Posts Tagged With: cheese

Homemade ricotta


Ricotta from the shops can often be bland or rubbery – but this one made fresh is amazingly light and soft and totally delicious. And take the time to find really great quality milk – as you really do reap what you sow in this recipe. And if you leave it to dry in the colander, in the fridge, for 4 days you can bake it with lovely hardy herbs and olive oil.

Fresh from the garden: lemons
Recipe source: Kristen Allan, mighty cheesemaker
Makes: about 600 – 700g depending on quality of milk


·       Citrus juicer

·       Small stockpot

·       Thermometer

·       A slotted spoon

·       A ricotta colander

·       Large mixing bowl

·      Storage container


·       3 litres of good quality organic milk

·       150ml pouring cream

·       100ml lemon juice – 1.5 lemons?

·       A pinch of good salt

What to do:

  1. Cut the lemons in half and juice the halves to yield 100ml. Spoon out the pips and discard.
  2. Measure out about 1cm of cold water into the bottom of the pot.
  3. Gently pour all the ingredients into the stockpot and stir.
  4. On the lowest possible heat, gradually bring the milk up to about 95C. This should take about one hour. Try not to stir the mixture too much, but make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. At about 80C you should see curds starting to form and if you pull the curds away from the side of the pot, you will notice the milk starting to separate.
  6. Turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes.
  7. Place the ricotta colander into the large mixing bowl to catch the whey. With the slotted spoon, gently scoop the curds into the colander.
  8. Drain for approximately 10 minutes or longer (2 to 4 days) if you want a firmer ricotta for baking or drying.
  9. Transfer to a storage container or eat while still warm.
  10. Refrigerate and use within 10 days.

Notes: What does ricotta taste like? Why make your own? What else do you make from scratch?


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Pao de queijo


These Brazilian cheeseballs are fun, and although messy, are super-easy to make and are traditionally served with soup or at brekky. Best of all, they are gluten-free so are great for those with Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.

Recipe source: inspired by Ligia, our Garden Specialist from 2011 to 2013
Makes: 30 cheese balls, give or take


  • 2 large bowls
  • Sieve
  • Blender
  • Measuring jug
  • Scales
  • Metric teaspoon
  • Grater, fork
  • 2 x 12 hole muffin tins
  • Pastry brush
  • Ladle
  • Serving plates



  • 450g manioc starch*
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100g grana padano


What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Measure out the manioc starch and then sieve into a bowl with the salt.
  • Grate the cheese and add to the bowl.
  • Crack the eggs into the other bowl and lightly whisk with the fork.
  • Measure out the milk and vegetable oil and add to the eggs. Stir to incorporate, then pour into the flour and stir thoroughly.
  • Ladle all the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
  • Grease the muffin tins with a little oil.
  • Ladle out the mixture into the holes of the muffin tins until each hole is just over ½ full.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, swapping trays halfway, until golden and cooked through.
  • Carefully tip out onto serving plates.

*this can be found in the Brazilian section of your local exotic grocer! Tapioca flour or arrowroot flour can also be substituted successfully.

Notes: What are arrowroot, tapioca and manioc? What else do we use the blender for? What happens to the balls as they cook? What language do they speak in Brazil?

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Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Spinach and ricotta calzone

These folded pizzas are great with a homemade Napoli sauce served with – and you can even add prosciutto, ham or roasted chicken to the filling at home if you like. 

Fresh from the garden: spinach, garlic

Recipe source: Melissa

Makes: 4 calzone


·       Chopping boards & knives

·       Large frying pan or wok

·       Garlic press

·       Microplane zester

·       2 large bowls

·       Grater

·       Baking paper

·       Scales

·       Measuring cup

·       Metal spoon

·       Serving plates


·       Plain flour, for rolling out dough

·       1 recipe Hugh’s Magic Dough

·       500g spinach or silverbeet

·       2 garlic cloves

·       2 cups ricotta

·       1 tub bocconcini

·       50g parmesan or grana padano

·       1 lemon

·       Flaked salt & black pepper

·       Coarse polenta for dusting baking sheet

·       Extra-virgin olive oil

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Divide the dough into 4 equal balls, then roll each out into large & long rectangles. Dust the baking sheets with a sprinkle of polenta and drape 2 dough rectangles over each tray, leaving half off the edge to fold over later.
  3. Wash the spinach, shake dry over the sink and slice the leaves into thin strips and the stalks into small squares.
  4. Squeeze the garlic through the press and add to the spinach. Using the fine microplane grater, zest only the fine yellow outer covering of the lemon.
  5. Heat the wok with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the spinach, the garlic & a pinch of salt to wilt. Cook, tossing for 3 or 4 minutes until cooked through. Squeeze moisture out with the back of a wooden spoon and place spinach in the large bowl.
  6. Drain the bocconcini & pull each ball apart into little pieces, add to the spinach with the measured ricotta and season with salt and pepper. Weigh the parmesan and then grate what you need and add to the spinach.
  7. Place the filling on the tray half of each oval leaving a 2cm border along the edge.
  8. Fold the remaining dough over the filling until the edges line up and pinch the edges together to seal. Gently roll the pinched edges under to form a decorative rim and brush the tops with olive oil.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and the centre is hot and melted, rotating midway through cooking.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Slice then gobble!

