Monthly Archives: March 2014

Autumn salad with crunchy croutons

We play around with all sort of ingredients in our salads, and this autumn we’ve had beautiful watermelon radishes to include too, as well as the most more-ish spicy croutons.

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Fresh from the garden: lettuce and salad leaves, tomatoes, radishes, flowers, herbs, lemon
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Small saucepan
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Baking sheet & baking paper
  • Scales
  • Chopping boards & knife
  • Bowls – large, medium, small
  • Small saucepan
  • 2 salad spinners
  • Tea towels, paper towel
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Citrus juicer
  • Measures: 1/3 cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ & ¼ teaspoon
  • Whisk, tongs
  • Serving bowls

 

 

 

Ingredients:

For the croutons

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Half a loaf of sourdough bread
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the salad

  • A big bunch salad leaves (lettuces, tatsoi)
  • A few edible flowers & leaves
  • Tomatoes, radishes, spring onions

Herby vinaigrette dressing

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • A small handful herbs

What to do:

  • For the croutons: Preheat the oven to 200C. Gently melt the butter in the small saucepan.
  • Carefully cut the bread into slices and then into cubes.
  • Combine the melted butter and tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Add the cubes of bread, and toss until coated. Sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper, toss until evenly coated. Spread the bread in a single layer on a baking paper-lined sheet. Bake until croutons are golden for about 10 minutes.
  • For the salad: Fill up 2 big bowls with cold water & wash the salad leaves in several changes of water. Spin dry and wipe the bowls dry. Lay out the tea towel and line it with paper towel. Spread the salad leaves over the paper and roll the whole lot up like a log. Keep the rolled parcel of leaves in the fridge until needed.
  • Fill up the medium bowl with water and wash the herbs and small garnishing leaves & flowers. Dry on a piece of paper towel and reserve in a small bowl. Wash and drain the radishes, tomatoes and spring onions (peeling outer layer) & slice into small pieces.
  • For the vinaigrette: Peel the garlic clove and put it in the mortar with a large pinch of salt. Pound to a paste. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the mortar (without pips) then stir the lot with a teaspoon and scrape it into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the oil and grind some pepper, then whisk the dressing lightly. Wash and pat the herb sprigs dry and pick off the leaves, and add to the dressing.
  • To finish: Unwrap the parcel of salad leaves & tip them into the bowl with the dressing. Gently turn the leaves in the dressing using your hands or tongs, and then transfer the dressed leaves to the serving bowls. Place the tomatoes, radishes & spring onion in the dressing and then add to the salad with garnishing flowers & leaves. Serve immediately with croutons scattered on top.
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Spinach and parsley soup

This is such a lovely soup, full of flavour, verdant and vibrant! And made even more delicious by the addition of sour cream and snippets of chives at the end. We also add silverbeet, rainbow chard & even tatsoi to the spinach if we have it.

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

Equipment:

  • Kettle
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Bowls – large, med, small
  • Colander
  • Garlic press
  • Potato peelers
  • Large stockpot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring: jug,1/2 cup, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Salad spinner
  • Paper towel
  • Scissors
  • Stick blender
  • Ladle
  • Serving bowls
Ingredients:

  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 large all-purpose potatoes
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • Small bunch celery
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ litres stock or boiling water and 1½  tablespoons bouillon
  • A large handful parsley
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • A small handful chives 

What to do:

  • Fill the kettle and set it to boil.
  • Peel, halve and coarsely chop the onion.Squeeze the garlic through the garlic press. Peel the potatoes under running water and chop into 2cm cubes.
  • Wash the spinach in several changes of water and shake dry. Trim the stems and then slice stems and leaves into pieces 1cm wide.
  • Wash and drain the celery and chop the stalks and leaves into small dice.
  • Heat the oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, cumin,celery and potato and sweat for about a minute until aromatic.
  • Increase heat to high. Add the stock or hot water and bouillon to the pot and bring to the boil. Add the spinach stalks and reduce heat to medium. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until the potato is tender.
  • Meanwhile wash the parsley and spin dry. Finely chop and reserve. Wash and dry the chives carefully in a piece of paper towel, then snip into TINY 1mm-long pieces with scissors. Reserve.
  • Add the chopped spinach leaves to the soup and cook for 2-3 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, add the parsley and using the stick blender, whizz the soup until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Swirl in the sour cream, ladle among serving bowls and add a sprinkle of chives.

Notes: What is an all-purpose potato? What does cumin smell like?

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Kitchen news – 13th March 2014

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Kitchen news is back after a fortnight’s holiday in the Bahamas and is all the better for it… Meanwhile back at the ranch,the SAKGP and students have been slaving away over a humid, stormy and altogether fabulous February stove and dishing up some top grub.

