Cucumber and Cherry Vine Tomatoes

June 26, 2009

It really is summer!!!! If you’re barbecuing this weekend you might fancy throwing on some Haloumi cheese which goes really well with this week’s Cucumber. Haloumi is a hard sheep’s milk cheese from Cyprus which is eaten cooked which makes it great in veggies kebabs (try it with this week’s Courgettes, Mushrooms and Onions) but if you fancy a very simple appetizer  my salad recipe this week couldn’t be simpler…

Cucumber and Haloumi Salad

You’ll need:

1 Block of Haloumi which I think is about 200gr. You can get this in some supermarkets but if you live near any eastern shops it tends to be way cheaper there.

1 Cucumber

Olive Oil

Red Wine Vinegar.

Cut the Haloumi into bitesize pieces and set aside. Slice the cucumber then dress it with oil and vinegar (you won’t need salt as the cheese has loads). Cook the Haloumi on the barbeque or a dry pan until golden (2 mins on each side should be fine). Eat immediately as the cheese tends to go hard quite quickly.

Another great way to approach Cucumber is Tzatziki a Greek appetiser which I often serve with with fish, lamb  or baked potatoes.

Tzatziki

You’ll need:

1 Cucumber

3 Cloves Garlic

150gr Plain or Greek Yogurt

2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

Cucumber is full of Water and for this recipe you need it as dry as possible. So, first of all  grate it and leave it in a colander for at least half an hour. Then put it in the centre of a teatowel, join the cloth’s corners together and wring out the rest of the liquid. Given how nutritrious cucumbers are, this always seems such a waste so I often squeeze the juice into a glass and knock it back instead of letting it go down the drain. After all the squeezing you should be left with a ball of cucumber a bit bigger than a golf ball. Mix this with the other ingredients, chill for at least an hour and serve with salads, baked potatoes, lamb or fish.

Variations: The Greeks add Olive Oil but I reckon it doesn’t need it but if you wanted to 2 tablespoons would be about right for this quantity. Dill or Mint are also often added and both work well. Up to you..

Our Mediterranean selections have Cherry Vine Tomatoes which are great roasted. It’s such an easy thing to do and everyone loves them.

Roasted Cherry Vine Tomatoes

500-600gr Cherry Vine Tomatoes

Olive Oil

Oregano

Salt

Sugar

Chilli (optional)

Rinse the Tomatoes. I do this carefully as they look nice left on the vine. Place them in an oven dish and drizzle a little Oil over them then add a pinch of Salt, about a teaspoon of Sugar, a little Chilli and a sprinkling of  Oregano. Place in a low oven (Gas 3 or 4) and leave for about 5-6 hours (yes really!! so it’s good to do them in bulk). Serve warm or at room temperature with pretty much anything or whizz them with the blender to make a very tasty pasta sauce.

Hope you have a lovely (very very sunny!!) weekend,

Sarah

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