Monthly Archives: August 2012

Jamie Oliver’s stewed rhubarb and vanilla yoghurt

Jamie Oliver is an English chef, well-known for his food-focussed television shows, a multitude of restaurants globally and campaigns against processed foods in English schools. He has recently started a push toward the British equivalent of our own Kitchen Garden Program for school kids.

Fresh from the garden: rhubarb, orange


  • Chopping board & knife
  • Citrus juicer
  • Microplane zester
  • Scales
  • Medium saucepan
  • Measures – jug, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Serving bowls



  • 750g rhubarb
  • Juice and zest of 1 large orange
  • 100g caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra
  • 2 pieces stem ginger
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 250ml natural Greek yoghurt

What to do:

  • Wash and shake the rhubarb stems dry. Trim all the leaves completely from the stalks and discard. Chop the stalks into 2cm strips.
  • Zest and then juice the orange. Finely chop the ginger.
  • Place the chopped rhubarb in the saucepan with the orange juice and zest, 100g caster sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and the ginger. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and cooked, but still holds its shape. Stir in the teaspoon of rosewater.
  • Meanwhile, halve the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds from each half. Mix these into the yoghurt with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Serve the warm rhubarb topped with a large dollop of vanilla yoghurt.

Notes: Are rhubarb leaves edible or poisonous? What does rhubarb taste like? Is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable? What is rosewater and what does it remind you of?

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Simon Rimmer’s carrot and coriander falafel

Simon Rimmer is a British chef with a reputation for heading wonderful vegetarian restaurants in England whilst not actually being vegetarian himself. He has written four cookbooks.

Fresh from the garden: carrot, chilli, coriander, parsley, mint


  • Frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Peelers, sieve
  • Kitchen paper
  • Salad spinner
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Lemon juicer
  • Garlic press
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Grater
  • Plate
  • Slotted spoon & metal spoon
  • Measures – tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Serving plates

For the falafels

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 100g carrot
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A small handful fresh coriander
  • A small handful fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • sesame seeds, to garnish

For the yoghurt dip

  • 100ml Greek yoghurt
  • A small handful fresh coriander
  • A small handful fresh mint
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon tahini

What to do:

  • For the falafels, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in the dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Grind the seeds in the pestle and mortar.
  • Peel and finely grate the carrot & squeeze the moisture out a piece of kitchen paper. Wash, spin-dry the coriander, parsley and mint and finely chop to yield 2 tablespoons of each. Reserve some of the coriander and all of the mint for the yoghurt dip. Zest the lemon and peel and crush the garlic clove. Juice the lime. Drain the chickpeas into the sieve & rinse.
  • Blend the toasted spices together with the rest of the falafel ingredients in the food processor until well combined.
  • Shape spoonfuls of the falafel mixture into balls and set aside on a plate.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1cm vegetable oil in the frying pan and fry the falafels for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove the falafel from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  • For the yoghurt dip, combine the Greek yoghurt, coriander, mint, lime and tahini in the jug of the stick blender and whizz until smooth.
  • Serve the falafels with the yoghurt dressing and toasted pita breads if you have them!
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Rose Elliott’s warm beetroot and quinoa tabbouleh

Rose Elliott is a British vegetarian cookery writer. She first became a vegetarian at the age of three and has since written 55 books on vegetarian cookery.

 Fresh from the garden: lemon, beetroot, onions, parsley



  • Scales
  • Sieve
  • Saucepans & lids – med, large
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Peelers
  • Bowls – 2 large
  • Grater
  • Salad spinner
  • Citrus juicer
  • Measures – tablespoon
  • Serving bowls

  • 125g quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large red onions
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ a lemon
  • 2 small raw beetroot & any small leaves
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

  • Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under the cold tap, then put into a saucepan with 300ml water and bring to the boil. Cover and leave to cook slowly for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, still lidded, for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile peel, halve and finely slice the onions. Warm the olive oil in a roomy saucepan, put in the onions, stir to coat with the oil, then cover and leave to cook gently for 10 minutes, or until very tender.
  • Wash, peel and chop off the beetroot leaves. Carefully grate the beetroot to yield about 200g. Wash and spin-dry the small beetroot leaves & parsley and chop the leaves coarsely. Juice the half lemon.
  • Stir the balsamic vinegar into the onion, let it bubble, then remove from the heat and add the quinoa, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, beetroot, parsley and plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 Notes: What is quinoa? Are beetroot leaves edible? What is balsamic vinegar? Where does the name tabbouleh come from?


