Tomates Fondues à l’huile d’olive | Confit Tomatoes | Tomatoes in Olive Oil

For me, tomatoes are at their very very best in Autumn This year (as I write), the summer has been cooler than normal (despite a few heat waves), so I am beginning the usual Autumn uses of tomatoes a little early. Do use them in all their shapes and forms at this time of year.

These are confit tomatoes, cooked slowly in beautiful olive oil which they tend to absorb while becoming wonderfully soft. You can do them on the stove top, but I find that the heat is better controlled in the oven. They need to cook slowly. As you can tell by the name, it is a French recipe.

These are even better if the tomatoes are straight from the garden. Serve them with baked dishes, or in a salad. They go wonderfully in risotto and with pasta1 Try them as a side dish with grilled polenta and a salad. Or on inch thick fresh bread with basil or tapenade, or simply in the middle of a large white plate to enjoy on their own.

I first made these in 2002, so long ago now, but they are a traditional part of autumn cooking for us. Use large tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, just adjust the cooking time accordingly. We consider this recipe as part of our Retro series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 2005 – 2006. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

Would you like other baked tomato recipes? Try Oven Baked Tomatoes, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce and Tomatoes Stuffed with Cheese.

If you love confit recipes you will also like our dishes where food is cooked a la grecque.

You might also like our Tomato recipes. Or browse our French recipes. Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes.

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Herb and Garlic Marinated Zucchini Gratin

As I write this we have had a long weekend of record breaking temperatures in the 40C’s, maxing out at 44C. Then this week we are experiencing record breaking low temperatures for January. It’s the weather that demands turning the oven on and baking something.

This year the zucchini crop has done much better, fruiting constantly. How gorgeous they are, direct from the bush – tiny, tender, with flavours of summer. But today, in this cold weather, I am regressing to the 1970’s by marinating the zucchini in herbs and garlic, smothering them with cheese and baking them like a gratin. Perfect for very cool Summer weather.

Similar recipes include Potato Cheese Gratin, Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini, and Marinated Zucchini with Bocconcini.

Browse all of our Zucchini dishes and our Gratin dishes. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Plums, Apples, and/or Pears, Baked in Marsala or Port

One of the popular flavours of last century, around the ’70’s, was to bake fruit in Port or Marsala (a dark, sweet fortified dessert wine, produced in Sicily). The popularity of it has waned, though, to the extent that Marsala is now hard to find in stores and outlets.  However, I still like it, to the extent that once or twice a year, the bottle comes out and some fruit goes into the oven. See this delicious Pear dish.

Inevitably, cinnamon is paired with the Marsala, and it is a good combination, along with lemon and butter.

Today’s dish uses this combination in a bake of pears, apples and/or plums. At this time of year we are using plums on their own – it is Plum Season and my friend has gifted a bucket of home grown juicy fruit. They are baked and served with their juices along with cream, marscapone, or icecream, and can be added to pies and pastries, or included in icecreams, yoghurt deserts, and summery drinks (alcoholic or not).

Similar recipes include Pears Baked with Marsala, Baked Apples with Star Anise, and Rosemary Roasted Pears.

Browse all of our Desserts, and all of our Plum dishes. Our Apple recipes are here and Pear dishes here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Baked Okra with Tomato and Ginger

You either love okra or hate it, but this dish is sure to convert all of the okra haters, or those hesitant to try it.

The okra is baked whole with a little olive oil until it is tender. Then it is mixed in a light and fresh tomato and ginger sauce. It is a surprise – the sauce with the okra is wonderful, and the baking of the okra gives a slightly different flavour and texture to it.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe, so of course the flavours are magical. It is from his first cookbook Ottolenghi. It is an easy dish, taking 15 mins to cook once you’ve prepared the okra.

Are you looking for more Okra dishes? Try Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, Lemak Style Vegetables, and Avial.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes here, and all of our Ottolenghi recipes too. The dishes from Ottolenghi are here. Or take some time to enjoy our Late Autumn collection of dishes.

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Baked Yoghurt Encrusted with Vine Leaves

Ottolenghi believes that Turkish cuisine is one of the most exciting and accomplished in the world. I would argue that Indian is, but the cuisines between Indian and the Mediterranean definitely come close. Ottolenghi’s Book Plenty contains this unusual savoury cake (perhaps a pie) from the Turkish part of Northern Cyprus (where it is called Kibris Böreği).  A version of this dish is also known in Greece, being made in the Drama Region of Greece’s Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where it’s known as Asmapita. The name comes from the Turkish word Asma, which means grapevine.

Ottolenghi credits a book Classic Turkish Cooking by Ghillie Basan, so I borrowed the book to browse through. It is a great book if you are looking for Turkish recipes. I recommend it.

