Bruschetta

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I made Bruschetta as part of my Italian Lunch Spread. It is quick and easy to put together and will serve well as a snack or starter of choice for unplanned guests. It is an almost no cook dish and the ingredients are usually available at home and this can help brighten up a meal by giving it that probably missing zing. Bruschetta is usually made with a baguette but I used the regular sandwich bread and topped it with tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and it turned out lip smacking if I may say so myself.

WHAT WE NEED

Sandwich Bread                                        5-6 slices

Tomatoes, medium                                 3-4

Garlic cloves, large                                 2

Vinegar                                                      1 tbsp

Butter (optional)                                    to toast the bread

Salt & Pepper

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Make a small ‘x’ shaped insertion to the tomatoes with a knife
  • Immerse the tomatoes in hot water for 5-7 minutes
  • When the skin has loosened up, peel the skin off, deseed and chop the tomatoes finely
  • Mince the garlic and mix it with the tomatoes
  • Add vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well and set aside
  • The bread slices need to be toasted to a crisp. It can either be toasted in a pop up toaster or on a pan
  • If you are toasting it on a pan, apply little butter and toast till each side turns golden brown
  • Then turn the gas to simmer and let the bread slices remain for a couple of minutes on the pan. This will make the slices very crisp
  • Just before serving, top the bread slices with the tomato mixture and serve
  • Enjoy!

 

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Stuffed Tomatoes

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We have a new vegetable vendor in our complex who gets fresh veggies and fruits and sells them at a reasonable price. As part of his marketing, he has come up with the offer of free tomatoes. Yes, as many as you like. All you need is to have bought at least one other vegetable. Cool right? So, needless to say my house is overflowing with tomatoes at all times. It is so hard to shake off that silly feeling of grabbing what is free. But I come home and sanity prevails and I am left wondering how to use up all the tomatoes. The daughter is exhausted with tomato soups and tomato rice and tomato juice.

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So when I was at a loss to come up with a baked dish for today’s post, I figured it has to have tomatoes because, duh! So I picked out whatever ingredients were in the fridge and pantry and set out to make the dish as I went along. Modestly speaking, it was quite delicious. I liked them so much that I finished them all without leaving any for my husband. He saw the pictures on the laptop and went ballistic. So I have promised to make them again tomorrow because, free tomatoes. Yay!

Makes 5 stuffed tomatoes

WHAT WE NEED

Tomatoes, medium                 5

Paneer / cottage cheese         60-70 gms

Roasted garlic                           2 cloves

Pitted green olives                   1 tbsp

Mixed Italian herbs                  1 tsp

Chilly flakes                                1/2 tsp

Fresh coriander                          To garnish

Oil

Salt
WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven at 200C
  • Cut a slice from the top of the tomatoes and scoop out the inner flesh and seeds
  • Cut a small slice from the bottom of the tomatoes t ensure they can stand well without falling
  • Rub oil on the skin of the tomatoes 
  • Mix all the other ingredients except fresh coriander to form a crumbly mixture
  • Fill the tomatoes with the paneer mixture
  • Place them on a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh coriander 
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


Tomato Soup


There are days when one craves for the simple, the easy and the yummy, all of which is brought together in a classic tomato soup. In my pre-blogging avatar (which wasn’t too long ago) my recipe for tomato soup was to take off the skin, puree the tomatoes and heat it with some salt and pepper and add croutons, if I was in the mood. I have definitely grown from that and this is already my third tomato soup recipe on the blog. One pat on the back seems deserving, right?

