together when I arrive home late after a day at uni. I just have to remember that, with all that garlic, I might want to buy some chewing gum the day after!

What we need:

  • 2 medium-sized garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 small handfuls of fresh basil leaves
  • 60g dried linguine
  • 25-30 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 -2 pinches of salt and pepper according to taste

How to make it:

1. Peel and chop the garlic cloves into very fine slices. Wash and chop the basil leaves finely as well.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic slices. Fry on a low to medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly until very lightly golden.

3. Wash and chop the cherry tomatoes into halves, or leave whole as desired.
4.  Mix the cherry tomatoes and sugar with half of the chopped basil leaves. Cook for around 5 minutes on a medium heat until the tomatoes just start to break up. Switch off the heat.

3. Cook the linguine per instructions and drain. Return to the saucepan after draining and add some olive oil to separate the strands of pasta.

4. Return the tomatoes to the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour the tomato mixture into the pan of linguine and mix the pasta all together with the cherry tomatoes.

6. Place the pasta onto plates and sprinkle with the remaining basil and some grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves: 2
Time needed: 15 minutes
Level: very easy

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26Mar 12

Grilled toast with feta cheese and cherry tomatoes

Greek Grilled Toasts

In honour of the versatility and history of Feta cheese, here is a recipe for Greek grilled toast with Feta cheese and cherry tomatoes.

Feta cheese is delicious on just about everything. It makes salads more interesting, such as in this healthy and original superfoods salad. I love the name “superfood” because to me, it means a food that is well-rounded and gives me all the nutrients and vitamins I need to get through the day. I think these toasts are superfood as well because it has elements from all the food groups.

Did you know that this Greek curd cheese is believed to have been made for thousands of years? Due to its proud heritage, the title “Feta cheese” has been copyrighted since 2002 so that only cheese made exclusively in Greece with sheep or goat’s milk has the right to bear the name within the European Union.

Try forming them into different shapes to give them an extra twist! How about cutting these toasts into small pizza slices? Or perhaps a Mickey Mouse head? Why not try them in the shape of a heart for your sweetheart? All you need for the shapes are cookie-cutters or a large glass, and some imagination. Serve and surprise your friends or partner with your ingenious toast shapes! They’ll love it!

What we need:

  • 8 slices of toast bread
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of butter on each
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 black olives, pitted
  • 150g of Feta cheese
  • a few leaves of fresh basil or coriander leaves

How we make it:
1. Cut the bread into the shapes you want them (I am partial to the heart-shaped ones, but I made the round ones that you see in the picture for simplicity’s sake. To do so, I used a large glass to cut around the bread).
2. Butter the bread that you are going to use.
3. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
4. Chop the olives into fine pieces.
5. Mix the tomatoes and olives and spread them on the toast.
6. Grate the Feta cheese and sprinkle over the toast.
7. Place some leaves of fresh basil on each.
8. Grill in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes.
9. Serve with an iceberg and tomato salad.

Serves: 2
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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