The recipe caught our attention because we have a Vine Leaf thing going at the moment, using them in a number of ways. We haven’t made dolmades yet, but they are on the list. Have a look at what we have made so far. There are more to come.

This is a dish where a shallow layer of yoghurt mixed with herbs and thickened with rice flour is baked wrapped in vine leaves! Grape leaves impart their exceptional flavour and aroma to the filling as it bakes. The breadcrumbs and sesame seeds add a crunchy layer to each slice. How very delicious! This recipe comes together in minutes, tastes great, and can be eaten warm or cold. It is an excellent contribution to a table of mezze.

Have I mentioned too, how the grape vine leaves are scented, and the kitchen begins to smell like a grape arbour. As you scald them, they release the fragrance. As I dry them in the sun the outside deck is scented with grape vines. As they bake, they have a lovely woody, grapevine aroma.

Similar recipes include Burghul Dolmas, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, and Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves.

Browse our Turkish dishes and all of our Vine Leaf recipes. All of our Yoghurt dishes are here. Or explore our other Early Summer recipes.

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Baked Marinated Tofu

There is a magnificent Asian grocer near us, their shop is so large it goes on and on. And, well, it has inspired me to play more with tofu. They have every variety from Five Spice Tofu to Deep Fried Tofu, to the hardest firm Tofu to the silkiest Silky Tofu.

For this recipe, I used really firm tofu. It is first marinated then baked for a delightful snack or summery side dish. It is a perfect dish, sticky and dark. Eat with a green mango salad. Or a crunchy, herby, green Asian Style Salad.

You might like to try some other Tofu dishes: Sticky Tamarind and Kaffir Tofu, Peach Salsa with Marinated Tofu; Hou Hod (Deep Fried Tofu with a Sweet Peanut Sauce); and Black Pepper Tofu.

You can browse all of our Tofu recipes here, and our Snack recipes. Or you might like to explore all of our easy Early Summer Recipes.

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Creamy Potato Cheese Gratin

Normally cheesy gratin dishes would be Winter fare in this house, but it is late Spring as I write, and we have the heating on and three layers of clothes. It is cold and wet. It might be 10 days from Summer but it feels like mid Winter. It HAS to be potatoes and cheese. Plus the oven warms the kitchen nicely.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Parmesan Potatoes, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini, and Gratineed Sweet Potatoes.

Other Potato dishes include Saag Aloo.

You can browse all of our Gratin dishes and all of our Potato recipes. Or simply explore all of our Late Summer dishes.

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Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque with Tomatoes and Herbs

This is a beautiful Autumn and Winter dish that can also be made with Spring vegetables. Today it might be Spring here, but leeks and carrots are still on the menu on the colder days of this transitional season. We have had such cold weather this year, even breaking records for the coldest November day in 50 years.

You can vary this dish. For example, use leeks only, or carrots only.  Potatoes on their own are also very very good.

Read about Cooking a la Grecque Style.

Similar recipes include Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, Mushrooms a la GrecqueCauliflower a la Grecque, and Fennel a la Grecque.

You might like to browse our Leek recipes, and our “a la Grecque” recipes. Also check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

This dish is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.

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Mushrooms Baked in Grape Vine Leaves

Grape vine leaves add a subtle flavour to dishes that are cooked on them – even wood-fired BBQs using grape vine “wood” adds a subtle taste and aroma to foods cooked over that fire.

It is a wonder that we don’t use vine leaves more for baking foods. As well as the flavour, the leaves themselves can be eaten if you have baked in a low heat (otherwise, they go a little crispy).

Elizabeth David in her beautiful book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, gives a recipe for baking mushrooms with vine leaves. She first saw the recipe in Edmond Ridhardin’s 1913 book L’Art du Bien Manger. It is as good today as it was a century ago.

Similar recipes include Baked Yoghurt in Vine Leaves, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Grilled Mushroom SaladGrape Vine Leaf Powder, French Slow Cooked Mushrooms, and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce.

You might like to explore other Elizabeth David recipes, or browse Mushroom recipes. This dish could also be cooked in a covered BBQ – have a look at other BBQ dishes also. Or simply scroll through all of our Mid Spring recipes.

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Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese

Cabbage and Carbs always go well together, right? And this dish of cabbage with pasta is divine. It is a great cold weather dish, and perfectly good for any time of the year as a Sunday Supper. It is a rustic dish, but don’t let that dissuade you.

Sometimes I cook this dish and the family aren’t home yet, and I pick at it in the kitchen until there is a definite hole in the side. It is so delicious with the nutty, slightly stretchy Emmental cheese. So easy to make just 3 ingredients – I cook the pasta and use the pasta water to blanch the cabbage. A few minutes assembly and into the oven it goes for about 20 mins – faster if you have a good fan forced oven. Take it bubbling to the table – your family will be begging for it again and again.