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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s chickpea, potato and kale curry

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a British chef, famous for the TV show ‘River Cottage’ and his support of real food, local and seasonal foods, and humanely produced livestock .

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, kale, onion, coriander


  • Bowls – glass, large
  • Saucepans – med, large
  • Sieve & colander
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Microplane zester
  • Salad spinner
  • Peeler
  • Measures – jug, tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Scales
  • Frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Wooden spoon
  • Serving bowls

  • 300g dried chickpeas (or 2 tins, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, plus a little extra to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 hot, dried red chilli, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 700ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 250g potatoes
  • 150g kale (or cabbage)
  • Greek yogurt, to serve
  • A small handful coriander leaves

What to do:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water.
  • Next day, drain, rinse and simmer them for about 30 minutes in fresh ­water until tender, then drain. (If using tinned, just drain and rinse.)
  • Peel and grate the ginger with the microplane zester. Peel, halve and finely slice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and chop the potato into 3cm dice.
  • Wash and shake the kale leaves dry. Strip the leaves from the stem (discarding the stem) and finely shred the leaves. Wash and spin-dry the coriander and finely chop.
  • Put the frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, dry-toast the cumin, coriander seeds and mustard seeds and the chilli for a couple of minutes ­until they smell ­really fragrant and the mustard starts to pop. Grind to a powder with the pestle and mortar, and mix in the turmeric and ginger.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, and fry the onion, stirring regularly, until soft and golden brown. Stir in the garlic and spices, leave to cook for a minute or two, and add the stock. Simmer for five minutes, then add the chickpeas and potatoes. Cook until the spuds are tender, then add the kale. Cook for a few minutes, until the greens are tender, then serve with a dollop of thick yogurt on top, along with a ­sprinkling of toasted cumin seeds and some coriander leaves.

Notes: Why do we dry-toast the spices? What does to shred the leaves mean?

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Kitchen news – 2nd August 2012

With a crack of the starting pistol, we’re off! The Olympic fortnight has leapt from the springboard here in the cottage and we’ve been dishing up gold with our Brit chefs’ middle-eastern inspired menu of winning dishes… First up is a wonderful almost-spring (or almost-autumn, depending on which side of the world you are) recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of chickpea, kale and potato curry, with Simon Rimmer’s carrot and chickpea falafel with herb yoghurt and pita bread, Gordon Ramsay’s very simple broccoli soup , Rose Elliott’s beetroot and quinoa tabbouleh and a wonderful dessert from the fab Jamie Oliver, who is right now trying to start up  a UK-version of a Kitchen Garden project inspired by our very own SAKGP, stewed rhubarb with vanilla yoghurt. Look for the recipes on this site soon!

We had a visit to the cottage yesterday afternoon from Mr Fielding and Mr Patterson, the School Education Directors and a group of potential SED high school students, who rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in with 5/6P… Much thanks to Fort St High, JJ Cahill Memorial, Sydney Secondary College and Randwick Girls’ for supplying us with such generous and talented cooks: well done Harriet, Henry, Olympia, Ciaran, Vickie & Gabriella for helping out so beautifully! And thanks always to Ms Parry, Ms Kendall, super-Ellie and Jill (our Wednesday arvo regular) – the food was extra-delicious…

And thanks again to all our volunteers for continuing to support our little program – every week I see and hear more and more reference in the newspapers, magazines, books and radio to the benefits of exposing children to good food, vegetables and ‘real food’ cooking, along with the necessity of organic horticulture and lessons of recycling, re-using etc and feel that we’re doing our small bit for the future health and well-being of our kids and the planet. Hooray!

And only one thing left to say now: Come on Aussies, come on!!!

