We Love Cooking! + [tomato]

:: A Swedish Lunch: Roast Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Red Onion and Cucumber and Fennel Lentil Salad

I've been packing a fair bit of travel in this summer and I'm fairly sure with the amount of airmiles that have wracked up, I'm doing the environment no favours! This week is no different I'm back in Sweden for a bit of work and to fully soak up all the best a Swedish summer has to offer! One of my favourite things about Sweden in the summer is the beautiful still lakes with their picturesque jetties. This week I finally got my first swim of the summer in and despite always being slightly worried about what lurks at the bottom of those murky waters, I can report that the water was beautiful. All that swimming in lakes can make a cook like myself hungry, so we decided to sample what the Swedes do best, the Smorgasbord!

One of my favourite places to eat in Gothenburg is the Gunnebo Coffee House and Restaurant which is situated on the grounds of one of Sweden's most beautiful neoclassical estates, just south of the city. The buffet style lunch is made with all organic ingredients and always has something interesting and healthy to offer. During the summer months the kitchen uses fruit and vegetables from the huge gardens outside, which I find very exciting to walk through! The day we were there amongst the fantastic choice of dishes there was a cabbage salad, cucumber and fennel lentil salad, herbed pork fillet, boiled cumin potatoes, roast salmon with a creamy sauce, and Roast tomatoes with Goats cheese and red onion. We assembled our plates with fairly hefty portions, a handful of the chunky homemade bread and headed outdoors to pick our way through it. There is something fairly special about eating fresh and healthy food outdoors on a warm summer day that just makes everything taste all the better! For now, as the Swedes say "hej då"!

Roast Tomatoes with Goats cheese and Red Onion
This is a super way to make the most of the last of the summer tomatoes! This method brings out the fantastic natural sweetness and is perfection in every bite. You can prepare these ahead of time and serve them at room temperature.

Serves 4
4 tomatoes, cut in half
1 goats cheese log, cut in slices
1 red onion, sliced in half moons
A good glug of olive oil
A generous pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200oC/Gas Mark 6.
Arrange the tomato halves on a baking tray and top each on with a few slices of red onion and then place a slice of cheese on top.
Drizzle each tomato with a little olive oil and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Place in the oven to cook for 35 minutes or until the the tomatoes are soft and tender. Serve warm or cold.

Cucumber and Fennel, Lentil Salad
I think lentils are by far one of the most underused pulses. They are like the black sheep of the legume family, with many people having never even cooked them before. However that all has to change, they are full of health benefits, and just as quick as pasta to cook so no excuses! They go great with lots of different dishes but they go great here as a tasty little salad!

Serves 4
1 cucumber, cut in chunky diagonal slices
150g of green lentils
A good handful of fennel fronds, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A generous pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper

Rinse the lentils in cold water drain and place in a pot. Cover them with plenty of water and bring to the boil, cooking for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Add in the fennel fronds, cucumber slices, and cooled lentils.
Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and serve!