Truly, this dish almost needs a wood fire and a large glass of red. Eat on its own, with salads, or as an accompaniment to other dishes. Left overs are good fried up for breakfast! You could almost say that this comfort dish is NOT a Sydney dish. It is built for Melbourne and Adelaide, and all year round in Tassie. 🙂

Similar dishes include Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin, Baked Eggplant Steaks, and Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini.

Are you looking for Pasta dishes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. Then try Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Pepper and Tomato, and Light Pasta Salad.

Or are you looking for Cabbage Recipes? Try Malaysian Lemak Style Vegetables, Nappa Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing, and Cabbage Thoran.

You might also like to browse all of our Cabbage recipes. All of our Pasta dishes are here. Or browse Baked recipes. Take some time to check out our easy Mid-Winter recipes.

Also browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Baked Parsnips with Parmesan

We all love Parmesan sprinkled over baked dishes – that leathery melted sheet that results is chewy and yummy, the result of direct heat. But the complex flavours of parmesan are better preserved when, grated, it hits food still warm from the oven or stove. In fact, in Italian food, Parmesan is used widely but sparingly and rarely sees direct heat.

We use that practice with these gorgeously roasted Parsnips. It is Winter, and Winter = Parsnips. A simple dish to make but oh how very wonderful.

Are you after similar recipes? We have Roasted Parsnip Soup with Spices, and  Mashed Parsnips with Olive Oil and Parmesan.

If you would like to browse all of our Parsnip recipes, they are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter delights.

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Eggplant and Zucchini Baked with Chickpeas and Harissa Sauce

Oh the flavours of Morocco! And this lovely dish brings a memory of them to the table with the use of Harissa.

Harissa is a wonderful, fiery chilli and capsicum paste from Morocco and other parts of North Africa. Traditionally it is used as a condiment, and added to dishes according to taste. Used in small amounts, it enlivens stir-fries, stocks, sauces and vegetable casseroles, braises etc.

Harissa can be found in good supermarkets or Middle Eastern and North African providores. But it is also easy enough to make your own, with the advantage that you can adjust the heat level to your taste.

The dish itself is easy to make and tastes great with buttery couscous or even quinoa. We made it on a Summery day that was cooler – blessed relief from the intense heat, and a day where we were not afraid to turn the oven on. It takes 40 mins to cook, but can take longer depending on your cookware – we used terracotta and that always takes a bit longer.

Similar dishes include this Zucchini a la Grecque – a cold dish, perfect for heat waves, Steamed Eggplant and Zucchini with Chilli Paste, and a Baked Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Sauce.

For Eggplant dishes with Middle Eastern flavours try Saffron and Rosewater Scented Aubergine, Eggplants, Sultanas and Pinenuts with Yoghurt Dressing, and Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic Yoghurt Sauce.

All of our Eggplant dishes are here, and our Zucchini recipes here. Browse our Moroccan recipes. Or spend some time exploring our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin

As Winter marches on, we want dishes that we can cook in the oven, to add another source of heat to warm the kitchen. Baked dishes are also usually hearty, so they warm and nourish the body in a way that we only seek in Winter. Gratin dishes are so perfect, ticking every box.

This dish layers potatoes with cheese, covers them with milk and cream, and bakes it until bubbling and golden. Delicious!

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Parmesan Potatoes, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini, and Gratineed Sweet Potatoes.

You can browse all of our Gratin dishes and all of our Potato recipes. Or simply explore all of our Early Winter dishes.

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Pere al Forno con Marsala e Cannella | Pears Baked with Marsala and Cinnamon

Beautiful raisin flavoured baked pears for wintery nights.

Aaah, the thought of these makes me feel hungry. First made in our household about 20 years ago they still feature occasionally in our kitchen, especially in winter. They are a great way to take the evening chill off of the kitchen – turn the oven on, pop in the pears and perhaps some parsnips to roast, pour the wine and put some Italian music on in the background.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Baked Plums with Marsala or Port, Roasted Rosemary Pears, and an Autumn Fruit Salad.

You might like to browse our Dessert recipes, and our Pear recipes. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. You can browse more of those recipes in the Retro Recipes series.

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Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange

Nothing says “Winter” quite like baked fennel

Fennel raw in the warmer parts of Autumn is a must; fennel braised, roasted, pureed, baked, grilled or otherwise cooked in Winter is so heavenly.

Today, slow baked in olive oil and lemon juice – almost cooked a la Grecque – is a suitably Wintery dish for this weather. Enlivened with a Roast Vegetable Salt and Orange Zest, and replacing some of the lemon with pomegranate vinegar, set the scene for a Sunday lunch.

Are you looking for similar Fennel dishes? Try Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Also try Fava.

You might like other Fennel recipes and a la Grecque dishes. Our Greek Dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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