Category Archives: Vegetarian

grilled #nectarine salad

grilled #nectarine salad

Yesterday the sun was out, and I decided to make this most delicious grilled nectarine salad. The rocket and the edible flowers come out of my garden and seemed to be a perfect combination. In celebration of the onset of summer, I jazzed it up with a fennel dressing. Taste the summer season. Beautiful.
nectarine salad

Ingredients
3 medium yellow nectarines, halved with stone removed
1 T olive oil
1 t caster sugar
50 g baby rocket
4 bocconcini balls
Salt and pepper
Dressing
½ t salt
¼ t fennel seeds
¼ t chilli flakes
½ t finely grated lemon rind
2 T olive oil
1 T white balsamic vinegar
1 T lemon juice

Method
Combine salt, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and lemon rind in a snap-lock bag. Pound with a rolling pin until finely ground and fragrant (You can also use a pestle and mortar). Combine with the other dressing ingredients and set aside. Heat a griddle pan. Drizzle the cut side of the peach or nectarine with the olive oil. Sprinkle cut side with sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, cut-side down, for 3 minutes or until caramelised. Turn. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Transfer to a plate. Cut each of the fruits half in half. Set aside. Arrange rocket on a large plate. Tear each bocconcini ball into 2 pieces. Top rocket with the bocconcini balls. Top with the slices of griddled nectarine. Season with pepper. Whisk dressing and drizzle over the salad.

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#cabbage + pancetta with peas and mint

#cabbage + pancetta with peas and mint

When people hear the word cabbage I often see them cringing – thinking of how they were forced to eat cabbage in school and varsity hostels. Even between kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts it was often seen as the poor cousin of the vegetable. Today I have taken the often disregarded, humble cabbage and turned it into a five star dish.

cabbage pancetta
Cabbage + pancetta with peas and mint

250 g pancetta, cut into small blocks
350 g shredded cabbage
30 g butter
1 cup frozen peas, cooked for 2 minutes
6 mint leaves, chopped
Salt
Black pepper

Fry the pancetta in a non-stick pan (no butter or oil) until crispy and golden. Remove the pancetta and add the butter and cabbage to the same pan. Fry until cooked. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper. Add the peas. Taste again for seasoning. Add the mint and serve immediately … with love.

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curried mushroom spuds

curried mushroom spuds

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall inspired these delicious spuds. He loves the combination of potatoes, mushrooms and curry and I love it too. It’s simple, tasty and oh so delicious!

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curried mushroom spuds
 
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(Recipe adapted from Three Good Things)
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 baking potatoes, +- 270g each
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 t mustard seeds
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 fat garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 t strong curry powder
  • 30 g of butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C and bake the potatoes for about an hour or until completely tender. Meanwhile, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry mustard and cumin seeds for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes until tender and brown. Then add the garlic and curry powder and fry for another minute. Set aside.
  3. Halve the baked potatoes. Scoop out most of the baked flesh into a bowl, leaving each potato skin with a 5mm thick shell of flesh.
  4. Mash the scooped-out potato with the butter and some salt and pepper, then lightly stir in the curried mushrooms.
  5. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells and heat through in the oven for 10–15 minutes. Serve with some fresh coriander.

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pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil

pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil

The olive tree is surely the biggest gift of heaven – Thomas Jefferson

I grew up with sunflower oil and butter but these days I have five different extra virgin olive oils next to my stove. Ordinary olive oil for frying my chicken breasts, truffle olive oil that I add to my mashed potatoes, orange olive oil that I sprinkle on my pumpkin before I put it into the oven, parmesan olive oil to be added in good measures over hot pasta and then lime olive oil for dressing my salads. Olive oil is a completely natural oil (straight from heaven, I would say) with no preservatives added.

