Posts Tagged With: autumn

French tomato tart


The simple tarte à la tomate is a favourite French dish that makes use of all of those excess ripe summer tomatoes in the kitchen. This classic recipe is without cream or eggs in the filling but just a little kick of mustard smeared over the free-form pastry base.

Fresh from the garden: tomatoes, thyme, oregano
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Food processor
  • Measures: tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Plastic wrap
  • Mixing bowls – large, medium
  • Colander
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Salad spinner
  • Large baking tray
  • Rolling pin
  • Serving plates

·       300g (2 cups) plain flour

·       150g cold butter, chopped

·       1 egg

·       1 tablespoon cold milk

·       2 tablespoons whoegrain mustard

·       A couple of heirloom tomatoes

·       250g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes

·       4 sprigs thyme, plus extra to garnish

·       4 sprigs oregano, plus extra to garnish

·       Olive oil, to drizzle

What to do:

For the pastry:

  1. Process flour, butter and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add whisked egg and milk, and process until a dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you wash the tomatoes.

For the filling:

  1. Wash all the tomatoes and drain in the colander. Slice the large tomatoes into slices.
  2. Wash the herbs and spin dry. Strip off the leaves and reserve.

To finish the dish:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to form a 3 mm-thick round. Transfer to a large oven tray and remove top sheet of baking paper.
  2. Spread dough with mustard, leaving a 3cm border around edge.
  3. Arrange sliced tomatoes over mustard so they are overlapping, then top with cherry tomatoes. Pinch and fold over edge of tart, then scatter with thyme and oregano leaves.
  4. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp. Garnish with extra oregano and thyme sprigs.
  6. Serve cut into slices.

Notes: What is tomato in French? What does freeform tart mean?

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Creamy polenta with crispy sage

Image 1

This is such a vibrant and comforting dish, with the frizzled sage leaves giving everything a crispy, savoury lift.

From the garden: sage, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Chopping board &small knife
  • 1 heavy-based saucepan & lid
  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Grater
  • 1 small saucepan
  • Salad spinner
  • Paper towel
  • Wooden spoons
  • Bowls – 4 small
  • Deep-sided frying pan
  • Serving bowls

  • 250ml milk plus extra 100ml on standby
  • 250ml water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup fine polenta
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone
  • 50g grana padano parmesan
  • 25g butter
  • A branch of sage leaves
  • Flaked salt and black pepper

What to do:

  1. Bring the milk, water and bay leaf to the boil in the larger saucepan then remove from heat and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain and discard the bay leaf, bring to the boil again, pour in the polenta and stir continuously until it thickens, about 10-20 minutes, depending on the variety of polenta.
  2. Meanwhile grate the parmesan and measure out the mascarpone.
  3. When the polenta is cooked, add the mascarpone and grated parmesan and mix until well combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. The polenta should be soft and creamy and only just hold its shape. You may need to add a little extra of the standby milk to loosen up the polenta if it becomes too stiff – this will also depend on what brand of polenta you use. You want a sloppy, porridge type consistency.
  4. Pick the sage leaves, then wash and spin them dry. With about a minute to go, heat the butter in the small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook until they are dark green, crispy and fragrant and the butter is bubbling and turning brown.
  5. To serve, divide polenta among serving bowls. Season generously and scatter with the frizzled sage leaves & browned butter. 

Notes: What is polenta? What is cooking by ‘absorption’ method? What is mascarpone?

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Quinoa tabbouleh


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 fab alternative to grains and is gluten-free.

Fresh from the garden: basil, parsley, lemons, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart on
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Stockpot with lid
  • Measures: cup, ½ cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, ¼ teaspoon
  • Wooden spoon, fork, teaspoon
  • Salad spinner
  • Mezzaluna
  • Microplane zester
  • Citrus juicer
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Peeler
  • Bowls – 1 large & 4 small
  • Measuring jug
  • Serving bowls

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
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

What to do:

  1. Toast quinoa in a stockpot over gentle heat, stirring frequently until fragrant for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the water and a teaspoon of cooking 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.
  2. Wash, spin dry and pick the leaves from the stems of the herbs. Coarsely chop using the mezzaluna.
  3. Zest one lemon to yield 1 teaspoon zest then cut both lemons and squeeze through the citrus juicer to yield 4 tablespoons juice.
  4. Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the teaspoon. Cut the cucumber into small dice about ½cm square to yield about 1 cup.
  5. Cut the tomatoes into small dice about ½cm square to yield about 1 cup.
  6. Add all the ingredients to the large bowl, measure the olive oil and pour into the bowl, mixing thoroughly to combine.
  7. Divide amongst serving bowls and serve at room temperature.

