Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tomato and onion crumble

From a sweet crumble to a savoury one...

I'm quite fond of a savoury crumble. It may sound an odd concept, but it can be an easy way to turn a few ingredients into something that seems like a coherent dish. I'd recommend breadcrumbs for an easy savoury topping, though you could do something with oats and flour if you wanted.

I'm making the most of tomatoes while they are still in season. Not only that, one of my local convenience stores does a decent range of fruit and veg, including a 5kg box of vine tomatoes which works out significantly cheaper than if you buy them loose. As you may have noticed, I do like a bargain. Ok, it's not quite the same as having a superabundance of tomatoes from your own garden, but here's my first dish to tackle my tomato glut.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wild berries and a healthy fruit crumble

I'm feeling replenished after a week on the beautiful Isle of Arran. And my timing was unintentionally brilliant. The blackberries might be on their last legs down south, but on Arran they were perfect. I don't think I have ever seen such a profusion of them. The bramble plants were everywhere, their thorny stems thrusting through fences and around bushes like an illustration of unstoppable life-force. And almost every hedgerow was studded with shiny black berries, most of them so large and plump it was almost impossible to pass by without picking a few.

Blackberies and apple in a pie dish

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Musings on blackberries

It's been a good year for blackberries. I think I've picked about 4kg of them in the last couple of weeks. Mostly, I admit, I've procrastinated by putting them in the freezer. But then there's nothing wrong with that. It means they're there for winter crumbles, pies, or my absolute favourite - blackberry caramel crumble tart.

In the mean time, I'm feeling lazy - so I'm eating blackberries scattered generously over home-made muesli for breakfast, or in a simple fruit salad with chunks of orange-fleshed Charentais melon.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chick pea salad with tomato and goats' cheese

Apparently it's been the warmest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006. Despite the turn for the worse today, I'm hoping that summer's last hurrah may be yet to come.

What a difference a day makes, though. Tonight there's a chill in the air. Yesterday the warm evening demanded a picnic, just in case it should be the last of the year, and the park was full of others enjoying the last rays of sunshine.

Here's what I ate on the picnic. Tomatoes and aubergines are pretty much at the height of their season now, and tomatoes in particular are as cheap as they come. This dish partners them with chick peas and warming Middle Eastern spices, and is the kind of salad that is a meal in itself.

Making the salad