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Balsamic onion jam

This is a fantastic addition to a weekend brunch or BBQ – try it on fried eggs, sausages, bacon or spread some on a cheese sandwich for a taste sensation…

Fresh from the garden: onions, thyme

Recipe source: Melissa, kitchen specialist at Bondi PS


  • Chopping board & knife
  • Large frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measures – tablespoon
  • Serving bowls

  • 1kg brown onions
  • A sprig of thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Flaked salt
  • Soft brown sugar
  • Aged balsamic vinegar

What to do:

  • Peel and chop the onion into thin slices.
  • Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the frying pan and when hot, slide in the onion slices and sprinkle on a pinch of salt.
  • Wash & shake the thyme sprig dry. Strip off the leaves, discarding the stalks, and sprinkle them onto the onions.
  • Gently cook on a medium heat, stirring or tossing occasionally until very soft for about 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle on a tablespoon each of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and toss to mix. Continue to cook gently, turning the heat down if needed.
  • When the onions have mostly absorbed the mixture, add another tablespoon of each and toss again.
  • Keep going in this way until the onions are thick, slippery and dark in colour. This might take up to 30 minutes.
  • Taste to check seasoning and tenderness and when ready, spoon into serving bowls.

Notes: What is a condiment? Where does balsamic vinegar come from? What is it made from?

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Home-made tomato ketchup!

Fresh from the garden: tomatoes, fennel, celery, basil, chilli

Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Jamie Oliver

We love to try our hands at something home-made, and this tomato sauce is a real winner. A bottle of it makes a great present too!


  • Chopping board & knife
  • Colander
  • Bowls – 2 large, 2 med
  • Heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measures – cup, ½ cup, 1/3 cup, tablespoon
  • Hand blender
  • Funnel and bottles with lids if preserving

  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 a bulb of fennel
  • 1 stick of celery
  • olive oil
  • a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a fresh red chilli
  • a bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soft brown sugar

What to do:

  • Peel and chop the onion. Wash, trim and roughly chop the fennel & celery. Peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic. De-seed and carefully chop the chilli.
  • Wash the basil, pick off the leaves and chop the stalks.
  • Wash and drain the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.
  • Place all the vegetables in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a big splash of olive oil and the ginger, garlic, chilli, basil stalks, coriander seeds and cloves. Season with the pepper and a good pinch of salt.
  • Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until softened, stirring every so often. Add all the tomatoes and 1½ cups of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.
  • Add the basil leaves, then whiz the sauce with the hand blender and push it through the sieve twice, to make it smooth and shiny. Put the sauce into a clean pan and add the vinegar and the sugar. Place the sauce on the heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. At this point, correct the seasoning to taste.
  • Serve immediately or keep, covered, in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Or for preserving: Carefully spoon the ketchup through a sterilized funnel into sterilized bottles if using, then seal tightly and place in a cool dark place until needed – it should keep for six months.

Notes: Where does the word ketchup come from? What does to sterilize mean?

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Luxury potato salad

Fresh from the garden: Potatoes, corn, chives, coriander, mint, spring onions

Recipe source: Melissa


We’re enjoying some slightly warmer weather – hurray! Whether in the park at a picnic, or at home with a BBQ this salad is always a winner – and especially with this luxurious mayo.


  • Scrubby brush
  • Large saucepan
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Measuring tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Salad spinner, paper towel
  • 2 medium bowls
  • Garlic press
  • Tea towel
  • Measuring jug
  • Electric whisk, 2 beaters
  • Glad wrap
  • Colander
  • Metal spoon
  • Serving bowls

  • 2kg chat potatoes
  • 2 corn cobs
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 8 spring onions
  • A small handful parsley
  • 12 chives
  • A small handful coriander
  • Flaked salt


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 heaped teaspoon English mustard powder
  • Cooking salt & black pepper
  • 275ml Rice Bran or peanut oil
  • White wine vinegar

What to do:

  • Wash the potatoes well, using a brush if needed, and cut any larger ones in half or quarter. Put them all into the large saucepan, cover with cold water and set to boil.
  • Strip the husks from the corn cobs, wash and wipe dry and then carefully slice off the kernels.
  • Wash the mint and add to the potatoes with a tablespoon of cooking salt. Once the water is boiling, check to see if tender after about 15 minutes. In the last minute of cooking, add the corn kernels.
  • Meanwhile make the mayonnaise (see over for recipe) and wash the remaining herbs and spring onions and dry well. Pick the herbs and finely chop; remove the outer layer of spring onion (discarding it) and chop into slices about half the size of the nail on your little finger.
  • When the potatoes & corn are tender, pour out into a colander and drain. Shake to remove excess water and turn back into the warm saucepan, immediately adding the mayonnaise and spring onions. Using the metal spoon, carefully turn the warm mixture so that all is covered. Taste for seasoning and add if needed.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle over the chopped herbs and turn out into serving bowls.