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SA Olive Association
In South Africa, the SA Olive Association keeps a watchful eye over our olive industry and if you want to be sure that you have a good South African olive oil you should be on the lookout for the organization’s seal of approval on the bottle. SA Olyf se seel van goedkeuring

Now, how should a good olive oil taste?
Well, once tasted, it should have fruity flavours such as apple and this should be followed by a bitter taste at the back of your tongue, giving way to a sharp peppery sensation in the back of your throat. Feel free to take a half teaspoon of olive oil, put it in your mouth, breathe the oil in as if you are tasting wine and see whether you experience theses sensations.

Beware of oils that smell or taste winey, metallic, musty or rancid.

Interesting facts and tips about olive oil
• Use olive oil while it is still young and fresh. It is not like wine which gets better as it gets older.
• Store oil in a cool, dark place.
• Do not store the olive oil in the refrigerator, the condensation will promote oxidation.
• Olive oil is more heat stable than, for example, sunflower oil and can be reused seven times.

 

pumpkin + sweet potato + pear bake with orange olive oil
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 800g pumpkin, unpeeled and sliced
  • 500g sweet potato, unpeeled cut into fingers
  • 2 pears, unpeeled, quartered
  • 60g butter, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons orange olive oil (this can be replaced with ordinary olive oil and the juice of one orange)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Place the butter on a baking tray and then the pumpkin, sweet potatoes and pears. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and cumin seeds and bake for 30 minutes. Mix the honey, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the pumpkin and bake for a further half hour.

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breakfast + wine – i say yes!

breakfast + wine – i say yes!

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I am not a breakfast person. I would rather choose any other meal where I can drink wine. You are probably thinking I am stark raving mad, but to raise a glass of wine with a meal and to toast to life, happiness, health or whatever, is to me an appropriate way to dine.

I do have to admit that sipping on a glass of wine over breakfast has for many years escaped me – well that was until I recently visited my good friend Louis, who lives in Spain.

Lu is a country boy from Willowmore in the Easter Cape who moved to Castelion in Spain. On the first morning of my visit to him, he surprised me with a very simple Spanish breakfast… pan tumaca. Directly translated this is bread and tomato. Naturally, Louis in his usual flamboyant manner served this with a glass of Spanish red wine and the two of us celebrated with a toast to the good life and lasting friendships.

in spain with my good friend louis verwey

in spain with my good friend louis verwey

Following my visit to the continent there was just no stopping me. These days, very few breakfasts in my house are served without a glass of good red wine! One of the better breakfasts to enjoy …along with a tipple is John Whaite’s Lebanese Lone Wolf Eggs.

Lu, I am looking forward to your visit in December. I shall be making you a breakfast, open a a bottle of the finest red so that we can raise a glass to our friendship and your health!

 

Lebanese Lone Wolf Eggs
 
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Recipe adopted from John Whaite Bakes
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sumac ( you can replace the sumac with a teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (I used pomegranate jam - otherwise use a tart berry jam)
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (1/2 can)
  • Leaves of two sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 eggs
  • Pita breads to serve
Instructions
  1. Fry the onions in oil for about 5 minutes in a small frying pan.
  2. Stirring occasionally, add the garlic, chilli, sumac, paprika, cumin and ground coriander. Stir well so that the spices coat the onions.
  3. Add the tomatoes and pomegranate molasses. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow the ingredients to gently bubble for about 5-10 minutes - or until the sauce is a good, thickish consistency.
  4. Stir in the thyme, fresh coriander, salt and pepper. Please taste and season the sauce.
  5. Crack in the eggs and allow the whites of the eggs to cook completely while keeping the yolks soft.
  6. Serve at once with pita bread. (…And a glass of good red!)

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my sister-in-law’s #asian salad

my sister-in-law’s #asian salad

My sister-in-law, Siobhan is just such an amazing woman. Since I married Rick she has welcomed me with open arms. She is just so caring, considerate, beautiful, sexy and has this great knack for making lovely, delicious and healthy food. This past Christmas she made this delectably spicy Eastern Salad.

Asian Salad

Asian Salad

????????

