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Inside the box

A packed lunch is not just for the young but also for the young at heart, and summer is the perfect time to pack your favourite lunchbox full of the bounty of the season.

We know lunches can sometimes be difficult to come up with ideas for. Nikki and Jordan Shearer have created three packed lunches that celebrate the humble tomato (with the addition of the fruit’s perfect companions, basil and cheese). Try some of these to ensure lunchtime is an anticipated event.

Domatokeftedes (pronounced doh-mah-to-kef-the-thes) or tomato fritters honour those plump, ripe heirloom tomatoes, served with tzatziki. The Caprese skewers are a marriage made in heaven: tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic crema, beautiful visually and delicious to eat. And you definitely can’t go wrong with tomato tarts – so easy to make, and delicious hot or cold.

And check out the suggested drinks matches, for an extra healthy lunch time boost, thanks to our buddies at The Brothers Coldpress.

Tomato tarts, fruit, nuts and yoghurt

Blistered tomato and feta tarts

( Makes 12 tarts)
18 cherry tomatoes cut in half
 ½ red onion thinly sliced
drizzle of olive oil
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
1 free-range egg yolk
3 Tbsp crème fraîche
1 Tbsp chives chopped finely
1 free range egg yolk, beaten
12 basil leaves
30−50g crumbled feta (we use chilli feta)

1. Place tomatoes and red onions in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
2. Using a 70mm x 70mm square cutter, cut out pastry shapes. Score a 10mm border from the edge of each square and prick the middle area with a fork.
3. Place on a baking tray and bake for eight minutes until starting to turn golden.
4. Remove from oven and press down centres of tarts using the back of a teaspoon.
5. In a bowl mix the egg yolk, crème fraîche and chives. Season well.
6. Spread 1tsp of mixture into the centre of the tarts. Add three of the halved tomatoes and some of the red onion. Brush sides of the tarts with the egg wash.
7. Return to the oven and bake for a further 12−15 minutes until golden.
8. Sprinkle with torn basil leaves and crumbled feta.


The bros tell us that Wake Up is a good match with this lunch box. ‘It’s wise to avoid green juices and eating spinach at the same time as yoghurt as calcium and iron absorption are inhibited by each other and we want to get the most out of what we’re eating.’

Caprese skewers and salad, popcorn, boiled eggs and dried fruit

Caprese skewers

(Makes 6 skewers)
6 large cherry tomatoes sliced in thirds
12 basil leaves
6 small balls bocconcini  mozzarella, (buffalo) cut in half
balsamic crema

1. Assemble the skewers as follows: third tomato,half mozzarella, basil leaf, third tomato, mozzarella, basil leaf, third tomato.
2. Drizzle with balsamic crema just before eating.

MATCH WITH: Pink Panther

‘Watermelon screams summer, as does caprese salad! From a nutrient angle though, not only will Pink Panther keep you hydrated on a summer’s day, it will also maximise your intake of the phytonutrient Lycopene (it gives the red pigment to fruit and vege). Lycopene can help protect your cells from sun damage among other things.’

Domatokeftedes, tzatziki, crackers and fresh fruit

Domatokeftethes (Greek tomato fritters)

(Makes 8-10 fritters)
1 zucchini, grated
6 heirloom tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp roughly chopped basil
2 Tbsp roughly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
3/4 cup sifted high grade flour
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Combine first five ingredients, sift over the flour and stir to combine with a good splash of olive oil to make a batter. Season generously.
2. Fry large tablespoon amounts of the batter in a pan over a medium heat with olive oil until golden and cooked through.


1 cup Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
1 cucumber peeled, deseeded and grated
juice of ½ lemon
handful of roughly chopped mint
handful of roughly chopped dill
salt and pepper

1. Squeeze excess water out of grated cucumber.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season.
3. Refrigerate until ready to use.

MATCH WITH: Superman

Superman is the deepest orange colour – if you add it to this rainbow of a lunch box you’re pretty much covering all bases.’

Nikki and Jordan Shearer began their cooking journey on MasterChef NZ. Their Kiwi food philosophy is based on sharing, and cooking from the land using local, seasonal produce. As busy mums and businesswomen, they strive to serve up no-fuss meals to feed the whanau and create treasured memories.
Follow them @onespoonnz

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