Monthly Archives: March 2013

Roasted capsicum

A wonderful thing happens when you roast capsicum: the crunchy and slightly sour tastes make way for luscious, slippery sweetness – & when married with garlic and herbs the effect is totes delish! My favourite thing to do is gobble these capsicum strips with the marinated feta, some pesto and slices of grilled bruschetta – a perfect little antipasto snack matched with a slice or 5 of super-thin prosciutto and/or some garlic prawns in terracotta, a la Dogs Bar circa 1993… happy days!

Fresh from the garden: capsicum, garlic, thyme, marjoram, sage
Recipe source: Melissa


  • Bowls – big, medium
  • Baking tray
  • Oven mitts
  • Tongs
  • Freezer bag
  • Serving bowls

  • 4 or 5 capsicums
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A head of garlic
  • A small handful of thyme sprigs
  • A small handful of marjoram sprigs
  • Flaked salt

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 21oC.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry the capsicum.
  • Liberally douse the capsicum with olive oil, massaging the oil into every crevice.
  • Place capsicum onto the baking tray, together with the head of garlic and the thyme & marjoram sprigs.
  • Sprinkle a sparing quantity of flaked salt onto the capsicum and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Carefully remove from oven with oven mitts and using the tongs, turn caps onto their sides.
  • Bake a further 10 minutes, then turn them over.
  • Repeat until all 4 sides have been in contact with the baking tray.
  • Once the capsicums are blackened and soft, remove from the oven, place into a freezer bag, seal tightly and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Once cool enough to handle, put pressure on the stem end and it will pop out. Tear the capsicum in half, and remove all pith and seeds, the skins with slide off easily.
  • Repeat for remainder of the roasted capsicums.
  • Peel off each clove of garlic and squeeze from tip to base. The roasted garlic cloves are much more fragrant and milder than pan fried garlic.
  • Tear the capsicum into thin strips and mix with the herby oil and garlic.
  • Divide into serving bowls and eat with crusty bread!

Notes: What goes well with capsicum? What other vegetables can you roast? Why do we put the capsicum in a plastic bag?

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Garlic bruschetta with tomatoes and basil

We can elevate even the simplest of snacks into works of art by performing a little garlic magic first… And over an open bbq flame at home takes the toast to an altogether more yummy stratosphere…

Fresh from the garden: tomatoes, garlic, basil
Recipe source: Melissa


  • Knives – bread, small
  • Paper towel
  • Salad spinner
  • Bowls
  • Chopping board
  • Grill trays
  • Tongs
  • Oven mitts
  • Garlic press
  • Serving plates

  • A load of great sourdough bread
  • A bowl of tomatoes
  • A few sprigs of basil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Flaked salt & black pepper

What to do:

  • Heat the grill on high.
  • Wash and gently dry the tomatoes on some paper towel. Carefully slice the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, taking care not to squeeze all the juice out!
  • Place in a big bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over the whole lot. Peel and then squeeze one clove of garlic through the press into the tomatoes.
  • Pick the basil leaves and wash in a clean bowl of cold water. Spin the leaves dry and then tear into tiny pieces and scatter over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and a grind of pepper, then gently toss with a large spoon to combine. Leave for the flavours to mingle.
  • Carefully slice the bread – you may find it easier to ask an adult to slice the loaf down the middle lengthways first, and cut each half separately – and place on grill trays.
  • Slide the bread into the oven to grill & lightly toast, and using the oven mitts, turn when needed (watching to make sure it doesn’t burn).
  • When ready bring toast out from the grill using the oven mitts. Cut the end off the remaining garlic cloves (you don’t need to peel them) and rub each cut-side down on the toast a few times.
  • Arrange onto serving plates with a spoonful of tomato mixture on each one. Yum! 

Notes: What happens when you rub the garlic onto the hot toast? What makes bread sourdough bread? Why do we let the flavours mingle?

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Kitchen News – 14th February 2013

We have started the year in fine fettle here in the cottage, with an action packed couple of weeks: recapping on safety issues; earning our 2013 Knife Licences; enacting our very own Kitchen Treasure Hunt; and even doing a little cooking!

It has been great to see everybody, and to be back in the swing of things – and we’ve had a fab turnout so far of eager volunteers… thanks to all of you for jumping on board so quickly – as ever, this program is only a success because of you!

Ligia has been hard at it too, clearing and planting and organising after a big break in Brazil – if you’re handy with a shovel or know a trick with stink beetles please drop down to the garden and show yourself! Your garden needs you!

And welcome back to Gertie and her posse of feathered friends (and frenemies? Alas the two newcomers seem to still be on the outer) – it’s good to hear their gentle clucking as I go about my business!

So to this latest menu: a snack of garlic bruschetta with tomatoes and basil; thyme and lemon marinated feta; roasted capsicum; our quick pesto; and a lovely salad – using up the delicious veggies that have been quietly ripening over our big summer break. The children have harvested heaps of tomatoes, baskets of capsicum, some enormous cucumbers (handy for showing me their knife skills!), bags of carrots (orange and purple!), and some gorgeous deep coloured eggplants, reams of beans, as well as handfuls of basil and thyme… the fridges are still stocked. And 4W even got to toss some oat pancakes with roasted fruits for Pancake Day on Tuesday!

So welcome back everybody – drop in and say hi at any time, we’ve got lots planned and as usual we’re having a smashing time… Happy Valentine’s Day and Kung Hei Fat Choy to all!

Categories: Kitchen Garden | 1 Comment

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