Monthly Archives: November 2013

Pizza bianca with smashed olives and rocket

Try this for something different then – a pizza with no tomato? Crayzee…

Fresh from the garden: olives, rocket, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 8 at home or 24 tastes


  • A wooden chopping board & knives
  • Bowls – large, med, small
  • Salad spinner
  • Measures – tablespoon
  • Colander, grater, garlic press
  • Scales
  • Rolling pins
  • 2 large baking trays
  • Wide egg lifter
  • Pizza cutting wheels
  • Serving plates

  • 1 amount Hugh’s magic dough recipe
  • 1 cup olives
  • 1 tub bocconcini
  • 30g parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A large handful rocket

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 220C.

For the topping: 

  • Placing one olive at a time on the chopping board, smash down on it with the flat base of the smallest bowl to dislodge the pip. Discard the pip into compost and reserve the olives in a small bowl.
  • Open the tub of bocconcini and tear each ball in half.
  • Grate the parmesan. Squeeze the garlic cloves through the press.
  • Wash the rocket and spin it dry. Chop into thin ribbons.

Assembling the pizza:

  • Scatter some flour on the workbench, divide the dough into four and roll to form 4 thin ovals.
  • Once rolled, lightly flour the baking trays and place 2 ovals on each tray, side by side.
  • Layer the bocconcini and parmesan on top, spoon on the smashed olives and the squeezed garlic, then slide the pizzas into the oven.
  • Wash and dry the wooden chopping boards and set them out ready.

Baking the pizza:

  • Bake the pizzas for 12 minutes or until the edges are very crusty and the cheese is bubbling.
  • Use this time to make the dough for the next class if needed.
  • You may want to slip the pizza off the tray onto the rack for the last few minutes, so that you get a really crusty base.
  • Once the pizzas are done, transfer them to the wooden boards using the wide egg lifter.
  • Cut the pizzas into small squares, lift onto serving plates, sprinkle with the chopped rocket and eat!

Notes:Where does pizza come from? What sort of other pizza could we make?

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Salad of roasted beets, broad beans and goats’ cheese

We love broad beans. We love beetroot. We love goats’ cheese. And we LOVE them together… What a perfect salad!

Fresh from the garden: broad beans, beetroot & leaves, lettuces, marjoram, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Chopping board & knife
  • A saucepan with lid
  • Colander, scissors
  • Baking tray
  • Paper towel, baking paper, foil
  • Measuring: tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Bowls – large, small
  • Garlic press&salad spinner
  • Fork, skewer
  • Plates to serve

  • 4 small beetroot
  • A large handful of broad beans
  • A handful of lettuce leaves
  • Small handful of marjoram sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Flaked salt and black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A small roll of goats’ cheese

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Cut the leaves from the beetroot, leaving about 2cms of stalk. Reserve any small leaves. Gently scrub the beets under water to remove any dirt and dry thoroughly with paper towel. Wash and dry the marjoram sprigs and peel the garlic cloves.
  • Unroll a large section of foil and line with a slightly smaller piece of baking paper. Place the beets in the centre of the lined foil and throw in 3 cloves of garlic and half of the marjoram. Drizzle a tablespoon each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over, sprinkle a pinch or two of flaked salt and pepper over and fold the foil package over to totally enclose.
  • Place the packet on the baking tray and slide into the oven for about an hour until beets are soft when pierced with a skewer. When done, carefully open the package and let the beets cool.
  • Fill the other saucepan with water and set on high to boil. Pod the broad beans, discarding the outer shell into the compost and add beans to the boiling water. Fill a large bowl with cold water and have ready.
  • Boil the broad beans for 3 minutes, drain and then immediately refresh in the bowl of cold water. Drain again and double-pod by slipping the outer shell off into the compost. Put the beans into a medium bowl.
  • Carefully separate then wash the lettuce and beetroot leaves and spin dry. Break or cut up into smaller pieces with your hands if needed.
  • Cut the last garlic clove in two and rub the cut side around the inside of a large bowl, then mix in 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper and stir together gently. Add the lettuce leaves and toss to coat.
  • When the beets are cool enough to handle, slide off the skins and roots, discarding into the chook bucket and thinly slice the beets. Add the slices to the dressing and toss to soak.
  • To finish, divide the salad leaves among your serving plates and scatter the beetroot slices on top. Scatter the broad beans over the top, then remove the wrapping from the goats’ cheese and dab chunks of cheese over each salad. Drizzle over the remaining dressing, sprinkle with the reserved marjoram and serve.
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Silverbeet soup

Slurpy, slinky soup chock-full of healthy stuff, and a bit of creamy goodness too. Heaven.

