Posts Tagged With: gluten-free

Thai eggplant in coconut curry


The flavours in this curry are so pure and fresh and clean… Just be sure to mash up the herb fibres so it’s not too hairy!

Fresh from the garden: eggplants, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, ginger, basil, spring onions
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Chopping boards & knives
  • Measures: jug
  • Pastry brush
  • Oven tray
  • Rolling pin
  • Citrus juicer
  • Mini food processor
  • Frying pan
  • Serving bowls

  • 4 large, long Japanese eggplants (more if smaller)
  • 100ml Rice Bran oil
  • Salt
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3cm piece ginger
  • A handful Thai basil
  • 1 lime
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 spring onions

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  1. Slice the eggplants lengthwise. Score them inside deeply on the diagonal into a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut all the way through. Brush with a little olive oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven on an oven tray until completely tender and browning, at least 20 minutes.
  2. To prepare the lemongrass: remove the outer layer of each stem and trim away the bottom 1/2cm and most of the top, leaving only about a 10cm piece that should be tender enough to sink a fingernail into. Now pound it with the rolling pin to release the flavours. Once you’ve given it a good thrashing, you can finely mince it.
  3. Wash the kaffir lime leaves and basil and finely slice.
  4. Peel the garlic and ginger and finely chop. Juice the lime.
  5. Meanwhile, in a mini food processor or a mortar and pestle, combine the chopped kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and Thai basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process or pound until you have a fairly fine paste. Mix in half of the lime juice.
  6. Trim the roots and top layer from the spring onions and wash them cold water, then finely slice into thin rings.
  7. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Fry the curry paste for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and mix in the coconut milk and half of the sliced spring onions. Let it rest a few minutes, then taste and add a little more salt and lime juice if needed.
  8. When the eggplant is done, pour a little of the sauce into your serving bowls. Divide the eggplant slices into the bowls and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Garnish with the rest of the spring onions and serve. 

Notes: What is a kaffir lime leaf? Why do we need to take care when cutting the eggplants?

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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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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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Watermelon, pomegranate and feta salad


Yotam says, ‘This you must eat on the beach or at least outdoors, on a hot day, with the sun’s rays unobstructed. It reminds me of hot sweaty nights on the seafront in Tel Aviv, when everyone is out enjoying themselves with loud music and often a heated conversation. (So, Tel Aviv not so different from Sydney after all?) The sweet juiciness of the watermelon and the crumbly saltiness of the feta give this salad its character.’

Fresh from the garden: watermelon, red onion
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi in Plenty
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


·       Chopping boards & knives

·       A selection of mixing bowls

·       Wooden spoon

·       Paper towel

·       Salad spinner

·       Scales

·       Serving bowls


·       Half a watermelon (ideally 700g without rind)

·       Half a pomegranate

·       A small red onion

·       150g feta

·       A handful of basil leaves

·       Olive oil


What to do:

  1. Wash the outside of the watermelon and then carefully cut into 1-2cm slices – you may need to ask a grown up to help. Cut off the peel and then slice each bit into bite-sized triangles. Reserve in a large bowl.
  2. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate: 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 all of it to the watermelon.
  3. Cut the onion in half through the root and top and peel it. Then slice it as thin as you possibly can and separate into thin rings. Add it to the salad.
  4. Wash and spin-dry the basil leaves, then pick from the stalks and tear up into tiny pieces into the salad.
  5. Using the scales, weigh the feta and then crumble into chunks over the salad with your hands.
  6. Divide the salad into your serving bowls, drizzle over a thin trickle of olive oil and a grind of pepper and then serve.

Notes: What is a pomegranate? What other savoury ingredients go well with fruit? Have you ever seen an orange watermelon before?

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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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Tom Yum soup


This soup from Thailand is great if you have a cold, as it has a warm spicy heat, and if you leave the fish sauce out is ideal for vegans and vegetarians. If you do eat meat though, you can add sliced raw chicken here to poach for 5 minutes at the end.

Fresh from the garden: lemongrass, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander, spring onions, limes
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by David Thompson


·       Kettle

·       Chopping boards and knives

·       Paper towel

·       Salad spinner

·       Measures – tablespoon, teaspoon

·       Mixing bowls – selection

·       Serving bowls


·       1.5 litres water

·       A clove of garlic

·       3 stalks lemongrass

·       150g assorted mushrooms

·       1 bunch fresh coriander leaves

·       1 sprig fresh basil leaves

·       1 lime

·       1 tablespoon bouillon

·       1 quantity tom yum paste (see recipe)

·       2 kaffir lime leaves

·       1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)

·       1 teaspoon chopped fresh green chilli (optional)

 What to do:

  1. Fill the kettle to the 1.5 litre mark and set it to boil.
  2. Peel and finely chop the clove of garlic.
  3. Cut or strip the leaves from the lemongrass (reserving the leaves for another time) and wash the stalks. Chop them into 10cm lengths and bash lightly.
  4. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a piece of paper towel, then slice them into very thin slices.
  5. Wash and spin the coriander and basil leaves dry, then finely chop. Cut the lime into quarters.
  6. Pour the hot water into the large saucepan and add the bouillon. Bring back to the boil and stir in all the tom yum paste and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the lemongrass batons and whole kaffir lime leaves.
  8. Mix in the mushrooms. Add the fish sauce if using and a squeeze of the lime quarters and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat, sprinkle in the chopped coriander and basil, and ladle into bowls.

