If you wanted to make me really unhappy and I mean extraordinarily bloody-the-the-bones-miserable then it really wouldn’t be that hard. Taking away my lovely kitchen and dumping me in a hotel in West Virginia would pretty much do it.
I’m hoping that you wouldn’t want to do that to me- but in case you were thinking about it, you’re too late- somebody beat you to it. Not that I have anything against West Virginia- the mountains are quite beautiful, the people charming, but I miss my local market, my oven, my Kitchen Aid. Oh, and of course I miss my husband too. As if living in a hotel with neither a kitchen nor a husband wasn’t already enough torture for me they have apparently taken away all the good restaurants from the town. Amazing how cruel these TV people can be.
Anyway, if I were back in my kitchen at home I would be having a celebratory party- and I would be serving these. As the tomatoes begin to loose their prime, slow roasting them is a magnificent way to revive them. Slice on the vine tomatoes through the middle, lay on a tray sprinkle with a touch of salt and a scattering of thyme and bake in the oven at 150C/200F for 2-3 hours or until drying at the edges but still a little juicy in the middle- you can do it at a lower temperature for longer but this works just fine. I make up huge batches and then leave them in the fridge covered in a little oil. They are amazing as soup, or in salads and I’ve even put them in a tart. Here, I’ve gone down the salad route- mixing them with cucumber, spring onions and fresh herbs. And because I’m always looking for new ideas to serve at parties I stuffed the salad into baked wonton shells (after eating some for lunch, of course). They are so crisp and much easier to work with than any pastry- I assure you, the healthy part is just an added bonus. You can fill them with just about anything- in the winter I make them with roasted squash, chorizo and feta. Make the shells in advance and then stuff them when your ready to serve. Speaking of stuffing- I’m wishing I could stuff this hotel room right now. And I know just where I’d stuff it.
And in case you forgot- I’m hosting this weeks BSI (Bloggers Secret Ingredient) challenge. This week the ingredient is chocolate so if you have a recipe leave me a comment with a link to your entry by 9pm on Sunday September 13th. The winner will be announced on Monday September 14th.
Slow-roasted tomato & herb tartlettes
These are such a breeze to make and incredibly versatile. Think of the tartlette cases as a holder for the filling and let you imagnation go wild!
Makes 24 tartlettes
Diet Facts: healthy, delicious, easy.
24 wonton wrappers (Japanese wheat cake rappers also work)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 spring onion (scallion), very thinly sliced
3 halves slow roasted on the vine tomatoes (fresh are also fine) chopped
1 persian cucumber (or 1/4 English cucumber), chopped into small pieces
50g/ 2 oz fresh mozzarella (buffalo even better), torn into small pieces
1 Tbsp finely chopped dill
1 Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 heaped Tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
1/ Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Brush 2 x 12 hole mini muffin tins lightly with oil. Line each one with a wonton wrapper- pressing gently in so that they are flat on the bottom.
2/ Brush each lightly with oil and then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. You can make these a day ahead and store in an airtight container.
3/ Make the salad by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste fore seasoning. Fill the cooled wonton tartlettes and serve.