In autumn when figs are in season it’s time to indulge and make this all natural delicious chutney. You can serve it with anything – its as great with vanilla ice cream as it is with grilled chicken or fish. Do yourself a favour and try making it just once.
Makes about two 500g(1lb) Jars.
1kg (2lb) very ripe figs, stem removed
4 Tablespoons Rice Syrup
1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
1 Tablespoon mirin
seeds from 10 cardamom pods – ground in a mortar and pestle
1/4 cup raisins – optional
- Put all ingredients in saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Remove lid and cook on low/medium heat for 20-30 minutes until liquid has been absorbed.
- Check seasoning and serve or store.
- Delicious with EVERYTHING.
I recently discovered baking mushrooms maintains the earthy taste and deep flavours of mushrooms far better than any other cooking method. This dish is simple, quick, versatile and tastes – oh so good.
Brown, Swiss or Portobello Mushrooms have the most flavour
- Heat oven to 220 C.
- Tear mushrooms and place in 20cm diameter metal baking dish.
- Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and fresh herbs of your choice. I like thyme or continental parsley.
- Dot with a few little knobs of butter – you need very little.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve as is as an innovative and healthy snack or starter. Alternatively makes a great breakfast or lunch dish if you spread sourdough toast with goats cheese and serve mushrooms on top of the goats cheese with a few extra herbs sprinkled on top.
This salad originated in the High Rustenburg Health Hydro and is packed with low calorie/high GI ingredients. The sweetness of the fruit makes it delicious with any spicy food. It’s also a great addition to take along to a barbecue – no one else will have anything like it, children love it, and it’s delicious with sausages. Of course it’s also ideal for a ladies luncheon along with poached chicken or fish. Enjoy.
4 stalks celery
2 cups thinly shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 Tablespoon honey
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Grate apples, carrots and celery. Using the grate attachment on a food processor makes short work of this.
- Place in a large flat salad bowl or platter. Mix in sliced bananas. Toss with lemon juice until mixture is well coated to prevent the apples and bananas going brown. Mix in lettuce.
- Add honey to yoghurt. Drizzle over salad to taste. Toss and serve.
- This salad does not keep well. Eat immediately.
The days are warm already this year with the garden thinking that spring has arrived. However, the nights are still cool – time to enjoy my hearty homemade soup one last time before the warm spring evenings are upon us. This recipe is cobbled together from watching my mother and grandmother making soups with leftovers from the pantry and the fridge. It tastes wholesome with friends and neighbours always asking for some – it’s one of those dishes that never finishes as each day you add a little more water to top up what you ate the previous day !!!
2 pieces veal osso buco
1 cup dried Italian Soup mix – you want the mixed beans and lentils with no barley
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
3 sticks celery, sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
3 medium desiree or kestrel potatoes, peeled and sliced
mixed herbs – whatever you can find; Bay leaves, Rosemary, parsley stalks, thyme, and the light green celery leaves from the heart of the bunch of celery
1/4 cabbage, shredded
800g(2lb) can diced tomatoes
2 Beef stock cubes
4 cups water
miscellaneous vegetables from fridge to add at the end; I like sliced zuchinni and green beans
- Brown the Osso Buco in a little olive oil and butter in a large pot; Remove.
- Now saute the onions and garlic. When soft add the herbs to bloom – sautéing in oil releases far more flavour than adding the herbs to the liquid at the end.
- Add celery and carrots and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Now add the soup mix, beef stock cubes, canned tomatoes, water and the browned so buck. Bring to the boil. Turn to a low simmer. Simmer for 60 minutes.
- After 60 minutes, add the potatoes and shredded cabbage. Continue cooking for another 60 to 90minutes until the soup mix is cooked.
