Posts Tagged With: Marjoram

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!

ourkitchengarden.net

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

Equipment:

  • 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
Ingredients:

  • 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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Salad of baby beets, broad beans and goats cheese

We love the arrival of broad beans to signify the warm weather! This salad is a firm favourite of ours, with its contrasting flavours and textures.

ourkitchengarden.net

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

Equipment:

  • Chopping board & knife
  • 2 x saucepans with lids
  • Colander, scissors
  • Paper towel
  • Measuring: tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Bowls – large, small
  • Garlic press
  • Salad spinner
  • Fork, skewer
  • Plates to serve
Ingredients:

  • 4 baby beetroot
  • A large handful of broad beans
  • A handful of lettuce leaves
  • Small sprig of marjoram
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic
  • Flaked salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • A small roll of goats’ cheese

ourkitchengarden.net

What to do:

  • 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 place them in the saucepan with cold water to cover by about 5cm. Heat on high with lid on and boil for 20 minutes until soft when pierced with a skewer.
  • 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 out, then wash the lettuce and beetroot leaves and spin dry. Break up into smaller pieces with your hands if needed, then roll up into a kitchen paper-lined tea towel & place in the fridge until needed.
  • Wash, dry and pick the marjoram leaves and reserve for the garnish.
  • Squeeze the garlic through the garlic press into a large bowl, then mix in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, season with salt and pepper and stir together gently.
  • Meanwhile when the beetroot are soft, drain the saucepan and fill with cold water to cool the beets. When cool to handle, slide off the skins and root and thinly slice the beetroot. 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 marjoram and serve.

ourkitchengarden.net

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Salad of broad beans, radishes and goats cheese

This salad is a beautiful celebration of spring, with lots of lovely contrasting textures and flavours…

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: lettuces, broad beans, radishes, snap peas, marjoram, edible flowers
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 at home or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Saucepan & lid
  • Bowls – 2 large, 2 med, 1 small
  • Colander
  • 2 salad spinners
  • Paper towel
  • Mandoline
  • Potato peeler
  • Measuring – 1/4 cup, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • A small jar with lid
  • Plates or bowls to serve
Ingredients:

  • A handful lettuce leaves
  • A large handful broad beans in pod
  • A small handful radishes
  • A small punnet snap peas
  • 2 sprigs marjoram
  • 150g goats’ cheese
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • Edible flowers

What to do:

  • Fill the saucepan with water & set to boil on high heat.
  • 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. Reserve beans.
  • Wash the lettuce leaves really well and spin dry in sections, reserving in a large clean, dry bowl. Wash & dry the marjoram sprigs, picking the leaves and leaving whole. Gently wash the flowers and reserve on a piece of paper towel until ready to use.
  • Scrub the radishes clean, wipe dry and using the mandoline or a peeler, carefully slice into thin discs.
  • Wash the snap peas, then top-and-tail each one, de-stringing as you go. Slice each bean in half or thirds.
  • For the dressing, measure the olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey and pour them into the jar. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and then put the lid on & give the jar a good shake.
  • Drizzle the dressing around the large lettuce bowl and gently turn the leaves with your fingers.
  • Place the leaves in the serving bowls, then pour the broad beans, radish slices and snap peas into the bowl and mix to cover in the residual dressing. Then sprinkle over each bowl of leaves.
  • Break the goats cheese into small chunks with your fingers and divide over the salads with the marjoram leaves.
  • Finish by carefully placing the flowers on top of the bowls of salad. Serve immediately!

Notes: What does residual mean? Why do we use honey vinaigrette here instead of our usual lemony dressing? Can you name some edible flowers?

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Broccoli and lemon risotto

This lovely risotto is textural and beautifully herby, and very easy once you get past all the stirring!