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rocket and herbed feta salad

Salad is a tiny word for a massive selection of broad-ranging ingredients, held together by any number of sauces, unguents and potions. Here’s another one to add to the list!

Fresh from the garden: rocket, lettuces, early tomatoes, radishes, limehairy (perennial basil), marjoram, parsley, garlic, lemon
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Bowls – big, medium
  • Salad spinner
  • Chopping boards & knife
  • Measures: tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Tongs
  • Small jar & lid
  • Scissors
  • Colander
  • Serving bowls or plates








  • A small handful limehairy leaves
  • A small handful marjoram
  • A small handful parsley
  • A block of Danish feta (150–200g)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 handfuls rocket & lettuce leaves
  • Any early tomatoes and radishes
  • A few edible flowers

For the dressing:

  • One small piece of preserved lemon
  • ½ small garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Flaked salt and black pepper

What to do:

  • To make the herbed feta: Wash the herbs, spin them dry and then pick off all the leaves. Chop them finely on a small chopping board and then unwrap the feta and then place it on the herb mixture. Slice the feta into small cubes, turning them over in the herbs, and then drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Reserve until needed.
  • To make the dressing: Using tongs, take out a small piece of preserved lemon out of the jar and rinse under cold water. Using a small sharp knife, scrape off the fleshy inside part and discard. Chop up the remaining skin very finely and add to the jar, along with the rest of the dressing ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and shake until emulsified.
  • Fill up a big bowl with cold water and wash the rocket and lettuce leaves gently, emptying and refilling several times before draining and spinning dry. Chop or snip any large leaves into 2 or 3 pieces and reserve in a clean and dry big bowl.
  • Wash the tomatoes and carefully slice into small mouth-sized pieces and place in a medium bowl. Scrub the radishes and slice very thinly, adding them to the tomatoes. Drizzle a tablespoon of dressing into the bowl.
  • Drizzle the rest of the dressing onto the rocket and lettuce and gently toss to coat.
  • Divide the dressed leaves on to your serving bowls or plates and distribute the tomatoes, radish and feta cubes over the salad.
  • Garnish with the edible flowers and serve straight away.

Notes: What does emulsified mean? What is limehairy also known as?

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Two cheeses souffle

Cheesy, eggy – comfort food in its most simple form… and deceptively simple to do!

Fresh from the garden: eggs, chives
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • 4 x 250ml ramekins or soufflé dishes
  • Baking paper
  • String & scissors
  • Baking tray
  • Scales
  • Paper towel
  • Bowls – 1 large, 5 small
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring jug
  • Stick blender
  • Metal spoon
  • 4 under-plates to serve

  • 25g butter plus extra to grease the ramekins
  • 150g soft goats’ cheese
  • 100g parmesan
  • A small handful chives
  • 5 eggs
  • 25g flour
  • 250ml milk
  • Flaked salt & black pepper

 What to do:

  • Heat the oven to 200C. Butter the ramekins.
  • Make a collar for each ramekin by tearing a 40cm length of baking paper, folding it into thirds, and buttering one side. Then roll it around the ramekin, buttered side in, and tying with string to secure. Place them on the baking tray when done.
  • Measure the parmesan, then grate it. Crumble the goats’ cheese.
  • Wash the chives and pat dry with paper towel. Using the scissors, finely snip them to yield about 2 tablespoons.
  • Carefully separate each of the eggs.
  • Melt 25g butter in the saucepan, stir in the flour and gently cook on a low heat for a minute or so. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time to make a thick sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour.
  • Stir in the cheeses and chives then add 4 of the egg yolks, season generously and mix well.
  • In a clean and dry bowl, use the stick blender to whisk all the egg whites until they are stiff and form soft peaks.
  • Using a metal spoon, start folding the egg whites into the cheese mixture carefully – begin by using about 1/3 of the whites first and then adding the rest once combined – and pour into the buttered soufflé dishes.
  • Cook for 12–15 minutes until the soufflés are risen and golden.
  • Using pot holders, carefully place a soufflé on to an underplate and serve TOUT SUITE!

 Notes: What is a ramekin? Why do we separate the egg yolks and whites? Why do we need to cook out the flour? Where does the word soufflé come from?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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