On the menu these last weeks: the not so Purple carrot soup with sour cream and coriander, a zesty and wonderful gluten-free alternative Quinoa tabbouleh with poached eggs, and a perfect blend of creamy, garlicky and caramelised Antipasto di peperoni tricolore – roasted capsicum & whole clove garlic (thanks again to Andrew W for our French purple crop that keeps giving) with creamy feta and a drizzle of the hot item Bondi Pesto – the annual pesto sale on again 3pm Thursdays in the basketball court for 2 weeks only!!! One per customer, no pre-orders, form an orderly queue please… served with Garlicky rosemary flatbreads. Mmm-mmmmm!

Thank you to you wonderful Kitchen Garden volunteers who continue to support the program, whether by donating your timeweek after term after year regardless of rain, storm or heatwave – or turning up out of the blue like The Charge of The Light Brigade to rescue a sparse session. Hooray to you however you make it!

Cheers! M

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Quinoa tabbouleh with poached eggs

White quinoa is the most common variety, but red quinoa is also available and has a nuttier flavour. They can be used interchangeably. Quinoa is a fabulous alternative to grains and is gluten-free.

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Fresh from the garden: basil, parsley, lemons, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes 

Equipment:

  • Stockpot with lid
  • Measures: cup, ½ cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, ¼ teaspoon
  • Wooden spoon, fork, teaspoon
  • Salad spinner
  • Microplane zester
  • Citrus juicer
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Peeler
  • Bowls – large, medium& 4 small
  • Measuring jug
  • Serving bowls
  • Deep-sided frying pan
  • Tea towel

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Cook quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cooking salt

Make tabbouleh:

  • 4 large handfuls of parsley (about 2 cups when chopped)
  • 1 large handful mint leaves (about ½ cup when chopped)
  • 1 large handful basil leaves (about ½ cup when chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon flaked salt plus extra
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fresh eggs

What to do:

  • Toast quinoa in a stockpot over gentle heat, stirring frequently until fragrant for about 6 minutes. Add the water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until grains are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature.
  • Wash, spin dry and pick the leaves from the stems of the herbs and coarsely chop.
  • Zest one lemon then cut both lemons and squeeze through the citrus juicer to yield about 4 tablespoons juice.
  • Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the teaspoon. Wash the tomatoes and wipe dry, then cut the cucumber and the tomatoes into small dice about ½cm square.
  • Add all the ingredients to the large bowl, measure the olive oil and pour into the bowl, mixing thoroughly to combine.
  • Meanwhile, to poach eggs, fill the medium sized frying pan 5cm deep with water and bring to a simmer. Carefully crack an egg into a small bowl without breaking it and then gently slide into the water one at a time until all four are in the water. Let the pan sit for 4 minutes at a bare simmer.
  • Divide the tabbouleh amongst serving bowls and using the slotted spoon, scoop up an egg, drain it quickly on a clean tea towel and pop on top of each bowl. Sprinkle with salt and serve!

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Purple carrot soup

Carrot soup? Why not?! And this one is made with our beautiful purple variations – although our normal orange carrots will taste just as delicious – but I wonder if the soup will be purple too?

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From the garden: purple carrots, leeks, celery, potatoes, chives, coriander
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Chopping board & knife
  • Small paring knife& scissors
  • Bowls – large, medium
  • Potato peelers
  • Kitchen paper
  • 1 heavy-based stockpot & lid
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stick blender
  • 2 teaspoons
  • Serving bowls

  

What to do:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lt boiling water and 1.5 tablespoons bouillon (or vegetable stock)
  • 4 large purple carrots
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 onion
  • 3 large stalks of celery
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 50g butter
  • Small bunch chives & coriander
  • 150ml sour cream
  • Flaked salt and black pepper
  • Fill the kettle and set it to boil.
  • Scrub the carrots under running water but don’t peel. Grate & reserve into a medium bowl.
  • Wash the leeks well, inserting a slit down the middle of each and rinsing out any dirt. Trim and chop finely. Peel and chop the onion. Wash the celery and shake dry, and snip into fine slices.
  • Peel the potatoes over the sink and wash thoroughly. Chop into 2cm cubes.
  • Melt the butter in the large thick-based saucepan, then add the prepared leeks, onion, celery, potato and carrot and sprinkle in the spices. Stir them around so that they’re coated with the melted butter.
  • Next sprinkle in some salt then cover with a lid and let the vegetables sweat over a very gentle heat for about 15 minutes, giving the mixture a good stir about halfway through.
  • After that, add the hot water and bouillon, bring everything up to simmering point and simmer, covered, for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are quite tender. Then remove the pan from the heat and when it has cooled a little, liquidise the soup with the stick blender and check to see if seasoned correctly.
  • Wash the chives and coriander, carefully shake dry & roll up in a piece of kitchen paper to dry. Snip or chop finely.
  • When ready to serve, stir the soup and then swirl in the sour cream. Then ladle in to bowls and garnish each one with the snipped chives and coriander.

