Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

Still on a middle-eastern kick… I made this beetroot salad. I thought it was quite nice, but ate it again the next day, added some crumbled feta cheese and found it much improved…

250g (2 – 3) beetroot
1 small red onion – grated
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup evoo
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup lightly roasted walnuts
2 tbsp rosewater
Steam or boil beetroot until tender (this can take about an hour)
Rub skin gently to peel, then cut into small dice
Place in a large bowl and add onion and fresh herbs
In a separate bowl combine the oils and lemon juice. Season
Toss beetroot and walnuts in dressing
Sprinkle with rosewater just before serving

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It’s ‘that’ time of year again – when friends make excuses not to talk to you… in case (!) you talk them into accepting more zucchini…

A little while ago, fellow Kiwi/Paleo Blogger Lynda mentioned on her blog, a recipe I had posted for Nigella’s Lemon “Linguine” using zucchini shoestrings…

Lynda said she’d like to try that idea, but making an Alfredo sauce – with eggs, parmesan, cream and bacon…

I’m here to tell you… GREAT idea! Fry up chopped up bacon (I put some onion in too – apologies to any Italians, who are – come to think of it – probably off saying a few prayers at the thought of alfredo… without the pasta :-)), take the bacon out when it is as crispy as you want it. Melt a little butter in the pan if you need more fat (g’wan – you know you want to! – DON’T forget – fat doesn’t make you fat)… put in your zucchini shoestrings

Wilt them a bit – this won’t take long… In a wee jug, mix up some cream, eggs and parmesan. Take your zucchini pan off the heat (cos you don’t want to scramble the eggs) – Pour in the cheesy mixture and stir – the heat of the zucchini will cook the eggs and make a lovely creamy sauce.

Serve it with the bacon sprinkled on top.

Rick had seconds…. 🙂

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Christmas is over. Santa didn’t visit here – because we decided long ago, that we would rather be naughty… and buy our own gifts… who needs the fat-chap in the red suit?? 🙂

We had friends visit for dinner last night. We cooked a beautiful rolled-roast of Pork on the barbecue, I made a simple salad of mixed leaves and herbs from the garden, cooked a huge pot of new potatoes and drenched them in butter… and I also made this grilled zucchini salad…

Would I make it again? Oh yes!… though I probably wouldn’t phaff around with the stripping and grilling part. There is only so much hanging around over a hot grill that you can do, before you get really grumpy… or is that just me? 🙂

The salty olive/anchovy/feta combination is perfect with the herby zucchini and the pine-nuts add the perfect amount of crunch…

4 – 6 large zucchini – peeled into strips, lengthways
roll the strips in a couple of slugs of evoo, then grill them until they are brown on both sides and have softened. Pile them onto a platter
In a jar, combine 1/3 cup evoo
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped to bits
a pinch of chilli flakes
1/4 cup of fresh oregano – chopped to bits
You also need:
2 tbsp toasted pine-nuts
1/4 cup black olives – chopped to bits
150g feta cheese – crumbled (I used cows milk feta, because I don’t like goats cheese)

Pile the zucchini onto a platter and sprinkle everything else over top.

I promise you, it tastes a whole lot better than this photo looks! 🙂

Our friends, some of whom are notoriously picky eaters, all loved it… most of us had seconds!

Note to Self:  The next time I made this, I cut the zucchini into batons instead of ribbons. I rubbed some of the oil/anchovy dressing onto the batons before baking until tender. I also used mint in the dressing, instead of oregano; and chopped, toasted walnuts instead of pine nuts. I also sprinkled fresh mint onto the salad before we ate it. I liked it even better the second time around.

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Nigella… again! … sorry

But… this is delicious!

Nigella makes this sauce for linguine, and serves it with tarragon chicken. But, I have never liked pasta – even in the “before”. I think I can blame it on the tinned spagetti which was the only pasta available when I was a kid. Rick still eats it occasionally – the very sight of it makes me feel squeamish.

The recipe – like most things the lovely Nigella makes, is so very easy. AND it gives me a chance to use this really neat little kitchen toy I bought on my last trip to Wellington… I love kitchenware stores – almost as much as I love book stores…

Shred the zucchini into thin little strips and dry in a spotlessly clean tea-towel. Leave it to dry as long as you can (this is so it doesn’t mush up when you cook it).

In a bowl, combine 2 egg yolks, lots of lemon zest, a splash of cream, some finely grated parmesan cheese and the juice of about half a lemon. If you’ve added too much cream – put in some more cheese… if you want it more lemony… add more zest.. or juice. .. it really is that simple.

Season it to taste with freshly ground black pepper

The sauce is that almost-outrageous yellow colour, because I used eggs from free-range chickens that my Dad’s friend gives him (and Dad passes some on to us). I thought the sauce would be really good with asparagus too…

Cleaning up after taking the photo, I realised I had used my very favourite kitchen toys in making this dish…

When we were first married, Rick arrived home one night with a compete set of beautiful (and seriously expensive) knives. They are brilliant to use, there is a lovely man who goes around all the restaurants and hairdressers etc in our region, sharpening knives and scissors – he comes every few months to keep our knives good and sharp. In between times, Rick sharpens them with a steel. I love my microplane grater – even though I have a scar on my thumb from a moment’s inattention…. the lemon-zester was a gift from our secret Santa one year and I love it!


Melt a bit of butter (or coconut oil) in a pan – put the zucchini in and stir it until it softens (this will take just seconds!), add the egg yolk mixture and stir quickly. Take it off the heat – you’re done!

We ate it with left-over turkey (and the asparagus). It’s rich, but not overly so. It would be wonderful with ham or bacon too.



