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A packed lunch is not just for the young but also for the young at heart, and summer is the perfect time to pack your favourite lunchbox full of the bounty of the season.
This month we are celebrating the humble tomato with the addition of the fruit’s perfect companions, basil and cheese. Domatokeftedes (pronounced doh-mah-to-kef-the-thes) or tomato fritters honour those plump, ripe heirloom tomatoes, served with tzatziki. The Caprese skewers are a marriage made in heaven… tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic crema, beautiful visually and delicious to eat. And you definitely can’t go wrong with tomato tarts… so easy to make, and delicious hot or cold.
We know lunches can sometimes be difficult to come up with ideas for; try some of these to ensure lunchtime is an anticipated event. Get creative and have fun! We love freezing pottles of yoghurt and adding them in the morning to keep food cool and safe until lunchtime. By the time lunch rolls around your yoghurt should be thawed but still cold, and even if it hasn’t thawed completely, frozen yoghurt is delicious.
Blistered tomato and feta tarts
Makes 12 tarts
18 cherry tomatoes cut in half ½ red onion thinly sliced drizzle of olive oil drizzle of balsamic vinegar sheet of ready rolled puff pastry 1 free range egg yolk 3 Tbsp crème fraîche 1 Tbsp chives chopped finely Seasoning 1 free range egg yolk, beaten 12 basil leaves 30−50g crumbled feta (we use chilli feta)
Place tomatoes and red onions in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Using a 70mm x 70mm square cutter, cut out pastry shapes. Score a 10mm border from the edge of each square and prick the middle area with a fork.
Place on a baking tray and bake for eight minutes until starting to turn golden.
Remove from oven and press down centres of tarts using the back of a teaspoon.
In a bowl mix the egg yolk, crème fraîche and chives. Season well.
Spread 1tsp of mixture into the centre of the tarts. Add three of the halved tomatoes and some of the red onion. Brush sides of the tarts with the egg wash.
Return to the oven and bake for a further 12−15 minutes until golden.
Sprinkle with torn basil leaves and crumbled feta.
Makes 6 skewers
6 large cherry tomatoes, sliced in thirds 12 basil leaves 6 small balls bocconcini mozzarella, (buffalo) cut in half balsamic crema 6 skewers
Assemble the skewers as follows: third tomato, half mozzarella, basil leaf, third tomato, mozzarella, basil leaf, third tomato.
Drizzle with balsamic crema just before eating.
Domatokeftedes (Greek tomato fritters)
Makes 8–10 fritters
1 zucchini, grated 6 heirloom tomatoes, diced 1/2 red onion, finely diced 2 Tbsp roughly chopped basil 2 Tbsp roughly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley 3/4 cup sifted high grade flour salt and pepper olive oil
Combine first five ingredients, sift over the flour and stir to combine with a good splash of olive oil to make a batter. Season generously.
Fry large tablespoon amounts of the batter in a pan over a medium heat with olive oil until golden and cooked through.
1 cup Greek yogurt 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed 1 cucumber peeled, deseeded and grated juice of ½ lemon handful of roughly chopped mint handful of roughly chopped dill salt and pepper
Squeeze excess water out of grated cucumber. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season. Refrigerate until ready to use.