Friday, 14 September 2012

Recipe: invitation to tea

I enjoy having friends over for tea (which may be coffee, of course!).  There is food involved, but in a totally different manner than a dinner:  no appetizers, first, mains, cheeses, desserts - all in a structured procedure, with precision as to their timing.  Plus, given that we are in the evening, I have to watch out that it's nothing too heavy (hint as to the age group I belong to...)

On the contrary, tea-time is early afternoon, so that people could even have had a light lunch beforehand.  Tea includes mostly finger food, that is available at the same time, and everyone can pick and choose as they please. While the original range includes different types of sandwiches, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas that will provide a little umph in our everyday lives:
In one of my last teas, I wanted something spicy and something vegetarian (I start having a slight obsession of wanting to serve healthy food to people!), and I think I may just have found the perfect match:

Pizza rolls
adapted from Emily bites

260gr pizza dough
80g grated mozzarella
40g salami, in strips
2tbsp tomato sauce
basil, lots of basil...

Preheat oven at 220oC.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  

Unroll pizza dough, place parchment on top and bottom and roll out until you get a very thin rectangle.  Spread tomato sauce (I didn't have any ready, so I just cut 2 tomatoes in cubes and lightly sauteed them with some herbs - no oil whatsoever.  If you want to do so, leave to cool before you use it).  Then, spread salami and cheese, followed by a generous sprinkle of torn basil.  Starting from the long side, roll the dough until you reach the other end.  Make sure the seam is securely sealed.  Cut in 20 slices.  I used the pizza wheel and proceeded as follows:  cut in half, in half again, and then each in five slices.  
Oil spray the baking tray and place the pizza rolls.  Oil spray the top of the rolls and bake for about 15 minutes and then you can indulge in as many as you like, as they really don't have much fat!

Aubergine (eggplant) patties
adapted from Proud Italian Cook

300g aubergines, in cubes
120g roasted peppers, in oil
100g corn kernels
100g emmenthal, grated
100g breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
2 eggs, beaten
herbs (I like persil, thyme, basil and dill)

Print recipe

This was a revelation!  Such an easy recipe and the result is mouthwatering!!! 

Preheat oven at 200oC.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and oil-spray it.

I buy ready grilled and sliced, frozen aubergines - simply because it saves me time in the preparation of such dishes.  So, without even bothering to defrost the aubergines, I just cut the slides in cubes.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until you have a nice texture.  I personally did not put any salt/pepper, because the cheese was enough, but you may wish to do so.

With the help of a spoon (or two), form patties and place on to the baking sheet.  Oil spray them and bake for about 12 minutes, until golden (turn once at mid-point).  Heaven!

(I apologise for the quality of these two photos, but some people simply cannot wait until I've taken some pictures before they have access to the food...)

For dessert, I made the peanut butter banana bread from the Southern Sisters recipes:  sweet enough to compensate for the light savouries before...

This post is my entry into Weekend Cooking, a weekly event hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Tea time is really perfect for sharing tea, delicious food and gossip with friends, isn't it? :) I love the look of your eggplant patties (such a simple thing to make, but it would never have crossed my mind!) and pizza rolls. I'm a vegetarian and am so pleased to find more and more restaurants offering really good vegetarian afternoon teas. It's probably healthier (and cheaper) to make these nibs at home though ;)

    1. Trust me, they are glorious! I myself could not believe how tasty they were - and yes, they really cost next to nothing to make. Even though I'm not a vegetarian, I'm always on the look out for such dishes. Hope you make them soon!

  2. I love tea time. I wish that was more the norm here in America. One of the things I miss about living in the UK. Even when it was simply some cookies and tea, there was something wonderful about taking a break in the afternoon.

  3. I love the idea of both the pizza rolls and the eggplant patties - I like holding get togethers and I always serve finger food so these will be put to good use soon for sure!

  4. Both of these options sound like a great idea for any meal (yes, I'd try them for breakfast, too)! Thanks for sharing.

  5. boy that was some tea! You have reminded me that this is a good entertaining option. Have a great weekend.

    1. Indeed, it is - more and more of my friends actually prefer this!

  6. Tempting assortment. Your guests will feel so welcomed and pampered.

  7. Those both look amazing -- and I would love having the healthier choices at that sort of event.

  8. I love the idea of tea time, even if I do prefer coffee :) But a nice afternoon break with friends sounds lovely. Your recipes look delicious!

  9. The food, and the whole setup sounds grand...but I will have tea please!

  10. I loved your tea time post, your pizza roll recipe looks wonderful.




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