Haloumi Pizza with Oven Dried Tomatoes

From the market to the kitchen in Italian style.

Trawling the Farmer’s markets, the result was a full shopping bag topped with some sweet autumn cherry tomatoes, some rapé (rapini), and my favourite organic pizza dough. They came together in a pizza.

Take a look at our other pizzas here and here, and a collection of tomato recipes here and here. Check out our oven dried tomatoes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn recipes here and here.

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Baked Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes

Capsicums stuffed with cherry tomatoes and a basil sauce.

Tender. What a great name for a book. And what a book it is. Nigel Slater speaks so engagingly and comfortingly about his garden near Highbury Barn in London. He cooks my style of food – homely, so so simple, yet packing incredible flavours. Despite being British in style he loves to use Indian spices and experiment with flavour combinations.

When I say “British in style” I don’t want to conjure up images of old-fashioned British food like chip butties and steak and kidney pie. I do imply, though, that the food is cold weather food – root vegetables, cabbage, oven cooked food. For even a hot day in the UK does not pass muster as a summer day in Australia. Nigel would argue that some of his food is for the hotter seasons, but his recipes are not, say, like Bill Granger’s, built with the 30C – 45C degree heat of good ol’e Aussie summers where it is hot enough to cook a falafel on the sidewalk and everyone who is sane heads for the beach.

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Asparagus Pesto

A beautiful pesto from a gentle ingredient.

Isn’t it great that there are lots of ways to mush things together and the results taste spectacular? Soups, for example, smoothies, combination juices. The wonderful pesto and hummus. The wonderful mushing together of pastes, oils, nuts, seeds, cheeses, yoghurts, creams, fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables make for an endless variety of goodies. Even lentils and rice, ground together, make amazing fritters and even better fermented or unfermented flatbreads.

Especially great in all things mushed together is that the variety is endless. For example, in the warmer months, I am likely to be seen picking green things from my small pot-garden. Nasturtium leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, cardamom leaf, parsley, curry leaves, basil, lemon  verbena, rosemary, thyme – whatever looks good on that day. My handful of herbs gets chopped finely with some nuts or seeds, maybe some cheese or maybe not, garlic, maybe chilli, sometimes some rocket or spinach, lemon zest and whatever else is fresh and on my kitchen bench at the time.

Asparagus can also be used. Steamed and chopped, it makes a very rustic Asparagus Pesto. Glorious. Gentle.

You might also like to read The Joy of Asparagus, Spring Salads, and Cream of Asparagus Soup. All Asparagus recipes are here and here, and our Dips are here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Farinata | Socca | Chickpea Flour “Pizza”

Baked chickpea flour farinata with a pizza topping.

There can’t be a more versatile ingredient than the chickpea – whole, crushed, blitzed or ground; soaked, cooked, dried or tinned. But it is when they are dried and ground that the excitement really begins. Chickpea flour (also known as Bengal gram, gram flour and besan flour) forms the basis of some of my favourite comfort food.

Chickpea flour is used by cuisines from France through to India (from Socca in France to Farinata in Italy, to Iranian gondi dumplings, to pudla in India, for example), an beyond that as well. It is a versatile cooking medium, even lending itself to batters for deep frying vegetables and other snacks. There are also cardamom flavoured biscuits, pistachio studded fudge, sev noodle snacks, delightful yoghurt curries, In India its use is ubiquitous, and Italy seems to have a wonderful understanding of its properties too. This nutty-flavoured flour has grabbed the attention of cuisines around the world .

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Marinated Zucchini Salad with Bocconcini

Tiny zucchini marinated with garlic.

A very simple but delicious salad. Easy to make and a great Spring to Autumn salad.

Are you looking for Zucchini recipes – Try Quick Zucchini with Garlic, Zucchini, Lemon and Dill Salad, Zucchini Preserved in Olive Oil, Making Zucchini Juice, and Zucchini Rice.

Or are you looking for Salads? Try Pomegranate and Banana Salad, Halloumi and Orange Salad, and Kidney Bean Sundal.

Or browse all of our Zucchini recipes and all of our Salads. Our Italian recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Peperoni in Padella | Roasted Red Peppers Salad

A simple dish with sweetness of red capsicums for the heat of summer

On hot days you need quick and easy food that is light and cooling. Make some Red Peppers in Oil and then go to the beach.

You will also enjoy Capsicum with Feta and Kidney Beans, Grilled and Oiled Eggplants and Peppers, and Sweet Red Pepper Salads. Perhaps even try drying capsicums for winter snacks. All Capsicum recipes are here and here, and Salads here and here. Our Italian recipes are here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer recipes here and here.

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How to Make Italian Tomato Paste

Every Autumn the wonderful juicy autumnal tomatoes are used to make tomato paste, which is then frozen in small bits, ready to bring out and pop into any dish that needs it. It lasts all winter.

Ii is usually stored in individual small containers, but it could be frozen in an icecube tray and then put the cubes into ziplock bags. The cubes will be ready for you to pop straight into the pan when required.

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Pomodori con Riso | Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice

A wintery dish.

This recipe is really easy, and I love the textures. Served with a salad, or some roasted or baked vegetables, it is a delicious meal.

Stuffed vegetables went out with the Ark, but are coming back now. The rice is cooked in the juice and internal flesh of the tomatoes which adds a wonderful taste to the rice.

A Social Photographer once quipped “Life is too short to stuff tomatoes.” I am not sure what she was referring to, but I happen to like stuffed tomatoes.

Are you looking for Stuffed Tomato recipes? Try Tomatoes Gratinéed with Cheese, Tomatoes Stuffed with Olives and Ricotta, and Tomatoes Stuffed with Feta and Basil.

We have many Tomato recipes. Our favourites are Confit Tomatoes, Tomato Lassi and Tomato Salad with Garlicky Mayo, and Tomato Bharta.

You can browse all of our Tomato recipes here. Or see all of our Stuffed dishes here. Get some inspiration from our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Roasted Rosemary Pears

An unusual use of Pears, but delightful for Autumn and Winter, especially good for a Winter BBQ.

Holidaying at home is a little luxury for me. I can look at the yellow of the silver birch leaves across the road. Get the freshest of flowers each morning. Gaze at the clouds enveloping the hills. Listen to music. Read. Oh, it is so good to be home.

So, after glazing apples and draining yoghurt, both for a tomorrow’s menu, the weather is perfect for baking some pears with a little rosemary powder – ground by hand with a little chilli and dried capsicum and a minor pinch of salt. If you have not have this at hand :-), use fresh rosemary, some sea salt and add chilli if you dare. I have made this dish with pears and plums, so it is quite versatile.

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Pomodori Gratinati | Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese

In Autumn, tomatoes are at their best, especially for cooking.

In Autumn tomatoes come into their own. Not only are the tomatoes a little juicer, a little sweeter away from that hot sun, but the weather is a little cooler and so cooking tomatoes becomes an option again – baked, grilled, fried, sauteed, sauced, pureed – you name the cooking method and tomatoes will have it covered.

Gratineed tomatoes are filled with cheese, herbs and breadcrumbs and oven baked for slightly retro but awesome lunches or as a side dish to a main meal. They can be cooked in covered BBQs as well.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Creamy Potato Cheese Gratin, Oven Baked Tomatoes, and Baked Stuffed Tomatoes with Rice.

Or if you are after other Gratin dishes, try Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, Potato and Cheddar Gratin, and Caramelised Witlof with a Cheesey Topping.

You might like to browse other Baked Tomatoes here. All of our Tomato recipes are here and here, or Italian recipes here. and here. Or find inspiration in our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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