Roasted Tomato, Corn and Cucumber Salsa

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Tomatoes are so plentiful and cheap at the moment and corn is bang in season. Roasting the corn and tomatoes for this salsa gives a lovely sweet flavour. The cucumber makes it fresh and light. I like it spicy but you can make it to your own taste.

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 15 minutes

Makes a medium bowl

Ingredients

A large ear of fresh corn

20 cherry tomatoes

A clove of garlic

A large, green chilli

Half a cucumber grated

The juice of half a lemon

A handful of fresh coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the corn and tomatoes in roasting tin and cook in medium oven for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Remove the corn from the cob and roughly chop the tomatoes. Place half of the tomatoes and corn with all the other ingredients in a food processor and blitz till it is a smooth paste. Turn out into a bowl and add the other half of the corn and tomatoes to give a chunky texture. Season to taste.

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Black Bean and Red Pepper Chilli

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I love black beans. They have a soft, silky texture that you don’t get with other beans. I made my first chilli as a student back in the early 80s. Although I have moved away from con carne to sin carne, I still use the same recipe which uses blended tomatoes, oregano, cumin, coriander,sugar and vinegar. It gives a smooth, tangy and sweet sauce. I served this with the Roasted Tomato, Cucumber and Corn Salsa.

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes

Ingredients
Serves 3
A large, red pepper, sliced
A small onion finely chopped
A large clove of garlic blended with 4 medium tomatoes and a large green chilli
A teaspoon each of oregano, cumin and ground coriander
A teaspoon of sugar
A teaspoon of vinegar (any kind)
A tablespoon of olive oil
A tin of black beans
A handful, of fresh coriander

Heat the oil and gently soften the onion and pepper. Add all of the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer slowly for about 40 minutes until the sauce is thick and the peppers are melting. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with rice or tortillas.

Chilli Tofu and Peanut Stir Fry

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I had so many half used veg in the fridge that just called for a stir fry. As I have said before, I love adding ground nuts to dishes and, for stir fries, it has to be peanuts. I toast them in the oven for about 15 minutes and the flavour is wonderful. I like to grind them some pieces are still chunky to give extra crunch to the dish.

In Berlin, we can buy chilli tofu already marinated but if you cannot get this, you should marinate the tofu in a chilli paste for a few hours first. You could use a shop bought chilli paste or sauce.

I serve this with brown or red rice but whole wheat noodles would also be good. You can vary the veg that you use but the peanuts, tofu and teriyaki sauce are essential to the dish.

Serves 4
20 minutes preparation and cooking time for the stir fry but brown rice takes up to 40 minutes to cook.

Ingredients
A packet of chilli tofu or tofu marinated in chilli sauce for 2-3 hours
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 thumbnail sized pieces of fresh ginger chopped
A head of broccoli cut into bite size pieces
A red pepper sliced
Half a large onion sliced
Fresh corn from the cob (tinned also fine)
3-4 heads of pak choi or bok choi sliced
A handful of roasted peanuts ground
A tablespoon of teriyaki sauce
A teaspoon of honey
2 tablespoons of white wine or rice wine
2 tablespoons of oil for frying
2 teaspoons of sesame oil to finish

Heat the wok till it is very hot then add the oil and heat until very hot. Add the tofu and stir for a few seconds before adding the onion and broccoli. Add the rest of the vegetables. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add the teriyaki sauce and honey. Stir for another 3-4 minutes. Just before serving add the peanuts and the sesame oil.