Brunch, that late breakfast or early lunch, really a replacement for both, so that its identity is that it has elements of both. Whether you are doing more lunchy elements for your brunch, or more breakfasty elements, a salad always goes down a treat. Think Avo on Toast with a Brunch Salad. Perfect.
After years of not using mayonnaise in my salads (I don’t eat eggs so don’t make my own and don’t love it enough to buy it), I whipped up my Mother’s very retro eggless mayo that she always made with a can on condensed milk, white vinegar and mustard (or other flavouring).
Now we have a couple of salads that use mayo – A Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo, and today’s salad which is sort of a wild variation on Salade Niçoise.
Or perhaps Fennel Salads? Try Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes, and Nashi Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad with Panch Phoron Crunch.
Or are you after just Salads? Try Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta, and Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad.
Sometimes the mornings are rushed, but I still insist on my salad each day, at least until the winter arrives in full force. So I take what I can from the fridge, and some mayo that I made the night before (good thinking!) and a simple salad is born.
Eating a salad a day makes a difference to your life. Trust me.
I love this recipe – it is so versatile, and the sort of recipe you can pre-prepare the ingredients, charring the okra and tossing it with the other ingredients at the last moment. The preserved lemon and fresh lemon juice contrast so wonderfully with the charred but still crunchy okra. This dish is GOOD.
The okra can also be charred on the BBQ (grill), tossing them on the hot plate as you sip wine and talk to friends. Then throw them into a pan and toss them with the other ingredients and place on the table for your guests to munch on (try with some flat bread) while you get on with BBQing the rest of the meal. I use a kadhai (Indian wok, flatter than a Chinese one) to make this dish, it is perfect for it.
It is an Ottolenghi recipe, of course, born of the Israeli and Palestinian roots of Sammy and Yotham. Okra features well in these cuisines, from the sun dried okra hanging from strings, to being served in dishes heavy with tamarind syrup. What a divine thought!
For this dish, use short, young, fresh, crisp okra only.
Perhaps try some other Middle Eastern dishes: Babaganoush, Falafel, Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta and Chickpea “Tabbouleh”.
We have a wealth of Ottolenghi recipes that we have tried. Or have a look at all of our Okra recipes and all of our Salad recipes. Our Middle Eastern Dishes are here. Or spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn dishes.
A rustic mountain dish from France
Perhaps not a pretty dish, there I said it. This is a rustic mountain dish from Haute Savoie, a region of France. It uses vinegar and lemon to add real tang to the mushrooms which are eaten cold – they go well with some excellent bread. In modern times it is great as part of an appetiser plate or part of a mezze/tapas style meal. The vinegar gives it the characteristics of a quick pickle or chutney, and it will pair well with other small dishes.
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!
Looking for Bharta recipes? Try Baingan ka Bharta.
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.
All through the Mediterranean, okra is cooked in a thick tomato sauce, and in Greece they are also liberal with the olive oil. Its a delicious dish that can be eaten as part of a table laden with Mediterranean vegetable dishes, or serve with fresh crusty break and feta. It also goes so well with rice, burghul, polenta, quinoa or any grain pilaf.
Vinegar helps to reduce the sliminess of the okra, and there are various ways of using it. Some sprinkle it on the okra and leave to rest for an hour (or don’t rest it), others soak in acidulated water from 1 – 12 hours. Take you pick – I soaked these for some hours as I was pottering around the kitchen doing other things. When I was ready, they were drained, rinsed and used in the dish.
Zucchini takes extremely well to marination, particularly with Mediterranean flavours such as garlic, olive oil, oregano. Mix them up and leave for 30 mins – 1 hour, then serve. You can mix them with Bocconcini, for example, or, like this recipe, with some beautiful tomatoes. Fresh, young zucchini has the most glorious texture.
I have used small cherry tomatoes here, but use any tomatoes you have – halving or slicing them depending on the size. I like to mix green, semi ripe and ripe tomatoes as it gives variation in flavours, but this is probably only possible if you or your best friend grow your own tomatoes. Green tomatoes are difficult to find these days, yet I love them.
Throw in a small zucchini flower or two if you have them.
Are you looking for other Tomato Salads? Try Artichoke Hearts with Tomatoes Salad, My Mother’s Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dressing, and the very red Tomato and Pomegranate Salad.
