Monthly Archives: October 2011

Recipe: Herby Spaghetti with Courgette, Feta and ‘Sundried’ Cherry Tomatoes

This dinner came out of pure greediness.

I was wondering if I could eat two flavour combos I love at once without it being too overpowering; these being:

-Tomatoes, Basil and garlic

-Green Veg and mint

I thought individually the flavours all worked well with each other, and worked well with feta cheese (which could be left out for a vegan recipe); and it turns out if you combine them all together they taste even better!

Ingredients for 2 generous servings:

-250g of spaghetti (we’re greedy!)

-A large mug of frozen peas

-A handful of chopped yellow cherry tomatoes

-Around 50g of sundried/blushed tomatoes in oil (we used a home dried F1 Mini Plum variety, dried in our dehydrator (not the sun…we live in England after all!))

-150-200g of feta (leave out for a vegan recipe!)

-2 medium courgettes

– 2 cloves of garlic

-A handful of fresh basil leaves (torn or chopped)

-Around 5-6 fresh mint leaves (sliced very fine)

  1. Slice the courgettes into ¼ inch (~1cm) rounds and lightly fry in just a little olive oil on a low/med heat. Don’t fry for too long, you don’t want them mushy, but fresh and just cooked.
  1. As the courgettes are just fried add the garlic, then after another minute of cooking the frozen peas.
  1. Add the mint, it should be about a pinch, don’t be excessive as fresh mint is strong. Add around half the basil to the cooking veg.
  1. Turn the heat under the veg off when done; keep warm by covering if necessary. Drain your spaghetti, place it back in the pan with a good glug of olive all.
  1. Add the cooked veg mixture to the pasta, add the raw chopped and sundried tomatoes and the fresh basil. Crumble in the feta.

Voila, Greek? Italian? Who knows….but it’s yummy!

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Restaurant Review: Inamo London

Last Saturday, my friend and I ate at Inamo restaurant in Soho, and I’d highly recommend it for a unique experience. The restaurant is dim-light to emphasize the unique table decoration- projected images of your choice from above,  selected using the touch pad built into your table!

You order your food using a unique ordering system projected onto your table. Then you can watch the food preparation in the kitchen on the ‘chef cam’ or play a (slightly rubbish) table based memory game!

The system is lots of fun, but incredibly distracting. It’s hard to have an intimate chat with a close friend in a darkly lit room, whilst trying to navigate an interactive ordering system and watching a bright blue peacock that is being projected in front of you! You also lose the comparative element of having all the dishes displayed in front of you allowing you to read through the whole menu and choose what looks best. Instead you have to scroll through as images of the food and a short description are projected onto your plate! Plus, as staff members have to explain the system to you, and you can ‘summon’ a waiter/ress a la Yo Sushi, I wonder how much staff time it actually saves!

However FUN is clearly the name of the game here.

The food is expensive, unless you purchase the reasonably priced £8.50 lunch box or vegetarian lunch box and stick to those, even tea is £2.25 (compared with wagamama’s free and Yo Sushi’s £1.50). But you get what you pay for the food is delicious! I had the veggie lunch box, the tempura asparagus and sweet potato was amazing!

I would highly recommend Inamo with the disclaimer that on a sunny day it feels a little cave-like and the decor is a little divorced-dad-pad. The techno tables are not to be missed though!

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Recipe: Mixed tomato Quesadillas with Warm Bean Salad

Image by Caz... at flickr. com on CCAL sharealike

We got home late last night from a day go-karting in Peterborough to find our cupboards pretty bare. It turned out not be a disaster though as it birthed this really tasty recipe!

You can shove anything in a quesadilla, and despite the name, cheese isn’t even necessary. It can easily be replaced by avocado, refried beans, mashed tofu or vegan cream cheese…or just more veg!

We had to hand a single mozzarella ball, some home-grown yellow cherry tomatoes, an onion and some home dried red cherry tomatoes (post on home-dried tomatoes coming soon) stored in oil, some wraps, some fresh basil from the windowsill, spices and a tin of mixed beans.

For the bean salad:

-chopped cherry tomatoes

-Diced raw onion (to taste)

-olive oil

-rice wine vinegar

-salt and pepper

-a good pinch fresh basil or coriander leaves

-A tin of mixed beans

– A pinch of cayenne pepper to spice up. We used home grown and dried (post coming soon!)

1. Chop the tomatoes and dice the onion, add 2/3 to the salad and save a 1/3 back for the quesadillas.

2. Add a good splash of olive oil and rice wine vinegar to the tomatoes and onion, add a little salt and pepper. The salt and vinegar will draw some of the liquid out of the tomatoes and soften the ‘raw’ taste of the onion, when combined with the beans, the liquid makes a lovely ‘sauce’. This is why cherry tomatoes are good; they tend to hold their shape better as they lose liquid than diced larger tomatoes.

3. Heat the beans in the microwave for 1-2 mins until hot.

4. Add to the tomato mix with the fresh herbs.

5. Add cayenne to taste.

For the Quesadillas:

-A small handful of any cheese, or a slice or two of mozzarella for each quesadilla

-Chopped mixed tomatoes

-Diced raw onion (to taste)

-Basil (you could use any herb, coriander would give a more Mexican flavour)

-a splash of hot sauce if you like it spicy!

-Flour Tortillas

1. Very lightly oil a pan with a piece of kitchen towel or a minimum use of spray oil, or use a dry non-stick pan.

2. Simply place the ingredients on one half of the tortilla, fold over the other half. Place in the pan to toast. Flip over to toast the other side. Toast each quesadilla in turn then serve the quesadilla stack with the bean salad…mop up and enjoy!