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: broccoli, marjoram, garlic, onion, lemon
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 8 or 30 tastes

Equipment:

  • Saucepan
  • Salad spinner
  • Garlic press
  • Bowls – 1 large, small, med
  • Large knife & chopping board
  • Grater & microplane zester
  • Ladle & wooden spoon with a flat end
  • Heavy based stockpot
  • Metric
  • Measures: scales, jug, cup, ¼ cup, tablespoon
  • 4 soup plates to serve
Ingredients:

  • 2.3 litres  vegetable stock (or  2.3 litres boiling water with 2.5 tablespoons bouillon)
  • A small handful marjoram
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 500g arborio rice
  • 1 lemon
  • 50g parmesan
  • Cooking salt & black pepper

What to do:

  • Pour the stock into a saucepan, and bring it to a simmer on medium heat.
  • Wash and spin dry the marjoram, strip and discard the stems.
  • Squeeze the garlic cloves through the press into a small bowl. Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Wash the broccoli & shake dry. Chop the stalk into 5mm cubes and add to the stock, reserving the florets.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in the stockpot. Add the chopped onion and a cook gently until just tender, about three minutes. Do not brown. Add the garlic and cook gently for another few seconds.
  • Stir in the rice until the grains separate and begin to crackle.
  • Begin adding the simmering stock, a ladle at a time, and stir in. The stock should just cover the rice and bubble. Stir every minute or so for about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, zest the lemon and grate the parmesan to yield about ½ cup.
  • After about 15 minutes, add the broccoli florets to the rice and keep stirring for about another 5 minutes. When the rice is just tender all the way through but still slightly firm, usually in about 20 minutes, it is done.
  • Add the last ladleful of stock and the rest of the broccoli to the rice. Stir in the marjoram, lemon zest and parmesan, and remove from the heat. Taste now and check the seasoning. The mixture should be creamy.
  • Serve onto the soup plates and eat right away!

Notes: What sort of rice is Arborio? Why do we use this sort of rice? Why do we fry the rice off first? What does ‘yield’ mean? What does to check the seasoning mean?

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Rocket linguine with broad beans, lemon and marjoram

ourkitchengarden.net

Our Kitchen Garden students love making pasta – and this recipe sings of spring! It includes the dough mixture as well as instructions on how to use a pasta machine.

Fresh from the garden: eggs, rocket, broad beans, lemon, marjoram
Recipe source: Melissa

Equipment:

  • Salad spinner
  • Pasta machine
  • Scales, garlic press
  • Measures – teaspoon
  • Food processor
  • Plastic wrap
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Pastry brush, grater
  • Large stock pot & saucepan
  • Tongs, large bowls
  • Serving bowls
Ingredients:

  • 500g plain ‘00’ flour
  • 5 free-range eggs
  • Salt
  • 2 handfuls of rocket
  • 500g broad beans in pod
  • A handful of marjoram sprigs
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • A lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 50g parmesan

What to do:

To make the pasta:

  • Wash a handful of rocket thoroughly and spin dry. Discard any tough stalks and chop roughly.
  • Weigh the flour, then combine it with 1½ teaspoons of salt in the bowl of the food processor. With the motor running, add the eggs and the chopped rocket. Process for a few minutes until the dough clings together and feels quite springy.
  • Tip the dough onto a clean, dry workbench. Knead the dough for a few minutes, then wrap it in plastic film and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

_________________________________________________________________

  • Fill the large stockpot and the saucepan with water and set to boil on high with the lids on.
  • Fix the pasta machine to a suitable bench or table – if the surface is not thick enough you may need to place a thick book under the machine. Screw the clamp very tightly.
  • Clear a large space on the workbench alongside the pasta machine. All surfaces must be clean and dry. Press or roll the dough into a rectangle about 8 cm wide.
  • Set the rollers on the pasta machine to the widest setting and pass the dough through. The dough will probably look quite ragged at this stage. Fold it in 3, turn it 90 degrees and roll it through again. Go to the next-thickest setting and pass the dough through 3-4 times.
  • Continue in this manner (changing the settings and passing the dough through) until the dough has passed through the second thinnest setting. Don’t use the very thinnest setting, as the dough gets too fine and is hard to manage. If the dough gets too long to handle comfortably, cut it into 2-3 pieces using the large knife, and roll each piece separately.
  • Lay the pasta strips on a lightly floured surface & dust with a little more flour. Attach the pasta cutter to the machine and pass through the largest rollers, draping it in your hands to catch.
  • Carefully separate each strip and hang over a pole to dry.
  • Clean the pasta machine by brushing it with a dry, wide pastry brush & putting back in its box.  