Notes: What is quinoa? Why do we toast the quinoa first? What does cutting into ‘dice’ mean?

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Pistou soup


French pistou sauce is like Italian pesto except has no pinenuts, and is a classic accompaniment to this rich veggie soup.

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, beans, basil, onion, garlic, bay
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Mixing bowls – 2 lge, 3 med
  • Colander
  • Medium stockpot
  • Measures – litre jug, ½ cup
  • Scales
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Serving bowls









  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 3 zucchini
  • A small handful green beans
  • 2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin cannellini beans
  • 1 x 400g tin borlotti beans
  • ½ cup small macaroni

Pistou sauce:

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 6 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 60g parmesan or grana padano
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

  1. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, then trim, clean and slice the leeks.
  2. Wash the potatoes, carrots, celery and zucchini, then chop them all into small cubes by slicing lengthways first and then into dice (peeling the carrots but not potatoes).
  3. Wash the beans and drain them, then tail them and chop into 1cm lengths.
  4. Wash the parsley, pat dry then pick the leaves and roughly chop.
  5. Pour a film of olive oil into a medium stockpot over a medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and leek for 5 minutes.
  6. Add all the rest of the chopped ingredients, the bay leaves and the tin of tomatoes.
  7. Drain and rinse the cannellini and borlotti beans then add them in.
  8. Cover with a litre of water, season and simmer for 10 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender – check by piercing a piece of potato with a sharp knife.
  9. Add the macaroni and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes until cooked, adding a little more water if the soup is too thick.
  10. Meanwhile, for the pistou sauce: Peel the garlic and add to a pestle and mortar. Sprinkle in some flaked salt then start to pound to break down.
  11. Wash the basil and spin it dry, then pick off the basil leaves and add to the garlic. Pound until puréed, then finely grate in the parmesan (weighing the piece first) and muddle in the extra virgin olive oil to make a paste.
  12. Divide the soup into bowls and serve with a dollop of pistou on the top.

Notes: What is pistou? Why do we weigh the parmesan before starting to grate it?

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Veggie patch and feta frittate


So we come to the last weeks of term and need to use up a little bit of this and bit of that growing in the garden. This recipe is perfect to do just that!

Fresh from the garden: eggplant, squash, capsicum, eggs, rocket, parsley
Recipe source: Melissa
Makes: 30 individual frittate


  • Pastry brush
  • 3 x 12-hole large cupcake tins
  • Mixing bowls – 2 large, 2 med
  • Chopping board & knives
  • Potato peeler
  • Salad spinner & paper towel
  • Large frying pan or wok
  • Grater, scales
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs, whisk
  • Serving plates

  • A small selection of ripe veggies: eggplant, squash, capsicum, leek
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • Large handful of rocket
  • Small handful marjoram and parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Flaked salt and black pepper
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 25g parmesan
  • 12 large eggs

What to do:


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Pour a little olive oil into one cupcake hole in each tin and using the pastry brush, spread it into 30 of the holes.
  2. Peel the sweet potato, and then chop flesh evenly into 1cm cubes. Wash the others veggies and chop into thin slices or small cubes.
  3. Wash the rocket leaves in several changes of water and spin dry. Chop the stalks and leaves into very thin ribbons.
  4. Wash the herbs and pat dry with paper towel. Strip the leaves from the stalks & chop finely.
  5. Heat the frying pan with the oil and toss in the sweet potato, leek and veggies. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, for about 4 minutes over medium heat until the cubes are just tender and lightly golden at the sides. Add in the rest of the veggies and cook for another few minutes, then add the rocket and cook until wilted.
  6. Meanwhile, cut the feta into small cubes and grate the parmesan.
  7. Then add the cubed feta and gently stir to mix in.
  8. In the large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the herbs, parmesan, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.
  9. Divide the veggie and feta mixture evenly into the cupcake holes, spoon the eggy herb mixture over and bake in 180C oven for about 20 minutes.
  10. Carefully prise out with a plastic knife if sticking, then divide onto serving plates.

 Notes: Why do we need to preheat the oven? What is feta cheese? What does to prise mean?

