Nice little nibbles to have with drinks or as a very light starter, and very quick to make. You can use either filo or feuilles de brick for this. A large tray of them looks delightful, like a mass of flowers.
Caramelised Cherry Tomatoes
These really are an “amuse-gueule” — when you bite into the crisp caramel coating, the sweet tomato inside explodes with juice. We had the recipe from one of our favourite local restaurants, the Relais du Val d’Orbieu.
A versatile dish that’s a good way of using up a glut of tomatoes.
Creamy roast potatoes
An excellent accompaniment to a roast. A useful characteristic of this recipe when entertaining is that you can cook the potatoes in advance, and then just put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes while the meat is resting.
Very easy to make, and excellent with fresh, very ripe tomatoes from the garden. If buying tomatoes, choose plum tomatoes for preference.
What I like about marmiton.org isn’t just the fact that among its thousands of recipes there are bound to be at least half a dozen using the ingredients you have to hand. It’s also the comments from visitors improving or adapting the recipe. The original recipe for this tart (which I chose because I had a surfeit of mozzarella to use up) would have turned out a soggy mess — it involved boiling the courgettes and then putting them in a raw pastry case! But by acting on several suggestions from other people I turned out a tasty tart that makes a pleasant change from our usual cheese, tomato and mustard tart.
It’s important to do all the vegetable preparation in order to eliminate as much water as possible, otherwise you will end up with a watery filling and soggy pastry.
Tarte à la moutarde
Ever since I discovered it in one of those 50p recipe books from Sainsbury’s, this has been one of my favourite recipes. It features fairly often in our repertoire — great for days when you are short of ideas or time for shopping, because most of the ingredients are generally hanging around in the storecupboard or fridge. And we never get tired of it. Extra bonus: it’s vegetarian.
Tagliatelle with mushrooms
This is one of my favourite quick pasta dishes. Best with fresh tagliatelle, but dried is fine. Quantities are vague — this will make enough sauce for about 2-3 servings
The method is unconventional, to say the least, but the result is a lovely fresh-tasting risotto. You can vary the vegetables to taste. Serves 6.
Pumpkin and apple soup
A good warming soup that remedies the sometimes rather bland taste of pumpkin.