I made these egg free, low cholesterol, lacto-vegetarian, dairy-restricted [ have I got your attention yet? ; ) ] brunch bites for my husband yesterday. We didn't feel like joining the Valentine's Day throng and falling victim to inflated restaurant prices, so, a lazy and langourous day spent almost entirely in bed was how we marked the occassion.

These delicious savoury rolls, filled with grated parmesan and topped with a tomato half, not only make a very tasty and satisfying brunch nibble but would also be perfect as cocktail nibbles. They're quite small and would be gone in no more than 2 or 3 bites. We had  them with sausages, omelettes and pink sparkling wine, at noon, though just 4 or 5 of these with nothing more than a mug of coffee would make me happy, any morning of the week. Incidentally, tomatoes were once known as "love apples" so, what better day to serve these then on Valentine's Day?

Hubby made the day even more memorable by dousing both my brunch plate and me, in bubbly pink, when he knocked over his almost full glass. Ever wondered what cold, fizzy wine feels like, snaking its way sinuously into your navel? Rather nice, actually. A suggestion for Valentine's Day fun with your best beloved: ask him to slurp breakfast flavoured champagne or sparkling wine off your plate, without using his hands.

Hubby more than made up for his gaffe by his quick response with a remarkably absorbent fabric chamois, his attentive ministrations and a stack of his personal selection of rom-coms and chick flicks. He normally refuses, unless substantially bribed, to watch chick flicks; to quote him, "I get all the estrogen I need in tap water". Snarky. Yes darling, I know, and I appreciate the gesture all the more for it. So.....how was your Heart Day?
Prep 15 mins         Cook 15  mins          Makes 12 small rolls


150 g (1 1/2 cups) plain (all purpose) flour
1 level tsp cream of tartar
1/2 level tsp baking soda
1 level tsp sugar
1/3 level tsp salt
40 g (1/3 cup) cold butter, cubed
80 ml (slightly under 1/2 cup) water
50 g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 tsp dried Italian herb
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
A little extra butter

Preheat oven at 200 C (400 F). Lightly grease a baking tray.

Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until you get a coarse, crumbly texture, with bits of butter still visible and distributed throughout the flour.

Pour water in all at once and stir with a spatula until mixture comes together and forms a dough. Do not knead. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust top lightly with flour and pat into a rectangle then and roll out to an larger, even rectangle about 3-4 mm (1/5 of an inch).

Scatter the dough evenly with the cheese, then the garlic and herbs. Press the mixture lighlty into the dough then, beginning at the longer side of the rectangle, roll up like a swiss (jelly) roll.

Pinch the seam together then slice roll across with a very sharp knife, into 12 even rolls. Place rolls cut side up on tray. Lightly push a tomato half into the top of each roll and top each tomato half with a small dab of butter. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Remove from oven and cool briefly on a rack to avoid soggy bottoms. Serve with coffee or champagne and have a chamois within arm's reach, just in case.