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Roasted pumpkin with pesto and goats’ cheese

Pumpkin is transformed by a little hot-oven caramelisation and goes especially well with basil and bitey fresh goats cheese… a super-rustic dish perfect for these cooler nights! And instead of shop-bought garam masala (which I love) we used the leftover curry powder from our Curried carrot soup from the last fortnight’s menu.

Fresh from the garden: pumpkin, onions, basil
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 as a side order or 24 tastes


  •       Kitchen towel
  •       Chopping board & knife
  •       Baking tray
  •       Bowls – large
  •       Tongs
  •       Spoon
  •       Serving bowls

  •       1kg pumpkin (Kent, Jap or Butternut)
  •       1 large onion
  •       1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  •       1 teaspoon garam masala
  •       Flaked salt & black pepper
  •       1 quantity quick pesto
  •       100g goats’ cheese

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Wash the pumpkin, scrubbing the skin clean, and wipe dry with some paper towel.
  3. If whole, carefully cut in half – you may need to ask an adult to help. Scrape out the seeds and membrane with the spoon and reserve for drying out (or the chooks!).
  4. Cut into cubes about 2cm square: you might find it easier to cut the pumpkin into slices first and then into smaller pieces. Be careful!
  5. Peel the onions and slice in half, then thinly slice.
  6. Drop the pumpkin pieces & onion slices into the large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, a sprinkle of the garam masala & a good pinch of salt & grind of pepper. Toss to combine with your fingers then spread out onto the baking tray. Wash the bowl.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until caramelised and tender but with little crispy black tinges.
  8. Meanwhile make the pesto – refer to separate recipe.
  9. Remove pumpkin from oven and using the tongs, place the pumpkin mixture into your serving bowls.
  10. Dribble or dob the pesto over the pumpkin.
  11. Open the packet of goats’ cheese and crumble off small pieces over the pumpkin.
  12. Serve immediately.

Notes: Why do we have to be careful when cutting up the pumpkin? What does caramelised mean? What does garam masala mean?

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Silverbeet soup with sour cream and chives

Slurpy, slinky soup chock-full of healthy stuff like silverbeet (or Swiss chard as it’s known in other parts), and a bit of creamy goodness too. Heaven.

Fresh from the garden: onion, potatoes, celery, chives, silverbeet, 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
  • Serving bowls
  • Teaspoons

  • 1 brown onion
  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 large or 3 small stalks celery
  • Small handful chives
  • 4 or 5 large silverbeet stalks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1.5 litres boiling water
  • 1.5 tablespoons bouillon
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tub crème fraîche or sour cream

What to do:

  1. Fill the kettle to the 1.5 litre mark and set it to boil.
  2. Peel and coarsely chop the onion.
  3. Peel and coarsely chop the potatoes into 2cm cubes.
  4. Wash and finely chop the celery, including leaves.
  5. Wash the chives and then roll them in a piece of paper towel. Snip into tiny pieces and reserve.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Meanwhile peel and crush the garlic, and then add the garlic and ground cumin and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.
  9. 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.
  10. Add the chopped silverbeet stalks and cook for a few minutes and then add the sliced ribbons and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat and blitz with the stick blender. (If you have time you may want to pass the soup through a mouli to make it super-smooth.)
  12. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  13. Ladle soup among serving bowls. Using 2 teaspoons, top with a wee dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with chives.
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Watermelon, pomegranate and feta salad

Fruits such as watermelon, melon or pomegranate have a myriad of uses – and not all of them sweet! This salad is perfect example of mixing fruit with savoury ingredients.

Fresh from the garden: watermelon, pomegranates, mint, rocket
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  •       Chopping boards & knives
  •       A selection of mixing bowls
  •       Kitchen towel
  •       Salad spinner
  •       Scales
  •       Measuring jug
  •       Fork
  •       Serving bowls

  •       A large wedge of watermelon
  •       1 small red onion
  •       1 pomegranate
  •       5 sprigs of fresh mint
  •       A handful of rocket
  •       80 – 100g Danish feta
  •       Flaked salt and black pepper

Dressing ingredients

  •       60ml extra virgin olive oil
  •       30ml white balsamic vinegar

What to do:

  1. Wash the watermelon and then carefully cut into 1-2cm slices – you may need to ask a grown up to help. Slice off the peel and then cut each slice into thick bite-sized triangles. Reserve in a large bowl.
  2. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate by cutting it in half. Hold one half over a bowl and smash it with a wooden spoon from the outside. This will capture the juice and seeds for the salad, and add to the watermelon.
  3. Peel the red onion and finely chop. Add it to the salad.
  4. Wash and spin-dry the mint leaves, then pick from the stalks and tear up into tiny pieces into the salad.
  5. Wash and spin-dry the rocket and add it into the bowl too.
  6. Measure the olive oil and balsamic into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Crumble the feta over the salad and then pour the dressing over with a grind of pepper and a sprinkle of flaked salt.
  7. Toss gently to combine then divide into your serving bowls.