Siobhan

 

my sister-in-law’s #asian salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 small baby cabbages, finely sliced (or two cups of sliced cabbage)
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 200g green beans, thinly sliced
  • 200g baby corn, thinly sliced
  • 100g unsalted cashews, crushed
  • 2 spring onions, chopped diagonally
  • a large handful coriander, chopped
  • Dressing
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tblsp soy sauce
  • 1 red chillie, chopped
Instructions
  1. Chop and grate all the fresh ingredients.
  2. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients well.
  3. Mix all salad ingredients together with the salad dressing and there you go. Scrumptious, healthy and just irresistibly delicious.

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#garlic bread – go big or go home

#garlic bread – go big or go home

Garlic Bread

Oh how we just LOVE garlic bread – but… in my household the average French loaf garlic bread that you buy in the shops is just always too little. We want more – we always want more of that buttery garlic inside and the crusty outside … dammit, I just want more of the flavoursome bread!

So, I decided to take your normal sliced, average bread loaf and make this into a BIG garlic bread for my friends the other day. This is an adaptation or should I rather say step-up of the normal garlic loaf. My friends were all crazy about it but the only thing – it was still not enough!! But … everyone at least had a few delicious slices to savour. 🙂

It’s your choice how much garlic you want to add to the butter – but in my case, this would be loads … let’s face it, it’s not called garlic bread for nothing!

I say go big or go home!

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

 

#garlic bread - go big or go home
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf of sliced white bread
  • 250g butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated (you can add lots more)
  • Aluminium foil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 °C.
  2. Soften butter till it reaches a spread consistency. Add the grated garlic and mix well.
  3. Smear garlic butter between the slices and pack the bread together again. Also remember to smear the heels of the bread as well as the outer crust for that added crispy garlic toasting
  4. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 1h15 in preheated oven.

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roasted tomato + feta salad

roasted tomato + feta salad

roasted tomato and feta salad

Tomatoes + feta + basil has always presented a really classic combination. By slow roasting the tomatoes one is able to extract that deep, concentrated sweet flavour. My suggestion would be to serve this salad with a slice of toasted sourdough bread or just as a spritely side dish at your summer braai.

Watch me make this by clicking here.

roasted tomato and feta salad

 

roasted tomato + feta salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g baby tomatoes, halved
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 200g feta cheese
  • handful of basil leaves
  • salt and black pepper for seasoning
Instructions
  1. Mix the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar together and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for one hour. Take out of oven, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, mix well and let it cool down. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Let it cool down to room temperature.
  3. Crumble the feta and add to the tomatoes and the juices. Serve with torn basil leaves.

roasted tomato and feta salad

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open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop

open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop

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{freshstop is fresh}
Yesterday whilst filling up my car with fuel, I had a few minutes to spare so I decided to pop into the Caltex Freshstop. Well, wowzer was I surprised!

Yes, there were the usual selection of convenient fast foods and fabulous coffee to go – but there was a host of other fresh ingredients as well. Have you seen the amazing array of fresh fruits from watermelon, melons and apples? Then the fresh vegetables like my favourite baby tomatoes, green beans, lettuce and a selection of cheeses, yogurts and nuts too? How did I miss that?

{watermelon and tomato? yes!}
The watermelon and tomatoes reminded me that I had been toying with the idea of a tomato, watermelon combination for the last year but just never got my head around it. But recently, I read that Chef Gabriel Kreuther from the Modern in New York combined the two and the flavours were absolutely superb. So I decided there and then to whisk watermelon, tomatoes, feta cheese and pistachios off the shelf and headed home to start experimenting.

{perfect summer dish}
I decided to make an open watermelon sandwich with roasted tomatoes topped with feta, pistachios and mint. The sweet and the savoury elements of this summery salad are just too divine. The ice cold sweet watermelon with the concentrated savoury flavour of tomatoes makes for a perfect combination and the pistachios and mint gives everything that extra taste and texture. It is fresh and interesting and would make a perfect starter for a summer meal or as a side salad to a braai.

