Side dishes

Easy asparagus with lemon dressing

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 5 min

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 0.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Clove garlic, crushed and rubbed with the back of a knife to a paste.
  • 1 tsp apple cider (or malt vinegar)
  • 0.25 tsp black pepper, cracked

Instructions 

Lemon pepper dressing - lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, garlic (crushed), apple cider (or malt vinegar), black pepper.

To trim asparagus, snap or cut the hard woody ends off. Cook the asparagus until just tender. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them together until they are well combined (makes about ¼ cup).

Arrange the warm, cooked asparagus on a serving plate and drizzle with lemon pepper dressing.

Peach slaw

Serves: 6 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • half small red cabbage
  • 2 peaches
  • 1/2 punnet blackberries (optional)
  • 50g coarsely crumbled blue cheese 
  • Snipped fresh chives, parsley, basil and/or tarragon

Instructions 

For the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and the 1 tbsp chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.

Shred cabbage and place in a large bowl. Halve, pit, and thinly slice peaches and add to bowl with cabbage.
 
Gently toss to combine.
 
Drizzle with about half of the dressing; toss to coat. Top with blackberries and crumbled cheese. Sprinkle with herbs pass remaining dressing. 

Italian Zucchini Stir Fry

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 400 Gram zucchini, sliced or diced into cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon (Metric) fresh minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon (Metric) olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (Metric) butter
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon (Metric) chopped capers
  • 3 Unit anchovy fillets
  • parmesan cheese

Instructions 

In a large skillet, sauté the zucchini, garlic, capers and anchovy fillets in oil and butter, until zucchini is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.Serve immediately.

Balsamic roasted Dutch carrots & onions

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 40 min

Ingredients 

  • 1 bunches baby (Dutch) carrots, scrubbed, ends trimmed to 3cm
  • 2onions, peeled, quartered
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g (1/4 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a large roasting pan with non-stick baking paper. Place the carrots, onion and oil in a large bowl and gently toss until well coated. Arrange carrots and onion, in a single layer, in the lined pan. Roast in oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle over the sugar and vinegar and gently toss to coat. Roast for a further 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and caramelised. Season with salt and pepper to serve.

Red Wine and Rosemary Mushrooms

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 1  tpsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter - divided
  • 1 clove garlic - peeled, slightly crushed
  • 200g white mushrooms - washed, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary - minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine

Instructions 

Place oil and 1 tbsp of butter in pan of medium heat.

Add garlic and cook just until it starts to color. (3-5 minutes)

Add mushrooms, rosemary, salt and pepper to pan and sauté until lightly browned 8-10 minutes.

Add wine and cook until approximately 1/4 cup of liquid remains in pan. (5-10 minutes)

Remove from heat and toss with remaining butter.

Stir gently until butter is melted.

Serve hot over steak , freshly toasted bread or as a side dish. 

Pumpkin wedges

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 800 Gram pumpkin, unpeeled, seeded and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 0.5 Teaspoon (Metric) ground cardamom
  • 0.5 Teaspoon (Metric) ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 Cup creme fraiche
  • 3 Tablespoon (Metric) toasted pine nuts
  • 1 Unit red chili, very finely chopped
  • 0.5 Unit onion, sliced

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 200C. Combine pumpkin, onion, olive oil and spices in a bowl with salt and pepper and toss gently to coat.
Place pumpkin on an oven tray and roast for 35-40 mins or until cooked.
Transfer to a serving platter and spoon dollops of creme fraiche over pumpkin.
Scatter with pine nuts, and chili, and you can add chives chopped chives to finish.

Baked cauliflower with blue cheese and anchovy

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 20 min

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 300 ml cream
  • 2 clove garlic (crushed with theback of your knife but so it holds together)
  • good grating of fresh nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to season
  • half a cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 tinned anchovy fillets

Instructions 

Heat the oven to 160 and put in a serving dish. Cook the cauliflower until al dente in salted boiling water. Drain in a colander and set aside. When completely dry put into the warmed dish.

Put the cream, whole peeled garlic cloves and nutmeg in a saucepan and boil until liquid is reduced by half.

Mash the anchovies on a board and add them and the blue cheese to the cream mix. Stir off the heat until the cheese is melted. Take out the garlic.

Pour sauce over the cauliflower and bake for 10 minutes.

Strawberry salad with Serrano and haloumi

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  •  200g strawberries, hulled and cut into 0.5cm slices
  • good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • a few sprigs of fresh basil, leaves picked
  • 250g halloumi cheese, cut into 8 thin slices
  • a few sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
  • a handful of mixed salad leaves, washed and spun dry
  • 8 slices of Serrano ham

Instructions 

Preheat a large non-stick frying pan to medium hot and add a splash of olive oil. Press a basil leaf on to each slice of halloumi. Place the slices, leaf side down, in the frying pan and fry for a minute. Turn over carefully and fry for another minute until the halloumi is light golden and crisp.
 
Get yourself four plates and place a couple of pieces of the crispy halloumi on each. Put the mint, the rest of the basil leaves and the salad leaves into the bowl with the strawberries and toss together.
 
Pile some of the strawberry mixture in the middle of each plate and drape the ham over the top.
 
Finish with more salad leaves. To serve, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Shiitake Mushrooms and Sugar-Snap Peas

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 15 min

Ingredients 

  • 1 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 150g of fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon light-brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cup sake, dry sherry, or white wine
  • 1 tbsp shoyu or other natural soy sauce
  • 120g sugar-snap peas or snow peas, strings removed

Instructions 

In a large pan, heat the canola and sesame oils over medium-high heat.

Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
 
Sprinkle the sugar over the mushrooms and then add the wine and soy sauce. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
 
Add the sugar-snap peas, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the pea pods are just crisp-tender and light green, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Roasted kohlrabi

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 5 min

Ingredients 

  • 1 fresh kohlrabi, ends trimmed, thick skin sliced off with a knife, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic 
  • Salt
  • Good sherry vinegar
  • Bacon and or anchovie fillets are my additions to this recipe.... two pieces of each chopped up and added in.

Instructions 

Set oven to 450F
Toss the diced kohlrabi with olive oil, garlic and salt in a bowl.
Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and put into oven, stirring every five minutes after about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with a good sherry vinegar at the table so the kohlrabi doesn't get squishy.

Flat Beans Braised in White Wine

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 200g flat Italian beans with both ends removed
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • half a brown onion, diced or sliced or quartered
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

In a lidded pot that fits all the ingredients fry the garlic and onions gently in olive oil without colouring them,
 
Add the wine, ramp up the heat and boil for 10 minutes.
 
Add the stock and the beans along with some salt, cover and cook for 20 minutes

Add the butter

Cover and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the beans are extremely tender

Add salt and pepper to taste

Eat cold or hot and served with a wedge of lemon

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic & Ginger Broth

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 5 min

Ingredients 

  • 1 baby bok choy
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Instructions 

Start by trimming the stem off – don’t trim too much – just the end. Cutting the thick stem off will ensure that the bok choy cooks evenly. Separate out the leaves, keep the tender center intact and clean under running water. Drain.
Finely mince garlic and grate fresh ginger with a microplane grater.
Place wok or frying pan on your stove and pour in the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger.

Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil.

When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the bok choy leaves.

Toss very well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil for 15 seconds. Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately

Asparagus & Bean Bundles

Serves: 3-4 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 200g Beans
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 5 strips of pancetta, cut into strips and cooked
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4balsamic dressing

Instructions 

Toast pine nuts in a dry pan and set aside.
Fry pancetta until nice and crispy, set aside in a warm place.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook beans and asparagus 'al dente'. Drain and allow to dry.

Toss the beans and asparagus in the dressing and arrange on plates in neat bundles.
Sprinkle with pine nuts and the pancetta.

Green almond & mushroom wild rice

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 15 min

Ingredients 

  • 70g ghee
  • 1 ½ medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 200g small portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbls light soy
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper,ground
  • 4-5 green almonds de-shelled and sliced into slivers
  • 2 cups black wild rice, cooked
  • 1 ½ cup basmati rice,cooked
  • 1/3 cup thai basil, finely sliced

Instructions 

In a wok or large frypan, heat ghee over medium to high heat and brown onions and garlic.
Add mushrooms. Stir fry for one minute. Add soy, salt and pepper.
Add green almonds and pre-cooked basmati and wild rice and stir fry till all ingredients are mixed well.
Take off heat and add thai basil. Mix through.

Yellow Indian eggplant

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 1 large (about 700g) eggplant
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs turmeric powder
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) mustard seed oil

Instructions 

Cut the eggplant crossways into 2cm-thick slices. Place the slices, in a single layer, on a large plate. Combine the sugar, salt and turmeric in a small bowl. Evenly sprinkle the eggplant slices with half the turmeric mixture.
 
Turn the eggplant slices over and repeat with the remaining turmeric mixture.
 
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours to develop the flavours.
 
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 slices of eggplant and cook for 2 minutes each side or until eggplant is tender and golden.
 
Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices, reheating pan between batches.
 
Serve immediately.

BBQ honey butter sweet potatoes

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 700g sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 butter
  • Murray River pink salt & Pepper

Instructions 

Preheat grill. Clean sweet potatoes, cutting off any bad spots.
Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place on medium hot grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes on one side.
Soften butter and mix with honey.
Spread mixture over slices and turn. Continue grilling about 6-8 minutes.
Turn and spread on more honey butter.
Continue grilling until honey butter gets all bubbly.

Individual celariac gratins

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 20 min

Ingredients 

  • 200g celeriac
  • 1 firm, medium pear
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200ml double cream
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 good grating nutmeg

 

Instructions 

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Rub the ramekins with the butter.

Peel the potato and slice thinly, either with a sharp knife or a mandoline. Cut the outer layer off the celeriac and slice this thinly, too. Peel, quarter and core the pear, and slice thinly lengthwise. Combine the vegetables and pear in a bowl, season and toss. Arrange the mixture in two ramkins, pressing it as flat as possible so there are not too many gaps and air pockets.

Put the cream and milk in a saucepan with the garlic halves, the bay leaf, the nutmeg and plenty of salt and pepper, and heat until just below boiling. Pour over the veg in the ramekins (take the bay leaf out at this stage, but keep the garlic in).

Bake for about 45mins to an hour. The gratin is ready when the top is golden and bubbling, and a small, sharp knife easily pierces the vegetables all the way through. You may want to turn up the heat to 190-200C (gas mark 5 or 6) for five minutes at the end for a bit of extra bubbling crispness. Leave to rest and cool for five minutes or so before serving.

A fantastic side to a great fillet steak or roasted ret meat.

Fresh Soft Tortillas

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 3 Cup plain flour
  • 3 Teaspoon (Metric) baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon (Metric) sea salt
  • Pinch sugar (optional)
  • 3 to 4 tbsp vegetable oil (more for softer tortillas, olive oil will change the flavour but will work just the same)
  • 1 Cup water

Instructions 

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and oil. Add water and mix with hands. Divide into 10 small balls. Roll each flat with rolling pin and cook on very hot un-greased griddle until lightly brown on each side.Note: Roll them as thin as you can and then again! You can prepare them before serving and place in the oven (180 degrees) on a covered tray with a sprinkling of water to keep them soft. Makes 10 tortillas.