Notes: Why don’t we peel the carrots in this recipe? What does to sweat vegetables mean?

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Antipasto di peperoni tricolore

A wonderful thing happens when you roast capsicum: the crunchy and slightly sour tastes make way for luscious, slippery sweetness & when matched with garlic and herbs the effect is amazing!

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Fresh from the garden: capsicum, garlic, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Paper towel
  • Plastic wrap
  • Bowls – big, medium
  • Salad spinner
  • Baking tray
  • Oven mitts
  • Large tongs
  • Serving bowls

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large capsicums
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A head of garlic (10 or 12 cloves)
  • A small handful of thyme sprigs
  • A small handful of marjoram sprigs
  • A small branch of sage
  • A small rosemary stem
  • Flaked salt
  • A 200g slab of Danish feta
  • A cup of pesto

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Wash the capsicums and wipe dry.
  • To blacken the capsicums, roast them directly on the gas burner of the stove, turning every minute or so with tongs until the entire surface is blackened. Once charred, set aside to cool in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Meanwhile separate the garlic cloves but don’t peel them, and put them in the large bowl. Wash and spin-dry the herbs, stripping the herbs from their stalks and putting them in the big bowl.
  • When cool, remove the capsicums from the bowl and peel the charred skin under cool running water with your hands. Cut them in half and remove seeds, drain well and then cut into long thin strips and add them to the bowl.
  • Liberally douse the capsicum strips, garlic and herbs with olive oil and turn to coat.
  • Place strips onto the baking tray with the garlic and herbs scattered over and sprinkle a little flaked salt onto the whole lot and bake for about 15 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the tray from oven with oven mitts and then carefully remove from the oven.
  • To make this an Antipasto Tricolore, unwrap the feta and divide onto serving plates keeping in whole pieces. Pile little mounds of the capsicum, garlic and herbs onto the plates too and then spoon the pesto onto the plates, drizzling some onto the feta cheese. Serve with good bread to mop up!

Notes: What does Tricolore mean? What other vegetables can you use for antipasto? Why do we cover the capsicum in plastic wrap? What does to douse mean?

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Kitchen news – 27th February 2014

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We’re back on track for Week 5 and have loved seeing our new classes through the cottage so far – and goodness we’ve had some wonderful lessons: the children are meticulous with slicing, dicing and ricing but also with their great attitudes to teamwork, prioritising procedures and completing tasks… I’ve also seen a few in-class speed competitions going to get the dishwashers stacked in order of plate size, colour and rinsed-ness, with powder compartments filled, locked and loaded… and some little fairies even sorted and wrapped the aprons for me!

So to the menu: Little ears – or perhaps the more delicious-sounding Handmade Orecchiette – with People-powered pesto! I regularly read that it is better to tear or crush basil than to chop or snip it, and this recipe totally proves this: it is zingy and full of delicious tangy flavour. Do it and you will see! And it’s perfect for the hand-squished, moulded pasta shapes. Also: Pizzetta bianca (and its dough) – a new flavour sensation with red onion, mozzarella and thyme; our Composed salad (not Compost salad!) with roasted tomatoes, beans, boiled eggs and beautifully prepared lettuce leaves; and to finish off the remaining Asian veggies we made sticky Rice paper rolls with purple carrots, cucumber, capsicum, coriander and other things not beginning with the letter C, like pineapple sage! And with that our own homemade (obviously!) Sweet chilli sauce – no need to buy the sweet coloured gloopy stuff any more!

Hooray to that.

And we’ve plenty of space if you’re planning to come along to a session… Message me and I’ll fill you in!

Cheers, Melissa

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Sweet chilli sauce

Banish that gloopy coloured rubbish from your cupboards! This is easy-peasy to make & delish… and if you bottle up any remaining sauce in a sterilised jar, it will last for ages!

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Fresh from the garden: chillies
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Kylie Kwong
Makes: about 250ml 

Equipment:

  • Measures – jug, tablespoon
  • Small heavy-based saucepan
  • Bowls – small
  • Scales
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Sauce bowl
Ingredients:

  • 250ml white vinegar
  • 165g white sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 large red chilli

 

What to do:

  • Place vinegar and sugar in the small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until liquid is reduced by almost half and slightly syrupy.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Meanwhile, slice down the length of the chilli and carefully scrape out the seeds and white membrane and discard. Chop the chilli into super-thin slices and add to the syrup with the fish sauce.
  • Stir well, then divide among little sauce bowls and serve.