- Remove the osso buco. Add marrow from bones to the soup. Remove fat from the meat and shred it. Return shredded meat to the pot. The soup should be thick but if u think it needs more liquid add some now – add half cup water at a time so that you don’t end up diluting soup too much. Bring back to boil. Taste and add seasoning as required. It is best left for a day at this stage to improve flavour but of course can be eaten immediately.
- Just before serving add miscellaneous vegetables on hand; Green Beans, sliced zucchini, etc and heat. Boil for no more than one minute to keep vegetables crunchy.
- This soup can keep for up to a week if you reheat it every day. Reheat slowly so as not to burn. Add additional water if it gets to thick BUT add water when soup is hot. The soup thins up as it heats so you cannot be sure how much water is required.
- Enjoy with crusty bread.
Jeanette is a neighbour from Northbridge that makes this mean dip with a ‘mexican’ twist ideal for any barbecue or party. It’s large, made with wonderful ingredients like avocado, sour cream and kidney beans, and so easy to put together – ideal for a crowd. Thank you Jeanette.
Layer the following:
- 1 tin red Kidney beans, well mashed
- 3 avocados mashed with lemon juice, garlic and pepper
- carton sour cream mixed with 1/2 pkt taco sauce
- Top with 2 finely chopped tomatoes and half a bunch of chives
Serve with lebanese bread, corn chips or water biscuits.
Rocket adds a sharpness to the sweetness of the roast pumpkin and onions whilst the beans or asparagus add texture. The feta adds creaminess and the walnuts are a lovely surprise. This salad works well with a Barbecue or any grilled meat – no additional accompaniments required.
1.2kg/2.5lbs Butternut or Pumpkin, peeled and cut into 5cm/2 inch chunks
3 spanish/red onions cut into quarters
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bunch asparagus or 200g topped and tailed baby green beans
1 bunch rocket, trimmed and washed
100g/6oz Danish fetta
1/2 cup halved walnuts or pine nuts
Balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 200C/425F.
- Place pumpkin and onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle over chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lots of Maldon salt and ground pepper. Toss well.
- Arrange in a single layer on a large baking pan lined with baking paper. Roast 20 to 25 minutes until tender, turning once.
- Blanch asparagus or green beans.
- Layer rocket in a large shallow bowl or serving platter. Top with asparagus or green beans. Add pumpkin and onions ensuring an even spread. Top with crumbled feta. Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil – only a LITTLE. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.
- Serve – this keeps well for the next day if you omit drizzling balsamic and olive or only use a very small amount.
Portobello mushrooms are meaty and dressed with feta and this herb and chilli dressing they are ideal as a starter or an accompaniment to a steak or any grilled meat. Comments I have received on serving these are … “this is better than anything I have had in a restaurant”. There you go – worthwhile compliment for a few minutes work.
4 large portobello or large brown mushrooms, stalks removed
75g/3ozs Danish feta
1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
- Preheat barbecue or chargrill to high.
- Whisk olive oil, lemon, garlic, herbs, and chilli in a small bowl.
- Brush both sides of mushrooms with a little oil. Barbecue or girl for 1-2 minutes on each side until mushrooms are heated through.
- Place each mushroom on an individual plate. Top with crumbled feta. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.
This is one of my favourite salads in recent times – it goes beautifully with grilled white fish, a barbecue and is delicious on its own as well. The cannellini beans add balance to the peppery rocket and hint of chilli whilst the pancetta adds crunch. The feta rounds it all off. The salad keeps overnight and the leftovers make a delicious lunch the next day.
Note: This salad is a little salty from the feta and pancetta so be careful not to add salt – if the salad is too salty for you replace the feta with ricotta. You can replace the pancetta with very thinly sliced bacon in times when the flat pancetta is difficult to find.
1 long red chilli, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
200g flat pancetta, thinly sliced into strips
2x340g cans of cannellini beans, drained
200g rocket leaves
200g Danish feta or ricotta
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
- Layer rocket in a large flat salad bowl or plate.
- Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, Dijon mustard and lemon juice in a cup and mix well with a fork or teaspoon to combine.
