Tomato Bharta | Roast Tomato Side Dish or Chutney

Bharta are North Indian (Punjabi) dishes where the main ingredient is roasted and then pureed with spices. The flavours are intensified by the roasting and the resulting dish is spicy and tangy. A commonly known bharta is Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Bharta).

This recipe uses tomatoes and it is amazing. It is great as a dip, served over rice, used as a sauce, or as an accompaniment to any curry. It can be served with dal-rice, kitchari or stuffed parathas. It also goes well with Chapatti, Roti. It has the best taste!

Similar recipes include Baingan ka Bharta, Bengali Eggplant Puree and Sweet and Spicy Tomato Chutney.

See all of our Bharta recipes here. Read all about Indian Chutneys here, and feel free to browse other Indian Chutneys recipes. See Tomato recipes here. Or simply explore all of our Punjabi dishes, our Indian dishes and our Early Autumn recipes.

This recipe can be frozen without the tadka – browse other Autumnal ways of preserving for Winter here.

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Harissa | Chilli and Red Pepper Sauce

You think that you love Sriracha? I am sure that you have not tried Harissa yet.

Harissa is a well-known hot sauce from the North African and Middle Eastern parts of this world. It is tangy hot, but tempered by the sweet red peppers, roasted for intensity of flavour. This aromatic and spicy chilli paste can be used like a condiment, or added to dishes as they cook, or used to spice up soups, dips, eve your pizza. It is great with vegetables, roast potatoes and couscous. Slip just a little into your salad dressing. But a little goes a long way – it is a hot paste even if you are used to spicy food. In North Africa it’s also served in a pool of olive oil, for dipping bread into.

Harissa recipes vary between countries and regions, but it commonly includes chillies, garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, caraway and mint.

You might like to brows our other chilli pastes. Try Red or Green Chilli Pastes, Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours, or Zhug, a Corainder and Chilli Paste. Or read How to Dry Chillies and How to Make Chilli Powder.

Similar recipes include How to Make Bechamel (White) Sauce.

Feel free to explore our Middle Eastern dishes, and all of our Pastes, Sauces and Spreads. Or simply browse our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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How to Make Parsley Pesto | Parsley Sauce, Dip and Spread

Pesto is pretty good, no? Sweet basil with pine nuts, garlic and parmesan, it is so easy but so jolly good. I make it and put it in the freezer, so after late nights at work I can whip up a plate of pasta, dress it with pesto and throw in some halved cherry tomatoes. Too easy.

You can also make a “pesto” with parsley. Yes, your Italian ancestors would probably turn their noses up to the thought, but there are a number of ingredients that you can whizz up to make a glorious paste to use as a pasta or other sauce, dip or spread. Try Asparagus, Coriander, and a mix and match approach. And today this  recipe adds Parsley to the list.

There is no cheese in the basic recipe, but the deliciousness of almonds, garlic, lemon, and, indeed, nutmeg. I do hope you enjoy it. (You can add cheese if you wish – it does add a lovely flavour that I quite like, so I add it on occasion).

Are you looking for Pesto Recipes? Try Coriander Pesto, Basil Pesto and also How to Make Various Pesti.

Perhaps also some Parsley recipes: Try Chermoula, Parsley Braised with Tomatoes, Salsa Verde, and How to Use Parsley Stalks.

All of our Pesto recipes are here. You can also browse all of our Parsley Recipes, and our Pastes, Spreads and Dips. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Autumn Freezing and Easy Preserving for Winter Use

Now is the time to be freezing the last of Summer produce so that you can continue to use them in winter.

We adore all sorts of pastes and purees suitable for freezing that we can drop into Winter stews, coat Wintery pasta dishes, bubble in Winter Soups and chop into all sorts of dishes. Below are some of our favourites.

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Freeze Your Garlic and Your Ginger for Winter Use

Keep good garlic available for winter

Did you know that garlic freezes rather well? I have to thank Kathryn Elliott for bringing this to my attention.

Garlic is a seasonal crop, and local garlic is cheap over summer. It begins to peak in price during late Summer and early Autumn, continuing to rise until late Autumn or Early Winter until it is no longer available. The only option then is to buy overseas garlic of dubious quality.