Or are Zucchini dishes your preference? Try Zucchini Preserved in Oil with Mint, Chilli and Garlic, Zucchini Rice, Zucchini Fry, and Poached with Other Vegetables in Wine.
The Autumn glut of tomatoes sees me finding ways to use them, as well as popping as many as I can into the freezer. Although the weather is cooler in the mornings and evenings, salads are still on our home menu each day. Sometimes they are snacks, perhaps with some flatbread, sometimes they accompany a meal, sometimes they are the meal.
A quick salad this morning with sweet vine-ripened tomatoes fresh from the garden, tossed together with some green olives. Divine, the tang of the olives against the sweet tomatoes.
Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Bok Choy with Tomatoes and Capers, and Warm Tomato Salad.
Why not browse all of our Tomato Salads, indeed, all of our MANY Salads. I am sure you will find inspiration. Or have a look at our general Tomato recipes and our Olive recipes. Or take some time to explore our Early Autumn dishes.
An unashamedly Retro Dish perfect for Modern Times.
Potatoes and Cumin are a great match. This retro baked dish is a great dish for any time of the year, and extremely wonderful in cooler Autumn months and Winter. It layers the potato with black pepper and cumin seed, and tops it with juicy tomatoes, breadcrumbs and parsley. It is a comforting dish, home cooking at its best. Who would not want to come home to a dish like this?
Would you like to try other Gratin recipes? Try Gratineed Sweet Potato, Potato Gratin with Cream and Pomodori Gratinati – Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese.
Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – recipes from our previous blog that ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Potato recipes here and our Gratin Recipes. Or you might like to browse Tomato recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.
Once I had a lovely older Italian man as a hairdresser. He was amazing. As we molded my hair into some shape and varied colour upon colour, we discussed cooking, fashion and food. Sometimes with a glass of champagne. He was very special and he gave me this great family polenta recipe.
Since the garden has includes some tomato bushes I have been playing around with green tomatoes, and adore them a lot. In the simplest form, they go amazingly well in salads, and mixed in with ripe tomatoes to top your pasta dinner. This recipe is a Salsa and it plays to the green tomato’s flavour and texture. I hope you enjoy it.
We have some other Green Tomato recipes – check here to see if they have been published yet (they are scheduled for later).
A Salad with the tastes of Mexico
What to do with left over flatbread or roti, no longer near its prime, but not yet ready to be allocated to the bin? Ah, I have the answer for you. Crisp it up in the oven and turn it into a wonderful, mexican influenced salad.
Those organic corn chips can be used in this salad too – the ones without added flavourings. They are perfect. Also corn tortillas, crisped in the oven.
While you are at it, crisp up a lot of the flatbread, rotis or tortillas. They are excellent with cheese or dips. Very crispy and crunchy.
You will love this salad. Feel free to browse our other Salad recipes here and here. We have a lot, so if you just want Tomato Salad recipes they are here. This is a salad inspired by Bittman – have a look at his other superb salads. Or simply explore our easy Summer recipes here and here.
Artichokes are not something that appear in this house very often, except perhaps as decorations – they look so good, right? Truth be told, I am a bit too lazy to do the work to prepare and cook them. While the taste of fresh ones must be superior, I have turned to grilled hearts from the deli section of the supermarket for this salad. You can also use canned. Hearts are available in jars and cans in supermarkets. After all, we all turn to canned beans and lentils very occasionally, even though freshly soaked and cooked tastes infinitely better. So, today, against my preference for limiting processed foods, I am rebelliously Ok’ing that can or jar of artichoke hearts for this recipe if you can’t get the grilled ones from the deli section. Sometimes you can also find frozen ones, and you could grill them yourself.
Shallow fried chickpea flour bite sized snacks
A really nice snack to have when you are hot or tired or jet lagged, made with chickpea flour. It takes about 30 mins including cooling time.
Chickpea flour, also called besan or gram flour, is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, especially for Indian cooking. It makes a great batter, thickener, thin fritter or pan cake style pudla/cheela, and other goodies. Why not also try Pudla with Green Coriander and Mung Sprouts, Crispy Battered Onion Rings, and Gram Flour Vada. Going Italian, try the wonderful Farinata with Tomatoes and Onion. If it is desserts that you are after, try this Besan Custard.