Caution:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after coming in contact with chilli, as the capsaicin (the oil within the chilli) burns when it comes in contact with your eyes or sensitive skin.

 Notes: Why do you need to wash your hands if handling chill? What is capsaicin? What other sauces could you make at home? What does fish sauce smell like?

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People-powered pesto!

For a spicy alternative, rocket leaves can be added to the basil and pounded together or you might like to try a parsley combination… Cooked chickpeas can be used in place of the pine nuts in case of allergy.

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Fresh from the garden: basil
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food
Makes: about 3 cups

Equipment:

  • Bowls – big, med, small
  • Scales
  • Salad spinner
  • Cheese grater
  • Medium frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Tea towel
  • Measuring jug
  • Tablespoon
  • Serving bowls if needed
Ingredients:

  • 1 big bunch basil, to yield about 100g
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Salt
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil

 

What to do:

  • Pick the basil leaves from the stalks and weigh before you wash them!
  • Then wash in several changes of water and thoroughly spin-dry the basil.
  • Grate the parmesan cheese.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t stick.
  • Peel the garlic clove and place in the mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt. Pound these to a paste.
  • Add the pine nuts to the mortar & pestle and continue to pound. Once smooth-ish, transfer to the bowl and stir in the parmesan.
  • Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mortar with a sprinkle of flaked salt. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and, pounding it all together, gradually pour in all the olive oil.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Mix into steaming hot pasta, spread on bruschetta, drizzle over tomato slices, serve as part of an antipasto plate with goats’ cheese and roasted capsicum or spoon into serving bowls to serve as a dip with flatbreads.

Notes: What else can you use with pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? Can you name any other pasta sauces?

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Composed salad

The list of ingredients we can add to a salad is endless… here at Bondi we base this Composed Salad on lettuce leaves, fresh herbs and a wonderfully zingy lemon and garlic dressing, but we are always looking to add something new and special: green beans; juicy bush tomatoes, eggs…

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Fresh from the garden: Salad leaves, tomatoes, eggs, lemons, cucumbers, celery, beans, basil, parsley, chives, oregano – the list goes on…!
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Baking tray
  • Chopping boards & knife
  • Bowls – large, medium, small
  • Small saucepan & lid
  • 2 salad spinners
  • Tea towel, paper towel
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Citrus juicer
  • Measures: 1/3 cup, teaspoon
  • Whisk, tongs
  • Serving bowls
Ingredients:

  • A handful of cherry or bush tomatoes
  • A small handful of thyme
  • A big bunch salad leaves (lettuces, rocket, tatsoi)
  • A few garnishing flowers & leaves
  • Bush tomatoes, green beans, spring onions, eggs etc

Marjoram vinaigrette dressing

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs marjoram

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What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 150C. Wash and slice the tomatoes in half and place on the baking tray. Wash and pat the thyme stalks dry and strip the leaves onto the tomatoes. Drizzle with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Place the eggs carefully into the saucepan and fill with cold water. Set them to boil with the lid on, then once the water starts boiling, time them for 4 minutes. Drain and run cold water over them until cool, then peel and quarter.
  • Fill up 2 big bowls with cold water & wash the salad leaves in several changes of water. Spin dry and wipe the bowls dry. Wash then top-and-tail the beans.
  • Lay out the tea towel and line it with paper towel. Spread the salad leaves over the paper and roll the whole lot up like a log. Keep the rolled parcel of leaves in the fridge until needed.
  • Fill up the medium bowl with water and wash the herbs and small garnishing leaves. Dry on a piece of paper towel andreserve in a small bowl.
  • Peel the garlic clove and put it in the mortar with a large pinch of salt. Pound to a paste. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the mortar (without pips) then stir the lot with ateaspoon and scrape it into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the oil and grind some pepper, then whisk the dressing lightly. Wash and pat the marjoram dry and pick off the leaves, and add to the dressing.
  • Unwrap the parcel of salad leaves & tip them into the bowl with the dressing. Gently turn the leaves in the dressing using your hands or tongs, and then transfer the dressed leaves to the serving bowls. Add the eggs, the tomatoes, beans and any other extras and the garnishing petals & leaves and serve immediately with a last drizzle of the dressing.

Notes: Where does the word vinaigrette come from? What other salad dressings could you use? Why do we wash the leaves so well? Why do we roll the leaves up to put them in the fridge?

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