Roast tomato and capsicum sauce


Photos by Gary Corbett

“I love recipes that you can cook in bulk, freeze then whip out for a quick mid-week meal. I always have containers of Bolognese, chilli con carne and pesto in my freezer and also this super easy roast tomato and capsicum sauce.  It all bakes in one tray then gets blitzed up for later use.  I’ve also included a few recipes I make using the sauce. Enjoy”

Sauce ingredients

  • 6 capsicums
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 3 red onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White sugar
Sauce method
  1. Halve and de-seed 6 capsicums and put them in a deep baking dish.
  2. Halve and core 6 tomatoes and put them inside the capsicums.
  3. Quarter 3 red onions and sprinkle them between tomatoes and capsicums.
  4. Peel 6 cloves of garlic and throw them in the pan.
  5. Douse in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Cover in foil.
  7. Bake in a 180c oven for an hour.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan with the foil on.
  9. Depending on the strength of your food processor you can remove the skins from the tomatoes and capsicums. I have a Thermomix so this isn’t needed. Place in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  10. Pour into a saucepan and heat on low. Add Balsamic and white sugar to taste.
  11. Pour into containers and store in the freezer.
Recipe for soup
  1. Heat up a few cups of soup with some veggie or chicken stock and stir until smooth
  2. Blitz some pine nuts, lemon zest and fresh basil to make a gremolata.
  3. Serve the soup with a spoonful of sour cream, some gremolata and toasted sourdough
Recipe for pasta sauce
  1. Chop an eggplant into 1cm cubes, douse in olive oil and salt and bake in a 180c oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Fry some chopped onions and mushrooms in a pan until soft. Add a few cups of sauce and the roasted eggplant.
  3. Stir in some fresh basil.
  4. Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese.
Recipe for baked chicken (for 2 people)
  1. Pour some sauce in a small baking dish and add 2 whole chicken breasts. Cover with more sauce.
  2. Cover dish with foil and bake in a 200c oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Blitz some bread with herbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and take off the foil.
  5. Cover with your breadcrumb mix and bake for another 5-10 minutes uncovered.
  6. Serve with quinoa, roasted potatoes and green veggies.

 

Salsa verde

Photo by Gary Corbett

“Like most cooks, I use heaps of herbs in my dishes. It’s a great way to add freshness and a burst of flavour to your cooking. That’s why I love salsa verde. Not only is it delicious, it’s extremely versatile and can be used to jazz up salads, canapés and main courses. You can also use whatever herbs you have to hand, or put more of a herb you like in. Enjoy”

 Ingredients for salsa verde

  • Bunch of basil
  • Bunch of parsley
  • Bunch of mint
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of chives
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice and rind of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 green chilli
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
Method
  1. Pick the leaves off your herbs and put into a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds to break them down.
  2. Add the other ingredients except the olive oil. Blitz until you get the consistency you want. It works as a chunky sauce or a smooth one.
  3. Add olive oil until you achieve the consistency you want.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Caprese salad
Layer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and pickled onions on a plate.
To pickle the onions I use equal parts red wine vinegar and white sugar. Stir the vinegar until sugar is dissolved and put in finely chopped white onions. It’s best to leave the for a day to soften.
Dollop spoonfuls of greek yoghurt and salsa verde over the top. You can also put layers on some sourdough bread for a healthy lunch.
Fresh and delicious.
Baked potatoes
To bake the potato, drizzle with olive oil and salt and wrap in aluminium foil. Bake in a 180c oven for 45 minutes or until the potato is cooked all the way through. Cut the potato open and dollop some sour cream inside, Add the salsa verde and grate some parmesan cheese over the top.
Makes a great midweek dinner if you’re super busy.
Cucumber sandwiches
To be a little bit classy you can jazz up your cucumber sandwiches with salsa verde.
(I actually don’t like cucumber but with the salsa verde they’re delicious).
Butter some white bread and spread on a thin layer of salsa verde on both sides.
Peel your cucumber and add thin slices to one slice. Put the top on, cut off the crusts and slice in half.
Now you’re classy as hell!

Roast Potato Salad

“From the first time I tasted potato salad I didn’t like it!  Probably because it was that homogenous gloop that you buy from the supermarket that was just a big stodgy mess without much flavour or texture.  But since I’ve started catering I’ve found that I have to make a potato salad every now and them.  This is where this recipe springs from.  Instead of boiling the potatoes I roast them along with sweet potato and add lots of fresh ingredients to the mix that add to the flavour and nuts to give it a nice crunch.  I haven’t bothered with definite weights in this recipe so you can mix and match to your own tastes.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peanut oil
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Cashew nuts
  • Spring onions
  • Fresh coriander
  • Sour cream
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Peel the potato and sweet potato and cut into 1cm cubes.  Coat with a small amount of peanut oil and place on some baking paper on an oven tray.  Sprinkle with some salt.
  2. Bake in a 200 degree c oven for 45-60 minutes turning at least once until the potatoes are cooked through and start to turn golden brown.
  3. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  4. Hard boil some eggs and set aside to cool.  Cut into quarters.
  5. Finely slice the spring onion and set aside.
  6. Finely slice the fresh coriander and set aside.
  7. Cut some bacon into strips and fry until cooked.  Remove from the pan to cool.
  8. For the non-health-conscious out there, pour some sour cream into the warm bacon pan (off the heat) and stir to pick up the salty flavour of the bacon.  Add salt and pepper to taste and a small amount of lemon zest.
  9. … or warm the sour cream in a clean pan and season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. (warming the cream makes it thinner and easier to season and stir through the dish.)
  10. Place the potato and sweet potato in a bowl and dress with the sour cream mixture.
  11. Add the spring onions, eggs, bacon and cashew nuts.
  12. Finally, stir through the fresh coriander.
  13. I find this dish is best served at room temperature but is great fried up for breakfast the following day if there’s any left!