To finish the dish:

  • Check that the stockpot & saucepan have been filled with water and are 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 the big bowl.
  • Wash and dry the lemon and zest it. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze its juice into the beans.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and squeeze them into the bowl too.
  • Measure the parmesan and grate what you need. Wash and spin dry the marjoram and strip leaves into the garlicky broad beans.
  • Wash and spin the remaining rocket dry and add that to the bowl.
  • Measure 1/3 cup of olive oil into the bowl and sprinkle on a few pinches of flaked salt and a good grind of pepper and toss to incorporate.
  • When the stockpot has started a fast boil, gather your drying pasta on a large baking tray. Add  a tablespoon of cooking salt and then the pasta to the pot, stir once and quickly put the lid back on.
  • As soon as the pot begins to boil again, take the lid off. The pasta should only take 2 minutes or so to cook from boiling. Taste to check – it’s important that the pasta remains al dente and is not overcooked!
  • Using tongs, carefully pull the pasta (and some of its cooking liquid) out and into the big lemony rocket bowl and toss to thoroughly incorporate.
  • Divide into serving bowls, sprinkle the parmesan on and eat immediately!

Notes: Never wash the pasta machine – it will rust! Just brush down with a strong brush to remove the leftover dough.

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Bocconcini, garden herb, rocket and red onion pizza

We love the whole gamut of pizza qualities! Making the dough is great fun (and very therapeutic…!) and we love using our big muscles to roll out the bases… We wash and spin and chop our herbs, and simmer up our own garlicky tomato sauce – with fresh tomatoes in summer and tinned toms out of season – and compile our toppings based on what’s growing…  this week it’s loads of sweet onion, marjoram, rocket and curly parsley… We grate and tear and zest, and we LOVE the smell as the pizza bakes… But most of all, we adore devouring the pizza. Mmmmm.

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: rocket, red & brown onions, thyme, marjoram, parsley
Recipe source: Melissa, kitchen specialist at Bondi PS

Equipment:For the pizza dough

  • Bowls – 1 small, 1 large
    • Fork
    • Scales
    • Measures: cup, tablespoon, teaspoon
    • Stand mixer with a dough hook
    • Pastry brush
    • 2 rolling pins
    • 2 baking or pizza trays
    • wide egg lifter

For the pizza topping:

  • Chopping board & knife
  • Medium frying pan
    • Measures: ¼ cup, tablespoon
  • Wooden spoon
    • Grater, tongs
  • Kitchen towel
  • Large bowl
  • Salad spinner
  • Large board for cutting pizza
  • Pizza cutters
  • Serving plates
Ingredients:For the pizza dough

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 400g plain flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the pizza topping:

  • 1 tub bocconcini
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Small handful marjoram, parsley and thyme
  • A small handful rocket
  • 30g parmesan

Tomato sauce:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Flaked salt and black pepper

What to do:
To make the dough:

  • Place the water, yeast and sugar in the small bowl. Mix with the fork and leave for 5–10 minutes until the mixture looks frothy.
  • Add the 2 teaspoons of oil to the yeast mixture and mix well.
  • Place the flour and salt and yeast mixture in the bowl of the electric mixer and beat for at least 8 minutes, until the dough looks smooth.
  • Brush the inside of a large bowl with a little of the extra virgin olive oil, using the pastry brush.
  • Turn the pizza dough into the oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, dry tea towel and put in a draught-free place until the dough has doubled in size. This process, which is called ‘proving’, will take at least 1 hour.
  • After an hour, tip the risen dough onto the workbench and knead briefly, then shape it into a round ball and return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the tea towel and leave again, this time for at least 20 minutes.                                                                                 

What to do:

Start of lesson:

  • Preheat the oven to maximum. You can prepare the topping now while you wait for the oven to heat up.
  • Scatter some flour on the workbench, divide the pizza dough in two and roll to form two thin rectangles to fit the baking trays.
  • Assemble the pizzas directly onto the trays, flouring the trays a little first.