Notes: What is a pomegranate? What other savoury ingredients go well with fruit?

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Kitchen news 11th March 2015

Even with the dusty old summer plants pulled out and new beds filled with soil and tiny seedlings, we have still managed to complete a wonderful menu of delicious dishes… Autumnal pomegranates from the Kindy Playground trees and watermelons from the garden beds; the last of the beautiful basil and late summer blackened eggplants; and vermillion stripes of rainbow silverbeet spiking the air. The children too have been very clever in slicing large clumsy things like watermelons and half-pumpkins, and frenziedly chopping hardy herbs. I love seeing how much initiative they show year by year: asking to help and deftly handling tasks – and even washing up, drying up and packing away everything neatly in the case of the Stage 3 students! Such a joy to watch.

So the menu in full: Watermelon, pomegranate, feta and mint salad, with a handful of finely chopped red onion and white balsamic dressing; our hand-rolled Thyme and rosemary grissini, to dunk into silky Silverbeet soup with sour cream and chives; our old classic of crispy/ creamy Roasted pumpkin with goats’ cheese and pesto – such a wonderful autumn dish, so many delicious mingled flavours and perfect as a veggie lunch or side to roast chicken; and a new fave, a slinky and cheesy Eggplant and rosemary pizza with rocket. Great food.

Why not come along and see what the fuss is about! Classes are a burst of activity followed by fabulous food and time spent with your own gorgeous kids… Cooking real food, with NO artificial colours or additives! Lots of veggies, a little fruit, and good fats: olive oil, cheese, butter. We are so lucky for our children to be experiencing such a wholefood environment in this school: in the meals and snacks and gorgeous natural treats that the Canteen supply in massive demand each day; by being around the gardens and veggie beds and experiencing the wealth of knowledge of our gardeners and learning how to grow and maintain a veggie garden, and by learning in the cottage what to do with fresh produce, and trying it and ultimately enjoying it. Pleeeease respect this unique vision by sending in healthy options for your kids in their lunch boxes and especially at birthday times! Packaged items with artificial food colour numbers (ie frozen coloured icy-poles) are bad news for our kids, but the good news is that there are better options available always. Now endeth the sermon! If you’d like more info please get in touch.

Anyway please let us know if you’re coming along to help so that we can we adequately plan our classes! We need 5 spots filled for every Kitchen and Garden class. It’s easy now – click here to sign up & let us know that you’re coming: VolunteerSpot

Cheers lovelies xx

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Kitchen news 25th February 2015

THE most delicious food has been produced this last fortnight. Oh my goodness yes!

Our pre-Xmas spuds made great in an Easy potato salad with late summer tomatoes, rocket and basil oil; the most amazingly vibrant and spicy/sweet Asian cabbage slaw you could ever imagine; Handmade linguine pasta squelched with People-Powered Pesto (hand-pestled indeed, TVM!*); and a TBT Curried carrot soup with yoghurt and coriander… and we blitzed our own curry powder for it too, natch.

We were fabulously aided by team of amazing helpers, and we gloriously salute your presence & appreciate you so much… the children have benefitted enormously from your help: your guidance and knowledge, your skills and patience, your humour and Being There-ishness… Thank you!

And on more exciting news, B&G have had a mountain of soil delivered for all the new seeds and seedlings – come and take a look! There is so much going on; beds cleared; chooks furnished; vines trellised; bushes trimmed… and they need help to get our food planted. Can you spare 45 minutes to supervise a small group of children? No experience necessary (but also appreciated!) Come and get some garden expertise for nix… and a whole lot more besides… or just come and say hi. 🙂

And please let us know if you’re coming along to help so that we can we adequately plan our classes! We need 5 spots filled for every Kitchen and Garden class. It’s easy now – click here to sign up & let us know that you’re coming: VolunteerSpot

Cheers lovelies xx

*Thanks Very Much!

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