Tomato, caramelised onion and mascarpone tart

I’m not quite ready to let go of summer just yet, so here we go with this lovely tomato tart. The combination of the sweetness of the mascarpone and the caramelised onions with the zestiness of the tomatoes is really lovely. I had some beautiful heritage tomatoes for this, and recommend that you get them ripe and full of flavour! This tart goes perfectly with some green salad on the side, and believe me you will be reaching for seconds.

More with tomatoes: Watermelon, Tomato and Halloumi salad | Rachel Roddy’s Penne all’arrabbiata

Tomato, caramelised onion and mascarpone tart

Tomato, caramelised onion and mascarpone tart

Serves 4 | Prep 40 mins | Cook 50 mins
Easy | Vegetarian

You’ll need:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil for frying and drizzling;
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced;
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar;
  • 250g mascarpone;
  • Finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon;
  • 4-5 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped;
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped;
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed;
  • 320g ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry sheet;
  • 500g tomatoes (a mix of colours and sizes), halved or quartered;
  • A few fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked.

Heat a large frying pan with a glug of oil over a medium heat. Add the red onions and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and cook for a further 10 minutes until sticky and caramelised.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the mascarpone with the lemon juice and zest, rosemary, spring onions and garlic. Season. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.


Unroll the pastry onto a baking sheet. Spread with the mascarpone, leaving a 2-3cm border. Top with the red onions, then the tomatoes and a little thyme. Drizzle over a little oil, season, then bake for 25 minutes. Turn the oven to 170°C/150°C/gas 3½. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes have shrivelled and the pastry is golden. Replace any burnt thyme leaves with fresh and serve warm.

Original recipe from Delicious Magazine, issue August 2014, available online here.

Chickpeas and chard stew

This is an easy and quick summer stew, ideal for a mid-week supper. It goes perfectly with some crusty bread on the side too. The original recipe by Waitrose magazine has you making your own pesto but you can use ready made one for an even easier option.

More with chickpeas: Chickpea, pepper and tomato currySweet potato, ‘Nduja and chickpea hashVegan chickpea & squash ‘meat’ balls with vegan mayo

Chickpeas and chard stew


Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

Tip: Use free-from pesto for a vegan version.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced;
  • 2 rosemary sprigs;
  • 2 x 400g cans chick peas;
  • 3 large tomatoes, tough core removed, and roughly chopped;
  • 2 tsp vinegar;
  • 200g pack swiss chard, woody stalks removed and leaves roughly shredded;
  • 4 tbsps pesto, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic plus the rosemary sprigs; continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas and their liquid, the tomatoes and 300ml water; season and simmer briskly for 15 minutes. Break up some of the chick peas with a potato masher.

Just before serving, stir the chard through the stew, wilting for a couple of minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tsp vinegar, then ladle into shallow bowls and top with a table spoon of pesto. Serve with crusty bread, if liked.


Modified from this recipe by Waitrose Magazine, Issue August 2018, available online here.

2 posts have been published to the site Food Notes on Jul 30th in previous years:

== 2018 ==
* Lentil, squash, halloumi and bacon salad
* Yotam Ottolenghi’s Caramelised Onion Crostini

Harissa crusted salmon with chickpea salad

This recipe worked out so much better than I thought. When I first had a look at it in an old BBC Good Food issue I really didn’t think all that much of it. But On a night where I needed something speedy and efficient I gave it a go and boy! Was I taken a back with the flavours. Turns out harissa, salmon and chickpeas go quite well together!

More with salmon: Chipotle salmon with avocado salsa and chilli broccoli | Poached salmon with Dauphinose potatoes and more | Smoked salmon & cream cheese linguine

Harissa crusted salmon with chickpea salad


Serves 2 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 12 mins
Easy | Dairy-free

You’ll need:

  • 2 salmon fillets;
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs;
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste;
  • 250g punnet cherry tomatoes;
  • ½ small red onion;
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained;
  • small bunch parsley;
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 lemons, one juiced and one cut in wedges.

