I’ve started noticing certain trends in my shopping now that I am paying extra attention and particularly documenting them here – there are certain things that I will buy more often than others, certain ingredients that lend themselves more to being used across a wide range of recipes throughout the week. And that really is the main focus of Leftovers for Lunch – I really think the best way to make the most of your ingredients is to make them spread out across as many meals as possible, whilst maintaining variety, so versatile ingredients are essential.
One thing I buy time and time again, so much so that I’m not even sure I can count them as leftovers, is cherry tomatoes! I love the cute little red pops of awesomeness, full to bursting with flavour and (in my opinion) make pretty much any meal just the bit better. I prefer to use cherry tomatoes over anything else, as I mentioned before in my Chicken and Spinach Curry post – they are perfect as a sauce base, whether you really chop them up to make a proper thick sauce, or cook them till they start to blister and pop and use them as a light coating for pasta. They are perfect as a garnish, or as an integral part of a veggie meal or salad, I seriously cannot get enough of these little suckers!
A perfect use of cherry tomatoes is in the quickest of quick and easy dishes – filled pasta with cherry tomatoes as a light sauce. It really livens up what would otherwise be quite a bland meal, and it barely takes 10 minutes all together – chop up the tomatoes and fry until you can burst them easily, and reduce the sauce down slightly, in the same time it takes to boil a pan of water and cook the filled pasta. Add the pasta to the cherry tomatoes for a few minutes with some parsley and parmesan, and you’re good to go.
I also use them as a garnish for a meal I’ve been meaning to cook for a while now – Lemon Chicken & Garlic Pasta (I’ll post the recipe as soon as I can). This meal is the perfect mix of homely, heart warming cooking, with that light freshness just to bring it out of being too stodgy. The chicken is marinated with lemon, and the garlic is cooked with chicken stock to make a stunning gravy, and believe it or not served with pasta, parmesan and cherry tomatoes this is one of my favourite chicken pasta dishes. The flavour work so well together, and sometimes all you want it something really comforting and garlicky!
Also on the menu for this week is a Fried Fish Curry with tomato sauce, Creamy Tomato Risotto and Lamb & Fennel Spaghetti. Only writing this now am I aware of what a tomato overload that might be – we’ll be orange before the week is out! While the fish curry is a new dish I’m looking forward to trying, the other two are old favourites. Though the risotto is about as simple as it gets, again it is really flavoursome because of the cherry tomatoes, with their sweet, tangy taste that I appear to be unhealthily obsessed with…
Of course as with every ingredient, it is each to your own – Dave isn’t exactly a fan, though that is probably more due to over exposure than anything else ;p but I would seriously suggest swapping out whatever tomatoes you are used to cooking with in favour for cherry tomatoes at least once, just to give them a go for their flavour, even if you’re not a fan of the satisfying way they go pop!
Lotsa Love, Abbie x