  • Separate the eggs and put the 2 yolks into a medium bowl reserving the whites for another use.
  • Crush the garlic clove and add to yolks with the mustard powder and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar.
  • Season with a level teaspoon of salt and a few twists of freshly milled pepper, and mix well together. Place the bowl onto a folded damp tea towel to steady.
  • Measure the rice bran oil into a jug, and using the electric whisk in one hand, add just only one drop of oil to the egg mixture, and whisk that in. Keep adding just one drop at a time, mixing in well after each addition.
  • As soon as it begins to thicken, begin to add the oil in larger drops.
  • When about half the oil is in you can begin pouring in the oil in a thin, steady trickle – whisking the whole time.
  • When it’s all in, taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and, if it needs it, a little more vinegar to taste. Cover with wrap and chill until the potatoes are ready.


  • There is a risk home-made mayonnaise will curdle or split if you add the oil too fast, too soon. If that happens, just put a fresh yolk into a clean bowl, add the curdled mixture to that, drop by drop, and then carry on with the remainder of the oil as if nothing had happened.

Notes: What does to curdle mean? What is a chat potato? Why do we start cooking the potatoes in cold water?

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Kitchen news – 19th July 2012

Welcome back everybody! And what a beautiful few days we’ve had, with lovely encouraging sunshine streaming onto our soggy lawns & a sniff of spring in the air even though we’re only halfway through winter!

Our Kitchen Garden

This week has been all about cleaning for me – with a small amount of excitement in blowing the fusebox in not only the cottage but also District Office next door (!) – but the main event of the week was a visit from the lovely Colin Holt from Hudson Meats who showed 5/6P how to make delicious, organic and preservative-free sausages from scratch. He brought along some chicken thighs and lamb shoulder and we minced them with our lovely Bondi herbs and rocket – and then we got to throw them on the BBQ & gobble them for lunch with Iggy’s rolls and our own luxury potato salad, a simple herby leaf salad, homemade tomato ketchup and balsamic onion jam… a BBQ fit for a governor general! Big thanks to Penny, Eliane and Steve for volunteering for this special event – and cranking up the hotplate!

All recipes due to be up here soon – check them out, like if you do, and subscribe!

And yep it’s that begging time again: please show your support for our crucial program in committing to some sessions of volunteering – ideally you will be able to help out for a term but we understand that time is short so we’ll take anything we can get! Spread the word out there if you can… thanks and happy munching!

PS – At the end of last term we held a kitchen class for some of the ladies & gents that wouldn’t ordinarily get to see what goes on in the cottage in term time… so I put Mr Jones, Mrs Morris, Mrs Kelly, Paul, Ligia and some of the DET district office chaps to work in their own sections… They did a great job & we had some delicious results – and here is the evidence!

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Lemongrass tisane

Fresh from the garden: lemongrass

Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Alice says, ‘A tisane is a fresh tea, an infusion of fragrant herbs, or flowers or spices, in boiling water. It is a soothing a refreshing finish to a meal, is complementary to most desserts, and offers a mild alternative to coffee. Tisane can be made from such flavourings as lemon verbena, mint, lemon thyme, lemon balm, hyssop, chamomile, citrus rind and ginger – alone and in combination. The one I make most is a combination of mint and lemon verbena. It is very beautiful made in a glass teapot so you can see the brilliant green leaves… I like to use small clear tea glasses, as they do in Morocco, so the lovely pale green colour is visible.’


  • Measuring jug
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Ladle
  • Tea cups or glasses

  • A lemongrass stalk with leaves
  • 2 litres of water

What to do:

  • Measure the water into the saucepan and heat on high to boil.
    • Holding the lemongrass carefully, rinse it and cut the stalk from the leaves.
    • Chop the stalk into 2cm lengths.
    • Fold the leaves into a small bunch, tying together to secure.
    • When the water in the saucepan is boiling, carefully drop in the bundle & the chopped stalk.
    • Turn the heat off and let the tisane steep for several minutes.
    • Ladle into cups or glasses to serve.

Notes: What is a tisane? Why do we have to be careful when handling lemongrass? What other combinations can you think of?

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