For the tomato sauce:

  • Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
  • Heat the olive oil in the frying pan & gently cook the onion and garlic until translucent but not brown.
  • Open the tin of tomato and add to the frying pan with a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.
  • Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quite reduced.

For the topping: 

  • Peel the red onion, cut in half and finely slice into rings
  • Wash and carefully dry the herb sprigs – pick the leaves, discarding the stalks. Finely chop all the herbs.
  • Wash the rocket and spin it dry. Leaving small leaves whole, chop large leaves into ribbons.
  • Peel the onion, cut in half and finely slice into rings.
  • Open the tub of bocconcini and cut or tear each ball into 3 or 4 pieces.
  • Grate the parmesan.

Assembling the pizza:

  • Using a metal spoon, swirl a couple of spoonfuls of tomato sauce onto the pizza bases, spreading so that they become totally covered.
  • Layer the onion slices on top and then lay on the bocconcini. Season well.
  • Drizzle the pizzas with the last of the oil, then slide them into the oven.

Baking the pizza:

  • Bake the pizzas for 12 minutes or until the edges are very crusty and the cheese is bubbling.
  • At this stage you can make the dough for the next class.
  • Once the pizzas are done, transfer them to a board using the wide egg lifter. Cut the pizzas crossways into small squares, and lift onto serving plates.
  • Sprinkle with the herbs and the grated parmesan and finish with the rocket.
  • Serve and eat!

Notes: What other sort of vegetables could you use in a pizza? What sort of other pizza could we make?

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Salad of blood orange, beetroot, radish and goats’ cheese

We love the arrival of blood oranges to signify the end of winter & beginning of spring! This salad is a firm favourite of ours, with its contrasting flavours and textures, and beautiful deep colours.

Our Kitchen Garden

Serves: 6 or 24 tastes
Fresh from the garden: blood oranges, radishes, beetroot, beetroot leaves, lettuce leaves, marjoram

Equipment:

  • Chopping board & knife
  • Small saucepan & lid
  • Colander
  • Paper towel
  • Measuring: tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Bowls – large, small
  • Garlic press
  • Salad spinner
  • Fork
  • Plates to serve
Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 baby beetroot
  • A small bunch of radishes
  • Small sprig of marjoram
  • A handful of lettuce leaves
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • A small roll of goats’ cheese
  • Flaked salt and black pepper

What to do:

  • Cut the leaves from the beetroot, leaving about 2cms of stalk and reserving any small leaves. Gently scrub the beets to remove any dirt and place them in the saucepan with cold water to cover by about 5cm. Heat on high with lid on and boil for 20 minutes until soft when pierced.
  • Remove the stalks from the radishes & discard. Wash them well and then wipe dry with paper towel. Finely slice the radishes into thin discs and slide them into the big bowl.
  • Wash, dry and pick the marjoram leaves and reserve for the garnish.
  • Carefully wash and spin the lettuce and beetroot leaves dry. Break up into smaller pieces with your hands if needed, then roll up into a kitchen paper-lined tea towel & place in the fridge until needed.
  • Peel the oranges, removing any white pith and discarding it. Carefully cut the oranges into thin slices crossways and then place them into the big bowl. Scrape any juice into the bowl.
  • Squeeze the garlic through the garlic press into the small bowl.
  • Mix into the garlic the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, whisk with the fork and pour over the orange and radishes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and stir together gently. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile when the beetroot are soft, drain the saucepan and fill with cold water to cool the beets. When cool to handle, slide off the skins and root and thinly slice the beetroot. Add the slices to the radish and orange and combine in the dressing.
  • To finish, divide the salad leaves among your serving plates and scatter the beetroot mixture on top. Remove the wrapping from the goats’ cheese and dab chunks of cheese over each salad. Sprinkle with the marjoram and serve.