Notes: What does ginger smell like? What will you use the paste for?

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Tom Yum paste


This paste is commonly used for our Hot and Sour soup but you can also use it as a marinade for fish or chicken.

Fresh from the garden: lemongrass, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander, spring onions, lime
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by David Thompson
Makes: approx 100ml


·       Chopping boards and knives

·       Measures – tablespoon, teaspoon

·       Peeler

·       Salad spinner

·       Mixing bowls – 5 med & small

·       Citrus juicer

·       Stick blender and mini chopper with lid attachment

·       Mortar and pestle

·       Spatula



·       1 lemongrass stalk

·       3 cloves garlic

·       1 small sized piece ginger or galangal

·       1 fresh red chilli, sliced or 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli

·       A small handful of coriander

·       2 spring onions

·       1 lime

·       1 tablespoon soy sauce or gluten free tamari

·       1 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar 

What to do:

  1. Cut or strip the leaves from the lemongrass stalk, taking care not to cut yourself on the leaves. Finely mince the lemongrass stalk (reserving the leaves to make tea) to yield 2 tablespoons.
  2. Peel and finely chop the 3 garlic cloves. Peel and finely chop the ginger.
  3. Slice the fresh chilli if using, discarding the stalk and seeds (unless you want it really hot!).
  4. Wash and spin the coriander dry and finely chop all the leaves and stems.
  5. Wash the spring onion, strip off the outer layer and trim off the roots. Finely slice.
  6. Cut the lime in half and squeeze out the juice.
  7. Place all ingredients in the mini food chopper and blitz to create the fragrant paste.
  8. You may need to grind the paste with the mortar and pestle and a sprinkle of flaked salt to make it really smooth.
  9. Scrape out the paste with the spatula & use!
  10. To store for later, spoon into a clean and dry jar, smooth down and add a thin layer of oil to cover, pop lid on and refrigerate.

Notes: What does fresh ginger smell like? What will you use the paste for?


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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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Rocket soup with curry spices and coriander


This soup is a great way to use up all the huge rocket leaves left over from the summer break that are too spicy to use in a salad.

Fresh from the garden: rocket, leek, potatoes, onion, garlic, coriander
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes



  • Measures: tablespoons, teaspoons, ¼ teaspoon
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Peeler
  • Kettle
  • Mixing bowls: large, med, small
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Large stockpot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stick blender
  • Ladle
  • Paper towel
  • Scissors
  • Serving bowls




What to do:


  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1.5 litres boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons bouillon
  • A large handful rocket leaves
  • A small handful coriander

Curry paste:

  • A small knob of ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A pinch of flaked salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  1. To make the curry paste: Peel the ginger and finely chop. Measure the rest of the spices into the bowl of the mortar, add the ginger & gently pound to a mash with the pestle.
  2. To make the soup: Fill the kettle to the 1.5 litre mark and set it to boil.
  3. Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Wash the leek under running water, peeling off the ugly layers, and checking underneath and trimming roots.
  4. Wash the rocket in several large bowls of cold water and shake dry over the sink. Finely chop the stalks and the leaves and reserve in a large bowl. Wash the potatoes but do not peel them and chop into 2cm dice.
  5. Heat the oil in the large stockpot over gentle heat. Add the curry blend and a grind of pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and leek and cook until soft for about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped rocket, potatoes and garlic, stir in and then sweat for a few minutes with the lid on and the heat low.
  6. Carefully add the boiling water and the bouillon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile wash the coriander and pat dry, then add into the soup just before blending.
  8. Puree the soup using the stick blender until super smooth and then check if you need to add any more salt. You probably will!
  9. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
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Koosa Ma Laban


Taking inspiration from the Middle East, this is a dish called Koosa ma Laban and is a delicious zucchini dip for crunchy veggies or garlicky flatbreads.

Fresh from the garden: cucumber, garlic, ginger
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on
Serves: 8 or 24 tastes


  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Measures: cup, tablespoon
  • Frying pan
  • Tongs
  • Salad spinner
  • Microplane zester
  • Olive pitter
  • Food processor
  • Flat bowls to serve



·       2 large zucchini

·       2 cloves of garlic

·       3 tablespoons olive oil

·       1 cup Greek yogurt or labneh

·       A handful of mint

·       A lemon

·       Flaked salt and pepper

·       4 green olives

What to do:

  • Wash the zucchini, then slice lengthwise and cut into 1cm half-moons. Smash the garlic cloves, peel the skin off and finely chop.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle zucchini slices with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning once, until both sides are nicely browned. Add the garlic in the last minute, then remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.
  • Wash the mint, spin dry, pick off the leaves and chop finely to yield about 2 tablespoons worth. Wash the lemon, dry it and zest the yellow part of the skin only. Pit the olives (use the pitter or you can squash them on a chopping board) and cut in half.
  • Once zucchini have cooled, place in a food processor. Add the mint and lemon zest (reserving a bit of both for garnish), a pinch of salt, pepper and yogurt. Pulse until pureed.
  • Spread dip onto a serving plate, dot on the olive halves, drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with reserved mint and lemon zest.
  • Serve with flat breads or sliced carrot, cucumber or radish.

 Notes: What is labneh? How does an olive pitter work? What other Middle Eastern dishes do you know?

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