Fresh from the garden: silverbeet, onion, potatoes, celery, chives, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes 


  • Kettle
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Peelers
  • Paper towel
  • Scissors
  • Stockpot, wooden spoon
  • Scales
  • Measures: jug, ½ cup, tablespoons, teaspoons
  • Garlic press, ladle
  • Stick blender, mouli
  • Serving bowls
  • Teaspoons

What to do:


  • 1 brown onion
  • 1kg Sebago potatoes (or other white fleshed all-rounder)
  • 2 large or 3 small stalks celery
  • Small handful chives
  • A large handful of silverbeet
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock or 1.5 litres boiling water and 1.5 tablespoons bouillon
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tub crème fraiche
  • Fill the kettle and set it to boil.
  • Peel and coarsely chop the onion.
  • Peel and coarsely chop the potatoes into 2cm cubes.
  • Wash and finely chop the celery, including leaves.
  • Wash the chives and then roll them in a piece of paper towel. Snip into tiny pieces and reserve.
  • Meanwhile wash the silverbeet stalks and shake dry. Slice off the stalks and finely chop, then roll up the leaves into a cigar shape and finely slice into ribbons.
  • Heat the oil in the stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes and then add the chopped celery and cook for another few minutes.
  • Meanwhile peel and crush the garlic, and then add the garlic and ground cumin and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.
  • Increase heat to high. Add the stock (or hot water and bouillon) and bring to the boil. Add the potato and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until potato is almost tender.
  • Add the chopped silverbeet stalks and cook for a few minutes and then add the sliced ribbons and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and blitz with the stick blender. You may want to pass the soup through the mouli to make it super-smooth.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Ladle soup among serving bowls. Using 2 teaspoons, top with a wee dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with chives.
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Beetroot soup with creme fraiche and chives

This recipe is our version of Borscht – it’s a favourite with the children as it’s so beautifully vibrant in colour and sweet as well as earthy – and one also might be seeing its effects for a good while afterwards…!

Fresh from the garden: beetroot, onion, garlic, thyme, chives
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 at home or 20 tastes


  • Chopping board and knife
  • Garlic press
  • Kitchen paper
  • Graters
  • Measures – jug, tablespoon
  • Stockpot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stick blender
  • Teaspoons
  • Serving bowls

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Small bunch chives
  • 3 large beetroot
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 litre boiling water with 1 tablespoon bouillon (or 1 litre stock)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Flaked salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small tub crème fraiche or sour cream

What to do:

  • Fill the kettle and set it to boil, then measure a litre of boiling water into the jug and stir in a tablespoon of bouillon. Reserve.
  • Peel and chop the onion. Peel and squeeze the garlic through the press.
  • Wash and peel the beetroot and carefully grate.
  • Warm olive oil in the stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the grated beetroot and the thyme and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer until the beetroot is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile wash the chives and lay out on a piece of kitchen paper to dry, then snip or chop finely. Wash and dry the thyme and pick the leaves, then chop finely.
  • Whizz the soup with the stick blender, stirring to get all the solids mixed in.
  • Check the seasoning, then ladle into bowls and garnish with a little dab of the crème fraiche or sour cream and sprinkle of chives.

Notes: What other dishes have their original names in a different language?

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Bruschetta with smashed broad beans and garlic

I love the way that the group congregates around the bowl when shelling broad beans…  I always feel like we’re old Italian nonnas, standing there gossiping… so I will often start the conversation with the kids talking about the signorina at number 38 and whether she will marry your son Giuseppe, and if that will please Frederico at number 45 or whether Frederico himself likes the signora at number 70, and why Maria at number 20 has bought a few extra goats and a new  hair scarf…

Fresh from the garden: broad beans, rocket, garlic, thyme, marjoram
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 8 at home or 24 tastes


  • Saucepan & lid
  • Bowls – big, med, small
  • Knives – bread, small
  • Chopping board
  • Grill trays
  • Colander, citrus juicer
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Butter knife
  • Serving plates

  • A large handful of broad beans
  • Great sourdough bread
  • 50g pecorino
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • A lemon
  • Cooking salt
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A small handful herbs

What to do:

  • Fill the saucepan with water & set to boil with the lid on. Heat the grill.
  • Pod the broad beans into the medium bowl and put the outer shells into the compost.
  • Cut the lemon in half and juice one half only.
  • Slice the bread loaf down the middle, and then into slices. Place on grill trays, ready for grilling.
  • Wash and dry the herbs and pick from stems, finely chop. Grate the pecorino into the small bowl. Fill the big bowl with cold water.
  • When the water is boiling, drop all the broad beans in with a teaspoon of cooking salt and put the lid back on to bring back to the boil quickly. Boil for 3 minutes with lid off.
  • Then drain the broad beans into the colander & then immediately refresh in the bowl of cold water. Drain again & wipe the big bowl dry.
  • Double-pod the broad beans into the big bowl, discarding the outer skin into the compost.
  • Pound the broad beans with the pestle in the mortar with the olive oil & a pinch of salt (you may have to do this in 2 batches) until smooth – a few beanie lumps are fine!
  • Stir in the lemon juice bit by bit, tasting – and the grated pecorino and herbs with a grind of pepper into the broad bean mixture. Taste again for seasoning.
  • Slide the bread into the oven to grill & lightly toast, turning when needed & watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • When ready bring toast out from the grill. Cut the end off the garlic cloves and rub each cut-side down on the toast a few times.
  • Spread a little broad bean paste onto each slice of toast & arrange onto serving plates with a good grind of pepper.

Notes: What does ‘double-pod’ mean? Why do we do this to the broad beans? What other name are broad beans known by?

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