So, this summer when you need fresh ingredients to perk-up your summer meals remember to pop into your closest Freshstop – no hassle and no fuss.

watermelon sandwich

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open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • 500g baby tomatoes, halved
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Other salad ingredients
  • 900g watermelon
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 100g pistachios, shelled
  • small handful of fresh mint leaves, torn
Instructions
  1. Roasted tomatoes - Mix the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar together and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for one hour. Take out of oven, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and let it cool down.
  2. Taste for seasoning. You will want to serve it with the watermelon at room temperature.
  3. To assemble - Place a slice of watermelon on a plate as the base of your dish and add a few tomatoes on top. Crumble some feta over the dish, top with pistachios and finish with a few mint leaves – sprinkle with a few drops of the balsamic-tomato juices.

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fried caprese sandwich + antonia carluccio

fried caprese sandwich + antonia carluccio

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{10th wedding anniversary}
The other day was our 10th wedding anniversary (I am still in disbelief that we have made it so far 🙂 ). Rick was not at home for our anniversary this year (he was on a golf trip!!) but he did leave a beautiful card and a gift for me. The gift was Antonia Carluccio’s latest recipe book, The Collection. A beautiful book and thoughtful gift.

{mozzarella in carrozza}
Paging through this book I found an interesting dish … Mozzarella in Carrozza or Fried Mozzarella Sandwich. Antonia served it with tomato sauce. I decided to make my own warm tomatoes on the vine and to add basil – so it became became a fried caprese sandwich. I also added a bit of butter to my olive oil when frying. To be frank it was as the Italians would say … bellissimo!!

{antonia carluccio}
“Originally from Naples and generally from Campania, this dish has spread all over Italy and is to be found mostly in bars as a lunchtime snack, It is delicious when freshly made and still crisp”. – Antonia Carluccio, The Collection

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fried caprese sandwich + antonia carluccio
 
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 150g baby tomatoes, on the vine
  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 thick slices of mozzarella cheese (I did not use buffalo mozzarella because I find it a little too wet for this kind of dish)
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • salt
  • 100 ml milk
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Add the 1Tbsp of olive oil to a pan and slowly fry the tomatoes on the vine for about 10 minutes. Turn them around half way. When done, set aside.
  2. Place a piece of mozzarella, a basil leaf or two and a large pinch of salt between two slices of bread.
  3. Dip the sandwich firstly in the milk (do not let it soak – just dip the bread), then dip in flour and lastly into the egg.
  4. Heat the olive oil and the butter over medium heat and fry the sandwich on both sides till golden brown. This takes about 8 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with the tomatoes and some fresh basil.

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cripsy fried brussels sprouts with poor man’s parmesan

cripsy fried brussels sprouts with poor man’s parmesan

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{fry in olive oil? yes, this time we do just that}
I know that brussels sprouts is not everyone’s favourite vegetable … but this crispy fried brussels sprouts in olive oil with poor man’s parmesan is one of those dishes that once you have made it this way you will never do it any other way.

{perfect flavour combinations}
The peppery flavour of the olive oil compliments the crispness and bitterness of the brussels sprouts perfectly and the rustic flavouring of the poor man’s parmesan just adds that extra flavour and texture. This is a simple dish but believe me this will keep your taste buds intrigued for a long time.

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cripsy fried brussels sprouts with poor man's parmesan
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Brussels sprouts
  • 500g brussels sprouts
  • Good olive oil for deep frying – about 2 cups
  • Poor man’s parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted bread crumbs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp basil, chopped
  • Zest of ½ lemon
Instructions
  1. Brussels sprouts - - Heat the olive oil and fry the brussels sprouts for +- 5 minutes till golden brown. Allow the excess oil to drain on paper.
  2. Poor man’s parmesan - – heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pan and add the bread crumbs. Toast till light brown – stir continuously. Be cautious not to burn the bread crumbs.Remove from the the heat and add to the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle over the brussels sprouts.

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dill tzatziki + homemade melba toast = healthy summer snack

dill tzatziki + homemade melba toast = healthy summer snack

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{summer snack}
It’s nearly summer + snack time. All too often we so easily grab the packet of crisps on our way out of the supermarket. I am guilty as charged. I still cannot walk past a packet of salt and vinegar chips or a packet of nik naks for that matter :-).