Notes: What other fruit and vegetable combinations can you think of for a salad? What other fruits can be dressed with balsamic vinegar? Why do we let the salad ‘rest’ for 10 minutes?

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Linguine with cavolo nero and herb sauce

LINGUINE WITH CAVOLO NERO AND HERB SAUCE

Fresh from the garden: cavolo nero, coriander, thyme, marjoram, oregano

Recipe source: Melissa ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

This is a delicious accompaniment to our freshly-rolled pasta! We use the prehistoric-looking cavolo nero (also known as Tuscan kale) but you can also use silverbeet or spinach just as well…

Equipment:

  • Large stockpot with draining insert
  • Chopping board
  • Large & small knife
  • Salad spinner
  • Wooden spoon
  • 2 large bowls
  • Scales
  • Medium saucepan
  • Tongs
  • Serving bowls
Ingredients:

  • 500g linguine
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • A large handful of cavolo nero leaves
  • A small bunch of coriander
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 sprigs marjoram
  • 4 sprigs oregano
  • Small bunch parsley
  • Flaked salt & black pepper

What to do:

  • Fill the large stockpot with water and heat on high.
  • Wash the cavolo nero leaves and shake dry. Strip off the leaves, discarding the stems, and cut into ribbons 1cm wide.
  • Wash & spin dry the herbs, then pick the leaves if needed, discarding the woody stems.
  • Finely chop the herbs.
  • Finely chop the garlic.
  • Chop up the butter into cubes and melt the in the saucepan over a medium heat.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Stir in the herbs.
  • When the water in the large stockpot is boiling add the pasta & cooking salt, stir, put the lid back on and when boiling again cook for 2 or 3 minutes until ‘al dente’.
  • Drain the pasta and transfer to back into the stockpot.
  • Add the butter mixture to the stockpot and toss carefully.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve into bowls.

Notes: What does al dente mean? Why do we pick the leaves from the herbs? What does cavolo nero actually mean?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe, School Holiday Program | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

July 21st 2011

Well it’s back to loads of rain and pretty chilly weather… good for the garden & all the seedlings that Ligia has planted over the holidays – we’ll be cooking up a storm (excuse the awful pun) in no time!

And welcome to Ligia, it’s great to have her here, stepping in just in the nick of time to get our veggies happening by springtime – please stop by and say hi: she is a goldmine of info on sustainability, horticulture and all things Brazilian too!

So we’ve got some lovely silverbeet growing that we’ll be planning a silverbeet pie-fest with; I’m besotted with the beautiful marjoram at the moment so am planning some pasta in the kitchen again next week as it was so much fun last time, thinking perhaps marjoram and fontina  ravioli this time? Mmmm… Will be checking out our olives later today too so see whether they’re up for inclusion in some olive bread we’ll make to have with our ever popular soup recipe, and we’ll also  be taking full advantage of the parsley invasion and get chopping with some bone-cuddling and blood-warming parsley soup. And to finish, if we get time we’ll also pop in a few of Ava’s orange Anzacs that I’ve been playing around with these school holidays!

Regarding recipes up on the bondikitchengarden.com blog: please bear with us while we get it all sorted! Hopefully l won’t be too far away… In the meantime if you need recipes for anything (silverbeet soup, upside-down orange cake etc) drop me in your email address & I’ll send them on.

VOLUNTEERS!!! We still desperately need mummies, daddies, grannies, granddads, next-door neighbours, godparents etc to help us in our kitchen and garden classes! It’s only an hour and a half of your time a week and I can promise it will be fun-filled, exhilarating and not at all stressful (!) and you get full instructions – and the best thing is that you get to sit down with your (or someone else’s charming) kid at the end and enjoy what you’ve all cooked together! Most desperate:

Wed 11am session

Thursday 9am session

Thursday 1.30pm session

But we can always do with another hand or two in the other sessions!

