Georgina Hayden’s horiatiki salata – the ultimate Greek salad
Tomatoes are one of the hero ingredients in Greek cooking. They are the base of most of our foods – stewed, battered, pureed, you’ll even find them made into glyko, a sweet preserve. For me though, there is nothing quite like eating them raw in a traditional Greek salad. It acts as a showcase of the best of Greek produce: sweet tomatoes, salty fatty olives, peppery extra virgin olive oil and creamy tangy feta. Throw in a wicker chair and a paper tablecloth and I’m in heaven.
Serves 4 as a side
red onion ½
red wine vinegar 1 tbsp
ripe tomatoes 500g
Greek or Lebanese cucumber 1 small (or ½ a regular cucumber)
green pepper 1
black kalamata olives 12
extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp, Greek ideally
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
feta cheese 150g, in 1 piece
fresh oregano a few sprigs, or ¼ tsp dried
Peel and finely slice the red onion. Place in a large bowl with the red wine vinegar and leave to one side for 15 minutes. Roughly chop and slice the tomatoes. Trim and cut the cucumber in half lengthways, then slice into half moons. Halve the pepper, discarding the seeds, and finely slice into crescents. Place the chopped veg in the bowl with the onions and tear in the olives, discarding the stones. Season well and toss together with the olive oil. Transfer to a platter and top with the feta slab. Sprinkle over the oregano leaves, fresh or dried, and serve straight away.
Georgina Hayden is a cook and food writer. Her latest book is Taverna (Square Peg, £25)
Diana Henry’s roast tomatoes and lentils with dukkah-crumbed eggs
You will end up with more dukkah than you need for this dish, but it seems silly to make a smaller amount. Put it into an airtight container and keep it for sprinkling on braised beans or bean purees, or for eating with hard-boiled eggs and radishes. You can use pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds, if you prefer.
Serves 6 for lunch or a light main course
For the dukkah
hazelnuts 75g (skins on)
sesame seeds 50g
nigella seeds 1 tsp
sunflower seeds 1 tbsp
coriander seeds 3 tbsp
white peppercorns 1 tbsp
cumin seeds 1 tbsp
ground paprika 1 tsp
sea salt flakes ½ tbsp
For the tomatoes and eggs
plum tomatoes 12 large, halved
olive oil 3 tbsp
harissa 2 tsp
caster sugar ½ tbsp
salt and pepper
eggs 6 large
For the lentils
olive oil 1 tbsp
onion ½, very finely chopped
celery stick 1, very finely chopped
garlic clove 1, finely chopped
Puy lentils 250g
thyme 1 sprig
bay leaf 1
lemon juice of ½
sherry vinegar 1 tbsp
extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp, chopped
To make the dukkah, put the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan and toast over a high heat until they smell roasted. Be careful not to go too far, they burn very easily. Tip them on to a plate to cool a little, then crush them in a mortar to a coarsely ground mixture.
Put the sesame seeds into the dry frying pan with the nigella and toast until the sesame seeds are golden. Follow with the sunflower seeds. Roughly crush all the toasted seeds and add to the nuts. Toast the coriander seeds until they smell toasted, then grind them very roughly. Do the same with the peppercorns, then the cumin seeds. Combine the nuts, seeds and toasted spices with the paprika and salt. Store in a jar or other airtight container until you need it.
For the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Lay the tomatoes in a single layer in a roasting tin. Mix the olive oil and harissa together and pour over. Turn to coat, ending cut side up, then sprinkle with sugar and season. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until caramelised in parts and slightly shrunken.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently sauté the onion, celery and garlic until soft but not coloured. Add the lentils and turn them over in the oil. Chuck in the thyme and bay leaf. Pour on 700ml water, season lightly, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are just tender. This could take 15-25 minutes depending on their age, so watch them; they can turn to mush quickly. When they are cooked, they should have absorbed all the liquid (simply drain them if they haven’t). Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Add the lemon juice. Mix the vinegar and extra virgin oil together and stir it into the lentils with the coriander. Taste for seasoning.
Cook the eggs in boiling water for 6 minutes. They should still be a little runny in the middle. Rinse them in cold water and, once cool enough to handle, quickly peel. Roll them lightly in the dukkah and set each on top of a serving of lentils and tomatoes, or if you prefer to see the yolk, break the egg in half and sprinkle some dukkah on top. Serve immediately.
From A Change of Appetite: Where delicious meets healthy by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley, £25)
José Pizarro’s smoked sardines with salmorejo
Salmorejo is thick, cold tomato soup that Andalusian people normally eat as a starter during summer when it’s extremely hot. The dish is originally from Cordoba, where in August the temperature can easily reach 42C. Here, I serve it with smoked sardines, as we did at my restaurant Pizarro, but you could add fruit such as melon or grapes to make it even fresher, if you prefer.
sardines 12 small or 6 large, gutted and bones removed
mild-flavoured wood chips or sawdust a handful
rosemary 2 sprigs
lavender 2 heads
fruit vinegar 1 tbsp (raspberry, muscatel or apple are good)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salmorejo
really ripe tomatoes 800g, cored and roughly chopped
stale bread 200g (ciabatta, bread roll, rustic loaf), torn
garlic 2 cloves, crushed
sherry vinegar 2 tsp
extra virgin olive oil 75ml
For the lemon thyme croutons
stale bread 100g, cubed
olive oil for frying
lemon thyme 3-4 sprigs
eggs 3 free-range
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
First, clean the sardines. Wash well, then remove the heads, slit the bellies and take out the insides. Then, with a sharp knife and fingers, pull out the bones. This will leave you with butterflied fillets. Alternatively, you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you. Lay the fish on a board, skin-side up, and allow the skin to dry out a little while you prepare the rest of the dish.