{healthy summer snack}
Snacks in most instances also tend to rest on the unhealthy side of the food chain and are definitely not good for the summer figure… but not this refreshingly delicious dill tzatzkiki + homemade melba toast. You can make a large quantity of melba toasts in one go and then keep these in an airtight container till needed. The tzatziki will also last for about a week in your fridge – and the longer you keep it the stronger the flavour gets and the yummmier it gets.

For an even healthier option use fat free yogurt. Stock-up on these two items this summer and you will never be without the tastiest and healthiest snack for your summer soiree.

Watch me make this live by clicking here.

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dill tzatziki + homemade melba toast = healthy summer snack
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For tzatziki
  • 300g grated cucumber (this is a big cucumber, deseeded and grated)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 ½ cup Greek yogurt, double cream
  • 2 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped or 2 tbsp fresh mint or 1 tsp dry mint
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • For melba
  • 12 slices of white bread
Instructions
  1. For tzatziki - Grate the deseeded cucumber, mix the salt through and let it stand in a colander for about an hour. If you want to you can peel your cucumber but I prefer the skin on.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and put in the fridge till needed.
  3. When ready to serve, taste for seasoning, drizzle with some olive oil and fresh chopped dill.
  4. Homemade Melba toast - Preheat oven to 120 ˚C.
  5. Cut-off the crust from each of the bread slices.
  6. Roll the bread slices lightly with a rolling pin until flat, and then cut the rolled bread slices in half.
  7. Place the bread slice on an oven rack and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Increase the oven heat to 180 ˚C and bake for a further 10 minutes until the bread has toasted to a golden brown.
  9. Place the oven toasted bread into an air-tight container.

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butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons

butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons

photo new 800

Watch me make this by clicking here.

{build me up buttercup}
“build me up buttercup” is that fabulous pop song from way back in the sixties. Hearing this catchy track the other day gave me the inspiration for this dish – a lettuce cup salad that is light and fresh and just in time for summer. So there I was toes tapping, barefoot in the kitchen, singing out loud to my little wispy cups of butter lettuce.

{simplicity}
The simplicity of the dish is amazing yet the taste seems to linger like the last rays of sunshine in your mouth. The ingredients apple, mint, blue cheese, minted mayo and croutons combine into something so appealing to the senses and it will delight the most discerning guests.

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{homemade healthy minty-salty croutons}
I opted to make a more healthier version of the crouton (if this is remotely possible… :-)) … healthier as I chose to use olive oil and then rather than deep fry the bread in oil, I dry fried these crispy nibbles.

{crouton technique}
I have to say, the technique in making the croutons is both simple and fantastic. You add some olive oil and flavouring into a plastic bag, add the blocks of bread and shake the bag till all the croutons are coated. You then dry fry them in a non stick pan.

{serve}
Serve these little cups on individual spoons at a cocktail function or on a big dish for your summer lunch. What is great is the fact that people can fold these “lettuce cups over” to become something of a lettuce wrap. Happy summer everyone!

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butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons
 
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Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Salad
  • 1 packet butter lettuce
  • 1 green apple, sliced (you can slice it any which way you like)
  • 50g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 50g roasted cashew nuts
  • 1 cup homemade croutons
  • Homemade croutons
  • 2 slices of bread, cut into small blocks – keep the crusts on (+/- 2 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1 plastic bag
  • Salad dressing
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp water
Instructions
  1. Croutons - Add the oil, mint and salt to the bag. Then add you croutons. Shake the bag till all the croutons are coated in both mint and olive oil.
  2. Heat up a non-stick frying pan to medium heat. Add the croutons to the pan and dry fry until golden brown. Remember to shake the pan when frying the croutons so that the croutons fry on all sides.
  3. Salad dressing - Mix all ingredients together.
  4. To assemble - Take a lettuce cup, add your ingredients inside the cup and sprinkle with salad dressing. Serve immediately.
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mushroom steak with lime + parsley gremolata

mushroom steak with lime + parsley gremolata

The gremolata is the kind of addition that introduces these delicacies to the sunshine they have so longed for and deserve.

mushroom steak
Mushrooms are like humans – they seem to come in all shapes and sizes and they each have a distinct personality, characteristics and flavour. They also flourish in the dark – strangely, it sounds like a lot of people I know … 🙂 But what makes them exceptionally unique is their woody deliciousness when you bite into one. It is quite unusual yet so soul warming.