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A while ago now I bought some Duck fat, and used it on everything, until it was gone. I haven’t been able to find more here (I bought the original pot at Moore Wilson’s in Wellington)

I asked at Moreish – my favorite butcher here in town, if they ever got Duck or Bacon fat… Duck, yes sometimes… Bacon – no, but if I wanted, they would cut the fat off the bacon and put it in a bag in the freezer for me to collect when I was next in… I could render it for myself…

I did want, they did and I did…

Parsnips cooked in bacon fat… kumara – the same… oh.my.GOD!…

and then there’s this:

Asparagus roasted with Bacon Fat

Better Than Sex. That is all.

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If I had had any clue, 26 years ago when we bought this house, I would have planted asparagus. You have to plant them, then wait for two years before you harvest any – any sooner and they sulk, pack up their tents and slink off into the night.

As a child, asparagus rolls were my favourite thing – thickly buttered white bread, with the crusts cut off… asparagus (from a tin), salt and pepper… roll up…. eat for a treat…usually a birthday.

These days, we prefer fresh asparagus – drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper – and roasted for about 3 minutes at 230c. We eat asparagus this way at every opportunity… until the season is over.

Tinned asparagus? Never! 🙂

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I’ve been following the blogs of some Northern Hemisphere cooks who garden and have noticed  a certain amount of bragging about the number of zucchini being harvested.

I know from experience that zucchini grow like triffids – intent on taking over the world.


I’ve made note of all the new recipes, and wonder if I might remind you of one or two of my own?



You’re welcome. 🙂

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This is still one of the best things to do with zucchini, but these days, I don’t even cook the zucchini. I just use my vegetable peeler to slice it into thin strips and marinate it in the dressing. Delicious.

Christmas is over. Santa did not visit our house – probably because I decided long ago that I’d rather be a bad girl…. and buy my own presents 🙂 But we had a lovely day anyway.

We were supposed to go to mum and dad’s, but mum was not well. She had had a sore leg, but while she was happy to complain to me, she WOULD NOT go to the doctor. So I snitched and told my sister (my sister-the-paramedic). Mum was at the med centre within half and hour of that conversation! Cellulitis. She is now on a course of anti-biotics and feeling much better.

Friends came to dinner last night. We cooked a beautiful rolled pork roast on the barbeque, I made a simple salad of mixed leaves from the garden, and did a huge pot of boiled new potatoes, then drenched them in butter. I also made this zucchini salad.

Would I make it again? Oh yes!… but I don’t think I’d phaff around with the stripping and grilling. There is just so much hanging around a hot grill you can do – in this heat – before you start to get grumpy… or is that just me? 🙂

The salty deliciousness of the anchovy/olive/feta was just luscious with the herby zucchini – we all had seconds – which, given that some of my friends are very picky eaters… is a miracle…


4 anchovy fillets – drained, chopped to bits
pinch chilli flakes
1/3 cup evoo
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh oregano – chopped
6 large zucchini – peeled into strips lengthwise (I used 4, but I think we grow them bigger than anyone else :-))
2 tbsp evoo extra
2 tbsp toasted pinenuts
1/2 cup (90g) small black olives – chopped
160g feta cheese

Combine anchovies, chilli, oil, juice and oregano in a small bowl.

Pre-heat BBQ or grill pan over high heat.

Brush zucchini slices with the extra oil.

BBQ until lightly charred and softened on both sides.

Transfer the zucchini to a platter, top with pine nuts, olives and feta.

Drizzle with the anchovy mixture.

I promise you - this tastes a whole lot better than this photo looks! 🙂

Serves 4 – 6

Recipe by Pete Evans, published in the Australian Women’s Weekly  (NZ Edition) August 2011

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>Blogger is not letting me make comments to anyone else who is on blogger. I’m grumpy about that. I don’t want to lose touch with anyone and I know what a thrill it is when I get a comment, and I’m assuming it’s the same for you?? And, I have OPINIONS – and no-one at home listens to me… so you are important! 🙂
Sleeping Horse has offered to loan me her son (his techy expertise ladies! – control those grubby minds!) – he is to help me shift everything to WordPress… cos I sure as heck can’t do it myself – what do you think? – is it a good idea??

Diet up-date…. sigh

No weight loss … no gain either, so I guess it’s not all bad…
I still feel very much better overall – this is in spite of being glutened at dinner in Wellington over the weekend. I’m still not fully recovered from that, but if you discount the explosive gut issues (tmi? – lol) I feel great. No brain fog, no mid-afternoon fatigue, I’m sleeping really well… and the food is great!
I’m not going to lie – I do wish I had lost some weight and I guess it would be easy to say this isn’t working, let’s try something else… but I’ve done everything else, and that didn’t work either. At least this way I don’t feel deprived and cranky – and feeling good is not to be sneezed at!

And while we’re talking about diet food – have you seen this?

Available at a supermarket near you! Inside are two little pottles of guacamole – avocado in perfect condition in your fridge any time you want it! – and it’s gluten free too! Yay! (I use far too many exclamation points – if you could see me in person, you would know that I wave my hands when I talk… if you tied my hands behind my back I would be unable to speak )

Enough about me and my diet. Happy Birthday to Her Majesty and thank you ma’am for the holiday, which we will spend tidying the garden and cleaning leaves out of the guttering… and packing our bags for Rarotonga (www.royaletakitumu.com)

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Rocket (argula) nearest the camera, and Coriander (Cilantro) and parsley, on a table under the kitchen window. Coriander/parsley have survived having Percy nest his large rear-end on them…

The mint has recovered from a drastic pruning at beginning of Autumn.

They say rosemary grows really well in a place where a woman is in charge…. don’t tell Rick!

We’re hoping for carrots – cats and drainage issues permitting…

NZ native spinach, which has appeared by magic. You pinch out the growing tips and steam it – delicious – with none of the furry teeth feeling that you get with regular spinach.

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