Ginger, too, can be frozen, for ease of use.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

I recently came across this again, which reminded me of a conversation on Boxing day with Bill and Karen, friends of my brother, while eating Bill’s pesto. The recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and dig out the mortar and pestle. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta. I often leave out the walnuts.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

You should check out our home made eggless pasta too.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Tomato and Creme Fraiche Pasta Sauce, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

Use Broad Bean and Mint Puree as a pasta sauce too, by thinning it until a suitable consistency is reached.

You might also like our other Pesto recipes. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Italian Tomato Sauce

A very versatile Italian Sauce

This is a gorgeously herby tomato sauce with an Italian swagger. It cooks slowly down then is blended well (using a blender) or coarsely (with an immersion blender), and the sauce can be frozen. It pairs delightfully with cheeses like fontina, can serve as a fresh chutney, used as a spread in layered sandwiches and toasties, and of course serves as a sauce as well.

I have a few of “go to” tomato recipes that I make and freeze for the winter months. This is one of them, Tomato Paste is another, and I like freezing tomatoes whole, to throw into dishes as they cook. I also make Spiced Tomato Puree, and Tomato and Chilli Jam. And just for luck, I throw some tomatoes through the juicer and freeze the juice. We have a splendidly tomato-ey winter. I love that this recipe is part of our tomato-y stash.

It was my daughter who first pointed out how good this recipe is. It has been in use in our household since 1998. That is how good it is!

Similar dishes include Umbrian Cure-all Sauce, Salsa Verde, Tomato and Chilli Jam, Tomato Paste, and Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Tomato recipes here. Or you might like to browse Sauce recipes here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here.

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Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours | A HOT Chilli Paste

A Chilli Jam with extraordinary depth of flavours.

This Chilli Jam is more complex and refined that many others. Slow, slow cooking gives it an enduring and lingering natural sweetness which is enhanced with the addition of jaggery.

Although it is called a jam, it is not a spread unless you are a chilli fiend. It is closer to a Sambal or Chilli Paste. It is as hot as you can imagine chillies to be, and spread it on your toast at your peril. However, the long slow cooking intensifies the sugars in the ingredients and the heat is mellowed one compared to the heat of the raw or fresh pastes.

Similar recipes include Hawaiian Chilli Water, Balinese Sambal Tomat and Hot Sweet Chilli Jam.

Feel free to browse our Chilli recipes or you might like to browse Sweet and Savoury Jam recipes . Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes too.

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How to Make Pomarola | Italian Tomato Sauce

Pomarola is one of the corner stones of Italian cooking is tomato sauce. This is a simple recipe that can be used as it is or can be added to when needed. It is important to use fresh and ripe tomatoes. Make a lot and freeze it for Winter. This recipe was given to me by Ilyse, who used to have the most amazing Italian food blog, Lucullian Delights.

Have a look at our great pizza dough recipes here. Our pizzas are here. You might like to see what else we freeze in Autumn here, especially when it comes to freezing different tomato pastes and sauces.

Browse all of our Tomato recipes. Or you might like to browse Sauce recipes here. Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes.

Similar recipes include How to Make Bechamel (White) Sauce.

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Spiced Tomato Puree

Keep this in the freezer for the times you need tomato puree.

A gift of home grown organic tomatoes, a surfeit in fact, had me reaching for my heavy Italian style pans to make some spiced tomato puree.

The beauty of this dish is that it can be sealed into jars and kept in the fridge for a week or two, or frozen in containers or ziplock bags for later use. It is great with pasta or stirred into dishes – curries, vegetable stews, sauces, dressings, dips, soups etc.

It takes about 30 mins to prep and cook – it is great to make on a Sunday morning in that lazy atmosphere that envelops the house on this day. Read with a cuppa coffee while the sauce bubbles away on the stove.

This is a beautifully simpe recipe. You might also like to try this one and French Tomato Sauce. They are ones that I make and freeze in Autumn. See how to preserve tomatoes for Winter.

Or explore all of our Tomato recipes. For similar purees, also try Broad Bean Puree with Chilli Oil.

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