I like to use those large gigante mushrooms with their large flat caps, beautiful dark brown texture and black gills. They are usually very strong in flavour with a certain meatiness to it. I always strive to retain the mushroom in its simplest form and in so doing do my utmost to retain its natural juices. I normally pop them whole into the oven – no fiddling. Just bake them for 25-30 min and then add this gremolata. It is the kind of addition that introduces these delicacies to the sunshine they have so longed for and deserved. Take my word for it; this mushroom recipe is delicious and easy.

mushroom steak

4 Interesting mushroom facts
1. One Portabella mushroom has more potassium than a banana.
2. The oldest mushroom found dates bake more than 90 million years
3. Some of the oldest living mushroom colonies are fairy rings growing around the famous Stonehenge ruins in England. The rings are so large that they can best be seen from airplanes.
4. You can make beautiful colors by boiling wild mushrooms and dipping cloth in the resulting broth. The book The Rainbow Beneath My Feet tells you how to make dyes with mushrooms.

Source: fungi.com

mushroom steak

mushroom steak

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mushroom steak with lime + parsley gremolata
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Giant mushrooms
  • For Gremolata
  • 3 Tbsp Parsely, chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Large pinch of milled black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Place the mushrooms on a baking tray into the oven and bake mushrooms for 25 – 30 minutes.
  2. Mix all the gremolata ingredients together, drizzle over baked mushrooms. Finish with a good dash or two of Maldon salt and a sprinkle with black pepper.

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rick’s red pepper puree

rick’s red pepper puree

I got home a few weeks ago and there was this mysterious aroma coming from my kitchen …This usually makes me nervous as it could only be my hubby, Rick pottering around. It only means one thing….a BIG mess! Shame, he is not the tidiest kitchen cowboy in town, dedicated but not the tidiest. Yet to my surprise the kitchen looked okay’ish 🙂 and there was this smoky aroma hanging in thr air. He had chargrilled some peppers and they were sweating away in a plastic bag.

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Rick is always so secretive when he stomps around the kombuis, he always wants to try and surprise me with the final outcome. This time I forced him to own up and explain what he was making…. He said he was trying out a new sauce option for a steak on the braai…. like most South African men, Rick does not need an excuse to braai…rain or shine!

What he had created was this smoky, chargrilled red pepper puree, it was just indescribable. It had this immense honesty and depth of flavour.

The next morning, I saw the bowl of red pepper puree and decided to photograph it for him as a surprise. He loved it and I loved what he had created all on his own…from chargrilling to skinning the peppers to the interesting mix of ingredients he included into his recipe.

Make this and you will revel in the deep and mysterious flavours of char grilled red peppers. Enjoy!

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Smoky roasted peppers with toasted bruschetta fingers

 

rick’s red pepper puree
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 Whole red peppers, pipped and cut in halves
  • 2 Small onion, chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Large pinch of salt
  • Pinch of milled black pepper
  • Small squeeze of lemon
  • Lemon zest – just a little bit
  • Bruschetta
Instructions
  1. Put the grill of your oven on.
  2. Coat the peppers lightly with olive oil and roast skin side up in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or till blackened.
  3. Put the chargrilled peppers into a plastic bag and allow to sweat.
  4. Remove the skins from the peppers by peeling them. Try and retain just some (not all), of the roasted or crisped peppers for a deeper, smokier flavour to your pepper puree.
  5. Add all the other ingredients into your char grilled pepper mixture.
  6. Gently heat on medium heat for a minute or two.
  7. Liquidize with a blender to a consistency of your liking. Taste for seasoning and serve on just toasted bruschetta.

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