- Cook chilli or sambal oelek in 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium sized frying pan over medium heat. Add pancetta slices in a single layer and fry till crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel when done.
- Add drained chick peas to frying pan, reduce heat and cook stirring frequently until chick peas are heated through.
- Sprinkle warm chick peas over rocket. Drizzle with mustard dressing. Top with crumbled pancetta and top with crumbled feta or ricotta.
- Serve. Yum!!!
This vegetarian version of a lasagne is wonderful but absolutely huge. Divide into two large lasagne dishes and freeze one. If you wish to make it low-cal replace the lasagne sheets with slices of zucchini and the cheese sauce with blobs of low fat ricotta. It tastes just as delicious and has far fewer calories.
6 eggplants, cut into 5mm(1/4 inch) rounds
1.25kg (2.5 lbs) portobello or brown mushrooms
4 carrots, grated
2 x 470g (15 oz) cans whole tomatoes
3 large onions, sliced
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup sherry
- Sprinkle eggplant rounds with salt. Drain after 30minutes and brown on each side in griller.
- Saute sliced mushrooms with garlic in butter until limp. Add 1/2 cup sherry and simmer 20 minutes.
- Saute onions till soft and golden. Add 1/2 cup sherry, 4 grated carrots, canned tomatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer about an hour.
Cheese Sauce/Alternatively use blobs of Ricotta
120g (4oz) butter
8 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
125 g (4 oz) grated cheddar cheese
- Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour; cook gently, stirring, 1 minute.
- Gradually add the milk, stir until sauce boils and thickens.
- Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg. Add cheese last.
Assembling the Lasagna
250 g (8 oz) lasagne noodles or Zucchini slices, 5mm(1/4 inch) thick
1 cup grated cheese or 1 cup ricotta
pumpkin kernels for crunch(optional)
- Using 2 lasagne dishes each 33cmx22cm(9x12inch), repeat the following layers: Grilled eggplant, mushroom mixture, onion and vegetable mixture, lasagne or zucchini slices, then cheese sauce or ricotta blobs.
- Repeat layers two or three times depending on depth of lasagne dish finishing with lasagne or zucchini slices.
- Sprinkle top with any remaining cheese sauce and grated cheddar cheese. Alternatively use blobs of ricotta and pumpkin kernels.
- Bake in moderate oven 20 to 25 minutes till hot and bubbling.
This is real winter comfort food – warm, filling and full of flavour. I used to make a pot of soup on Sunday and we would enjoy it for lunch and/or dinner throughout the week. It’s also a healthy after school snack. Just add a little water when it thickens up and you can keep going for days. Reheat over medium – not high – heat and stir frequently to ensure it does not catch at the bottom of the pot.
½ ham hock (omit if vegetarian)
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
500g(1 lb) uncooked brown or puy lentils
1x800g(2 lbs) tin tomatoes, pureed
2 beef or vegetable stock cubes
6 cups water
chopped parsley to serve
- Place all ingredients in a large pot.
- Bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 1½ hours stirring from time to time.
- Add another cup of water if it becomes too thick.
- Serve garnished with parsley.
A fresh healthy salad with a new way to use zucchini (courgettes). It has everything – currants for sweetness and texture, paprika, spring onions and garlic for spice, and zucchini which wears flavours so well. Enjoy.
70g currants soaked overnight in 80ml verjuice
8 zucchini cut lengthways into 4mm slices
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
125ml olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 ml Spanish smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- Combine olive oil, paprika and garlic. Divide in two.
- Stir vinegar, spring onions, currants, and any remaining verjuice into one half of olive oil mixture
- Brush zucchini with remaining half of olive oil mixture.
- Grill zucchini on high in a single layer for two minutes on each side until golden.
- Layer grilled zucchini in a dish. Scatter with basil .
- Drizzle currant and spring onion dressing over zucchini.