The husband is travelling and the daughter and I are living in a house of boxes. Our shipment has arrived and the unpacking seems to be a never ending process. So this simple soup, which the daughter and I had for dinner today with some bread was filling and easy to make after a tiring day. So here goes –

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Tomatoes, medium                       5-6

Water enough to soak the tomatoes completely

Olive oil                                           2 tsp

Garlic                                                2 cloves

Onion, medium                             1

Cream / Milk (optional)              3 tbsp

Water                                                1/2 cup + 2 tbsp

Cornflour                                         1 tsp

Salt & Pepper

Bread slice                                       1

Butter to toast the bread slice

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Take enough water to soak all the tomatoes in a large vessel. Add salt and let it come to a boil
  • Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes to it. Cover the vessel and set aside for 30 minutes
  • Take out the tomatoes from the water and de-skin them
  • Deseed the tomatoes, chop them roughly and add them to a blender
  • Blend to form a smooth puree
  • Heat oil in a saucepan
  • Chop the garlic and onion finely and add to the oil
  • Once the onion is translucent, add the tomato puree and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil
  • Simmer the heat and add the milk / cream and let it cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Mix the cornflour in 2 tbsp water and add to the saucepan
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes or till the soup thickens
  • Add salt and pepper and mix well
  • Turn off the heat
  • Cut a bread slice into smaller pieces and toast them on a tava till they are fairly crisp
  • Add the croutons (toasted bread pieces) to the soup before serving
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Veloute de tomates /  Creamy Tomato Soup

 

Ever since I joined the Blogging Marathon, I keep thinking about trying and posting the amazing recipes from the blogs of my fellow marathoners. But what stops me every time is imagining their face when they see the photos on my blog and go ‘Nahiiiiii’ like a Hindi movie heroine. But this time I decided to take the huge leap of faith and have a go at it. The mega BM posts on French cuisine in Priya’s blog were too tempting and I simply had to do it. Coincidently I picked European cuisine for this month’s BM and I decided to use up at least some of the bookmarks from her blog. 

The first one is a simple tomato soup which went up several notches thanks to the butter and cream. A must try. So here goes –

Recipe source – here

WHAT WE NEED

Tomatoes                   500 gms / 3 large

Onion, large              1

Mixed herbs               2 tbsp

Butter                           2 tbsp

All purpose Flour      2 tbsp

Vegetable stock         2 cups

Salt & pepper
WHAT TO DO

  • Melt the butter in a pot
  • Chop and add the onion and sauté till it turns translucent
  • Chop and add the tomatoes, mixed herbs, salt and pepper
  • Cook on medium flame till the tomatoes turn mushy
  • Mix the flour with little water to form a paste
  • Add the flour paste and vegetable stock and bring to a boil
  • Blend the mixture and add cream
  • Enjoy!

  

  
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM. 

 

Moroccon Spaghetti kinda sorta….

  

First my disclaimer – I have never had moroccon spaghetti before. So I have no clue as to how it’s supposed to be. I found this awesome recipe in this book called – Accidental Vegetarian. There are some pretty interesting and new combinations in this book.

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And the second disclaimer is that I haven’t stayed true to the recipe from the book either. It was to have chickpeas and flaked almonds which I substituted with broccoli and ground almond all because I had to finish that spaghetti staring at me in the pantry.

So here goes –

Serves 3

Spaghetti                 300 gms

Olive oil                    1 1/2 tbsp

Onion                        1

Garlic                        3 cloves

Broccoli                    150-200 gms

Cherry tomatoes    10-15

Almonds                    5-6

Cinnamon, ground 1 tsp

Cumin, ground        1 tsp

Ginger, ground         1 tsp

Cloves, ground         1/2 tsp

Salt & Pepper
WHAT TO DO

  • Cook the spaghetti as per packet instructions .
  • Finely chop onion, garlic, broccoli and cut the tomatoes into halves.
  • Heat oil and add the onion and garlic. Cool till soft
  • Add the brocolli, cinnamon, cumin and tomatoes and cook over medium heat for around 10 minutes till they are completely cooked
  • Add salt and pepper and almonds and mix well.
  • Add the cooked pasta and mix to combine.
  • Enjoy!

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NOTES

  1. Optimal tip – garnish with parsley or mint leaves or some ground almond.

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This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.