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the breadcrumbs and harissa paste. Press on top of the salmon fillets and bake for 10-12 mins until the crust is golden and the salmon is cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the salad. Halve the tomatoes, chop the onion and parsley and mix everything together with the drained chickpeas and lemon juice. Just before serving, season the salad and add extra virgin olive oil to taste. Mix well and serve alongside the salmon and flatbread if desired.

Original recipe by BBC Good Food issue July 2011, available online here.

Summer Pork, Fennel and Beans

It is indeed peak summer here in the UK so not too heavy and very fresh meals is the way to go. This zesty recipe from BBC Good Food recipe is perfect, served with crusty bread and fresh salad on the side.

More recipes for summer: Easy Italian Style Chicken Burgers | Cod, Tomato and Pepper Stew | Thai Steamed Sea Bream

Summer Pork, Fennel and Beans

Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 45 mins
Easy | Gluten Free


You’ll need

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter;
  • 4 large on-the-bone pork chops (about 250g each), rind removed
  • 2 banana shallots, 1 sliced, 1 finely chopped;
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, each cut into 8 wedges;
  • 100ml white wine;
  • 1 lemon ½ cut into wedges, ½ juiced;
  • 100g cherry tomatoes;
  • 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained;
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed;
  • handful basil leaves.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat 1 tbsp oil and the butter in a large ovenproof frying pan or wide flameproof casserole dish. Season the chops generously and fry over a medium-high heat for 3 mins each side until lightly golden – brown the edges of the fat for 30 secs or so too. Remove to a plate.

Add the sliced shallot and fennel to the pan and cook for 2 mins, stirring now and then. Splash in the wine and simmer for a few secs to reduce a little. Add the lemon wedges, drizzle with the remaining oil and put in the oven to roast for 10 mins.

Toss the veg gently, sit the pork chops on top and roast for another 20 mins. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for 5 mins more or until the chops are cooked through, the fennel is tender and turning golden, and the tomatoes are soft.

Meanwhile, mix the chopped shallot, the lemon juice, beans and fennel seeds. Remove the meat to a plate to rest for a few mins while you fold the dressed beans and basil leaves into the pan. Add the resting juices, season to taste, then serve with the pork.

Original recipe from BBC Good Food, issue July 2015, available online here

Rachel Roddy’s Penne all’arrabbiata

Last week we came home, after a 7-hour drive from Bristol to Glasgow and 5 days spent in Glastonbury. Needless to say, we were tired though very very happy. I had picked up that weekend’s issue of The Guardian’s Feast which provided me with the inspiration I needed for a quick dinner on our way home. We also saw some really nice looking heritage tomatoes in a farm shop on our way, so when I saw Rachel Roddy’s Penne all’arrabbiata in her regular Feast column, I knew it would be our perfect meal when we get back after the long drive. Sometimes, a simple pasta recipe is all you need when the sun is shining! I had run out of penne so I’ve used fusilli instead, however, I would still say – go penne all the way!

Rachel’s recipe in the guardian is for four, but perhaps more indulgently I mixed my tomato sauce with pasta for two people and it worked perfectly.

More in pasta: Prawn and ‘Nduja Linguine | Spaghetti Carbonara | Tagliatelle with roast tomato and ‘nduja sauce

Rachel Roddy’s Penne all’arrabbiata

Serves 2 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 15 mins
Easy | Vegan | Dairy-Free


You’ll need

  • 6 tbsp olive oil;
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed;
  • 700g peeled and chopped tomatoes (see tip below);
  • 3 dried red chillies, crumbled;
  • 200-300g penne;
  • 1-2 tbsps chopped parsley, to serve;
  • (optional: grated parmesan/or vegetarian alternative, to serve – for a vegetarian/non-dairy-free option)

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and the garlic cloves. Fry for a couple of seconds and then add the tomatoes, a good pinch of salt and the red chillies. Cook covered for 10 minutes, then take the lid off and cook for 5 minutes more. Meanwhile, make the pasta following the pack instructions. Drain the pasta and mix through the sauce when it’s ready, along with a final swirl of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped parsley. I grated some parmesan over mine too.

Tip: To peel the tomatoes with ease, soak them in just-boiled water for a minute or so. Then carefully start peeling the skin away, it should be a lot easier! If it isn’t, leave the tomatoes for another minute in the hot water and try again.

Original recipe from Feast magazine, available online here.