To make the salmorejo, put the tomatoes in a blender with the bread, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. Season well and blitz, adding a little cold water to loosen. Season again to taste and chill in the fridge.
Cook the eggs in boiling water for 6-7 minutes, then cool under cold water.
To make the croutons, fry the bread in olive oil with the lemon thyme until golden and crisp. Sprinkle with sea salt and drain on kitchen paper.
Line a wok with foil and scatter with a few wood chips and the herbs. Press a wire rack over the top of the wood chips in the wok, ensuring it fits inside snugly. Place the fish skinside down on the rack, then cover the top with a lid or more foil, to stop the smoke from escaping. Place over a medium heat and, as soon as plumes of smoke have started to appear, smoke for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through. Sprinkle with the fruit vinegar.
Peel and slice the eggs. Pour the soup into wide bowls and top with the croutons, egg slices, smoked sardine fillets and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
From Andalusia: Recipes from Seville and beyond by Jose Pizarro (Hardie Grant, £26)
Caroline McGivern’s green tomato chutney
When I finally got around to planting my own tomatoes I managed to cram in 70 seedlings between my own 4m allotment plot and the neighbour’s raised bed. Needless to say, the end result was half a mountain of unripened fruit once the growing season was over. Unripe green tomatoes are available at the end of the tomato growing season and are often cheaper than the ripe varieties.
This is a family recipe that I’ve adapted to add some depth and get the best out of the tomatoes. I use a mixture of sugars including dark muscovado which gives a richer flavour. To save time (plus I prefer my mix to be fine), I pulse the tomatoes, onions and apples in a processor beforehand.
It’s a chutney that goes with everything; omelette, curries or with a wedge of cheese and sourdough.
Makes approximately 2.5kg
green tomatoes 1.8kg, roughly chopped
cooking apples 1.8kg, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
onions 450g, peeled and finely chopped
garlic 2 cloves, crushed (optional)
salt 1 tbsp
pickling spice 1 tbsp
root ginger 30g, roughly chopped
malt vinegar 565ml
Place the green tomatoes, apples and onions in a large pan with the garlic (if using), sultanas and salt. Tie together the pickling spice, ginger and chilli in a muslin bag and add to the pan. Add half the malt vinegar and gently bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or until the fruit is reduced to a pulp and the mixture is thick.
Gently dissolve the sugar in the remaining vinegar then add to the chutney. Simmer for a further 1½ hours, stirring often until the mixture is thick.
Remove and discard the muslin bag with the spices and while the chutney is still hot, spoon into sterilised jars. Seal with airtight, vinegar-proof covers.
Caroline McGivern is the Observer Magazine’s deputy art director
Kitty Travers’s tomato and white peach sorbet
One of the greatest pleasures I know is to eat along with the characters from books and on TV shows. In one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books there’s a passage I always found incredible: on a hot day Laura’s ma slices up a ripe tomato, and serves it covered with cream and sugar – to be eaten like a peach!
I mulled over the idea of a tomato ice-cream for years (tomatoes are actually fruits, so it ought to make sense) before finally getting a chance to test it out using a real old-fashioned hand-cranked machine on a ranch I was teaching at in Colorado. Hand-cranked ice-cream machines are fun and although the tomato ice-cream looked delicious – creamy and candy-pink – no one could swallow the stuff; it was too weird. I put the difference in taste down to the fact that Laura Ingalls and family were too far from peaches, and had come close to starving in previous years due to drought and crop failure. And we were very far from starving. Also, I suppose tastes change.
Instead, I’ve settled upon this simple and refreshing recipe, unusual rather than flat-out weird, and very lovely. It produces an elegant, shell-pink sorbet with soft sweetness from the tomato and fruitiness from the white peach.
Makes approximately 1 litre
white peaches 3, or 4 flat white peaches
ripe tomatoes 2 (San Marzano are particularly flavoursome)
To prepare the sorbet: heat the sugar and water together in a pan to make a simple syrup, stirring to dissolve the grains of sugar. As soon as the syrup starts to simmer remove it from the heat. Set aside to cool and then chill in the fridge until needed.
Rinse the tomatoes and peaches, slice them into a bowl, cover with the cool simple syrup and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, giving it time to really draw the flavour out of the tomato and peach skins.
Remove the macerated fruits from the fridge and liquidise them for 2 minutes until very smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois, discarding the skin and pips.
To make the sorbet: pour the shell-pink purée into an ice cream machine and churn according to the machine’s instructions, usually about 20-25 minutes, till frozen and thick and creamy looking. If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, freeze the mixture in a big bowl. Every 45 minutes, take it out and whisk or beat vigorously. Do this three or four times, until smooth and uniformly frozen
Transfer the sorbet to a suitable lidded container. Top with a piece of waxed paper to limit exposure to air, cover and freeze until ready to serve. Eat within a fortnight.
From La Grotta Ices by Kitty Travers (Square Peg, £18.99)