We’re here Tuesday to Thursday, please drop in to the cottage and let us know if you can help…

Also Ligia would LOVE a couple of hunky blokes (or chicks) to move some heavy stuff in the garden in the next few weeks.

 That’s all for now folks. Keep warm! Melissa

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Marjoram! where’ve you been all my life?

I’m obsessed! Marjoram has taken over my life… I’m finding ways of getting it into all sorts of dishes these last few weeks and I’m loving it… I can’t have enough of marjoram, and thyme, and oregano and I can’t believe for the first 40 years of my life I only looked for basil and coriander in the herb section of the supermarket… with a bit of bay and a tiny bit of parsley (bleugh) and ignoring mint totally (BLEUGH).

And now I’m growing my own to keep with up with the amounts I need; it’s like a drug. A perfumed, lemony, herbaceous, aromatic and healthy drug, I’m chopping with abandon…!

Uses for marjoram leaves this week: tossed with leaves and a classic lemon vinaigrette for a crunchy almost-spring salad; chopped up with thyme, salt, a little chilli and butter and smeared under the skin of roasting chicken; sprinkled over a freshly cooked tomato, red onion & bocconcini pizza; sauced up with its aromatic herby friends – basil, coriander, thyme and oregano – garlic and butter and tossed through home-made linguine; garnishing a bowl of wintry Jerusalem artichoke soup; and my favourite: finishing off my easy-peasy & cheap one-pot chicken braise… delish. And now to the recipe!

Mel’s easy-peasy & cheap one-pot chicken braise – Serves 4 (with potential leftovers for pasta!)

 8 chicken drumsticks (free-range at least)

Olive oil

2 brown onions

4 cloves garlic

2 tins cherry tomatoes

A cup of chicken stock

Salt & pepper

Fresh herbs: handful marjoram, oregano, thyme

Dried herbs: 2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Brown off the chicken drumsticks with a good glug of olive oil in an oven-proof casserole dish* (with lid & wide enough to fit chicken in one layer if possible). Remove.

Peel then halve onions & finely slice, add to hot pot and stir. Strip thyme leaves from stalks and add to the onions. Peel and crush the garlic, add to the pot and cook, stirring, on medium heat until the onions are soft but not brown.

Add chicken back to the pot, pour in the tomatoes and enough stock to almost cover the chicken, sprinkle a good pinch of salt, grind some pepper and add the bay leaves. Turn heat up and watch until it’s almost boiling, then pop lid on and place in oven for an hour.

With 20 minutes to go, take the lid off to let the liquid reduce a little.

Remove from the oven, pick the leaves from the marjoram and oregano, chop them up and sprinkle over the finished chicken. Serve immediately.

Best eaten with buttery boiled potatoes and garlicky broccoli.

*Best by far is to cook this in cast-iron – I’ve got a big Le Creuset and a small cheapie version from Aldi and they both cook up a storm… worth investing in (or not!).

dear dear marjoram, grow quickly please

Linguine and herbs

serves 6

 500g fresh linguine

1 tablespoon cooking salt

225 g butter

8 small cloves garlic

Small bunch basil to yield 1/3 cup

Bunch coriander to yield 1/3 cup

3 or 4 sprigs thyme to yield 2 tablespoons

3 or 4 sprigs marjoram to yield 2 tablespoons

3 or 4 sprigs oregano to yield 2 tablespoons

Small bunch parsley to yield 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons black olives

Flaked salt & black pepper

 Fill a large stockpot with water and heat on high. Meanwhile wash & carefully dry the herbs, then pick the leaves if needed, discarding the stems. Finely chop herbs. Slice the olives & finely chop the garlic.

Melt the butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Stir in the herbs.

When the water is boiling add the pasta & cooking salt, stir, put lid back on and when boiling again cook for 3 minutes until ‘al dente’. Drain the pasta and transfer to back into the stockpot. Add the butter mixture to the stockpot and toss carefully. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with black olive slices and serve into the serving bowls.

(Adapted from Alice Waters’ ‘The Art of Simple Food)

yum yum pigs bum.

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