It was our first year growing Broad Beans in the garden here in Canberra and they survived through the winter frosts beautifully to produce a surprising amount of pods that are just now becoming mature enough to pick. Mostly, I’ve been allowing them to reach about the 18-20cm mark, so that they can be shelled and the tender beans inside eaten raw, without peeling. For those that sneakily grow a little larger, I’m hoping to test out Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Spicy Broad Bean Fritters… which very much looks like falafel. I’m already dreaming about sandwiching a few into some home-made flat bread with salad and yoghurt dressing.Continue reading →
Now that winter is behind us and summer on the way, it’s time for salads to take their rightful place on the dinner table once again. Relinquishing all that hearty, comfort food and embracing a much lighter fare is something my body is already thanking me for. Continue reading →
Hopefully by now you have all heard of my other blog ‘The Dinner Party Collective’ which is a collaborative project with 13 other Food and Wine Blogging friends. Every season, we release 2 new menus, giving you recipes, wine pairings, tips for being organised and hopefully a little inspiration to create your own Dinner Parties with friends and family. Continue reading →
After a beautiful, warm, sunny day, we’ll sit down this evening to the first G&T of the season, some grilled meat off the barbecue and this flavourful little Couscous Salad. It’s exciting to be preparing salads once more and to be able to source such beautiful ingredients from both the local Farmer’s Market and our own back garden. Continue reading →
Realising how futile it is to ignore the fact that winter is coming, I’m determined not to spend too much time bemoaning this irreversible certainty. Somehow I need to embrace the fact that jackets and boots will soon need to be unearthed from the depths of my wardrobe and casserole pots along with pudding tins, brought down from the top shelf of the pantry, finding a more easy to reach home. However before I do all of this, I’m determined to sneak this one last salad onto Gather and Graze – it’s a warm one, so perfectly suited to the autumn we are now enjoying! It goes beautifully with grilled meat from the BBQ and a loaf of crusty bread.
Any mixture of Baby Spinach, Rocket/Arugula or Lettuce Leaves
Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves (torn)
(Persian or other softish) Feta Cheese (crumbled into chunks)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Vino Cotto (for drizzling)
Pre-heat oven to 210°C and line a large baking tray with parchment/baking paper.
Scatter the sweet potato, onion, capsicum, green beans and eggplant on the baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac, sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat, before placing into the oven for about 50-60 minutes, until beautifully golden and roasted through (toss the veggies about halfway through to ensure even cooking).
Allow to cool a little. Then when you are ready to serve, place the salad and basil leaves into a serving dish, top with the roasted vegetables, scatter with feta cheese and drizzle over a little EV Olive Oil and Vino Cotto.
Notes on Cooking:
Sumac is wonderful middle-eastern spice that gives something of a lemon zing to dishes. It’s great to have on hand for sprinkling over dips, salads and roasted/grilled meat.
A variety of other vegetables can be used for this salad… pumpkin, cherry tomatoes and whole garlic cloves being but a few other options to consider.
PS. Please forgive any delays in responding to comments for this post, as I will be away from home when it is scheduled to publish. I’ll be in touch soon. Thanks, M.xx
If you are open to it, food inspiration flies at you from all four corners of the globe. It enables you to explore far-flung locations in one of the most beautiful ways possible… by discovering what nourishes and brings happiness to the people who live there. To understand what warms their hearts and puts smiles on their faces. The multiculturalism that exists here in Australia is something I respect whole-heartedly and I seem to naturally find myself cooking a wide variety of cuisines because of it. Continue reading →
Weather in all of it’s extremes is often to be marvelled at… admired… but unfortunately not always enjoyed. The soaring heat that our part of Australia has been experiencing recently has been reason enough to stock the freezer with copious quantities of icy-poles, to serve up antipasto platters for dinner and to lunch on a variety of cooling salads.
We enjoyed this salad with dinner the other night, while catching up with a dear friend who we hadn’t seen in a while and it was so refreshing that I decided to make it again for lunch today. It is adapted from a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s book ‘Forever Summer’.
Watermelon Feta and Olive Salad | Gather and Graze
I know that we’re not out of the woods yet… our spring has a fickleness about it, that is known to throw us back into wintery weather with little warning, at any given time. We’re still a few weeks away from predictable warmth and sunshine.
Rather encouragingly though, this past weekend has seen us while away the lunch hour outside on our back deck with a rather different style of food than in the months gone by. No more of the heavy, comfort-giving winter fare. With the onset of spring my body seems to unsurprisingly be craving the freshness and lightness of salads, grilled meat and fresh fruit.
Thinly slice the cabbage, fennel and spring onions. Dice the capsicum. Chop rather roughly the coriander (including the stalks) and also the cashew nuts. Combine all these ingredients together in a bowl and toss through as much of the dressing below as required. Top with a few extra chopped cashew nuts.
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
¼ Cup Mirin (or Rice Wine)
1 Tablespoon (Salt-Reduced) Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
Thumb-size piece Fresh Ginger (finely grated)
A good squeeze of lemon juice
A couple of grinds of Sea Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon Sweet Chilli Sauce (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until completely combined. Adjust the amounts of soy sauce and lemon juice, as required.