We have loads of recipes that we love, some from cookbooks and some made up from our own little heads. Some are only good when made in the summer, from our own summer garden. Some are best in the winter, likewise from our garden, but this time from the root vegetables of the winter garden.
A favourite in the summer is a tomato and onion bake. It is super simple, but delicious, and relies on the ‘wonderfulness’ of the ingredients that go into it. It only contains tomatoes, potatoes, onion, basil and cheese – see what I mean by simple?
Last night, we were craving this dish, as it was such a cold and windy night. We wanted something flavourful and warming. But as this recipe relies so much on the great tomatoes you can only eat in the summer, was it even possible to enjoy it in the winter?
What to do? Kenton had the solution! Instead of using store-bought tomatoes, why not use our own tomatoes, preserved in the summer? And instead of fresh basil, why not use our own oregano, dried in the autumn?
So I did – and the result was a warming, comforting meal full of flavour and richness. It was every bit as good as our summer version, if not even better!
Why not give it a try?
Winter warmer tomato and potato casserole
potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
1 large jar of home-preserved tomatoes
4 oz tomato puree, home-preserved
onions, sliced thinly
6 oz cottage cheese
4 T dried oregano, home dried
good grating cheese mix, such as cheddar + parmesan + gruyere
Grease a casserole dish – I use a round casserole, but any type is fine, as long as it is deep enough for several layers.
Lightly cook the tomatoes and puree together until slightly thickened, but make sure to leave some juice so the casserole isn’t dry.
First, put a layer of onion on the bottom. Next, add some spoonfuls of the tomato mix to cover, then the slices of potato. Salt and pepper, add some of the oregano, then a few spoonfuls of the cottage cheese, and lastly add some of the grated cheese.
Continue layering as above (I had 3 layers), ending with the grated cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees (gas mark 4) for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are cooked. If the dish seems dry part way through, add a few teaspoons of water.