cook | eat

this salad has simple yet sophisticated ingredients that are really so effortless to pull together.

we had this on a Friday night after a long week at work. we wanted something light yet decadent, and we didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen; relaxation, wine and chats were needed, and this dish pairs perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • Bunch of watercress; washed & trimmed
  • Prosciutto; roughly torn
  • Camembert; the best quality you can afford
  • Fresh figs; washed, dried, halved and grilled for a couple minutes each side (2 per person)
  • pistachio nuts; shelled and dry toasted in a dry pan (handful for two)

All these ingredients don’t really have measurements; just add to taste or increase/decrease according to numbers of people eating.

No dressing is needed because the figs caramelise on the outside and stay juicy on the inside which lends a lovely liquid to the salad.

Method:

Assemble in pretty layers of ingredients, the smaller more delicate ingredients towards the top. Serve with or without a glass of crisp, slightly sweet rosé or a mature Blanc de Blanc champagne.

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zucchini linguine, basil pesto & spinach

I’m sharing a really special secret with you. This salad is my Absolute Fave!

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Because my husband’s motto is ‘it’s not a meal unless there’s meat in it’ I usually make this when I’m alone or as a side dish for dinner.

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Ingredients:
serves one
– 1 zucchini, made into vegetable “linguine” (using a vegetable slicer like a Spirooli aka Chef Avenue 3-in1 Vegetable Slicer)
– 1 tbsp basil pesto
– 1 tbsp pinenuts or sliver almonds, toasted
– handful baby spinach
– 2 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan

Method:
Mix all ingredients; zucchini “linguine”, basil pesto, toasted nuts & baby spinach together in a large bowl. Top with grated pecorino and serve!

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kitchen | moroccan spiced roast chicken & cauliflower barley salad

This recipe just dropped into my inbox and it looks too delicious not to share!

It’s a beautiful, seasonally transitional dish, perfect for a long lazy weekend lunch or relaxing evening meal. Who can go past the fragrant Morrocan spices? I certainly cant!

timthumbMoroccan Spiced Roast Chicken with Cauliflower & Barley Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch saffron threads
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.6kg whole chicken, halved
  • 1½ cups barley
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small head cauliflower, sliced
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • ½ cup green Sicilian olives
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ⅔ cup parsley leaves

Method:

To make the green tahini dressing, place tahini, oil, water, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey, salt and freshly ground black pepper in the bowl of a small food processor. Process until combined.

Add parsley leaves and process until just combined.
Set aside.

Place cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, saffron, chilli, salt and olive oil in a bowl and mix well to create a paste.  Rub the paste into the chicken halves and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place barley and chicken stock into a deep oven tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Add cauliflower, onion, olives and chicken halves to the pan. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C and roast for a further 40 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Stir parsley and spring onions through the barley and cauliflower mix.

Serve the barley and cauliflower salad with the Morrocan spiced roast chicken and tahini dressing on the side.

Serves 4

***

courtesy of Mindfood Magazine.

 

two of the best | week of health & fitness

For my final post of A Week of Health & Fitness I’m going to share with you two of my favourite healthy meals.

WINTER FARE

Pea & Ham Soup

pea&ham

I have to admit to you that before I made this soup a couple of weeks ago, I had never eaten Pea & Ham soup! The idea of copious amounts of peas disturbs me; I’m not a fan of peas. But after my friend Mands bought in a delightful smelling pea & ham soup for lunch at work one day, I went searching for a recipe and found the most delicious, gourmet looking soup (above) from Gourmet Traveller. It makes 6 serves which freeze really well.

Ingredients

  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 ham hocks (about 800gm each)
  • 750 gm dried green split peas
  • 360 gm (3 cups) frozen baby green peas, defrosted
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil

Optional

  • 1 baguette, halved lengthways and cut into 5cm pieces
  • Herb butter
  • 60 gm softened butter
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped

METHOD

  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender (10-12 minutes). Add ham hocks, cover with cold water (about 4 litres), bring to the simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until ham is falling from the bone (1-1½ hours). Remove hocks from saucepan, set aside to cool and, when cool enough to handle, remove skin and bone (discard), coarsely shred meat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add split green peas to stock and simmer until very tender (45 minutes-1 hour). Add baby peas (reserve some for garnish if desired) and simmer until bright green (1-2 minutes). Purée in batches in a blender until smooth, add shredded ham to soup (reserve a little for garnish if desired), season to taste and keep warm.

Optional

  1. Meanwhile, for herb butter, combine ingredients in a small bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  2. Preheat a grill to high. Place baguette cut-side up on a baking tray and grill until golden (1-2 minutes each side), then spread with herb butter. Serve with hot soup topped with reserved baby peas (steamed until bright green) and shredded ham.

SUMMER FARE

Roast Trout with Fennel & Orange

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Apologies for the lousy photo quality. This was from my Instagram feed a few months ago. I can’t even remember how I came up with this salad. It doesn’t really matter how, it just matters that it’s damn tasty!

INGREDIENTS

I generally just adapt the quantity of the ingredients by how many people I’m feeding. You’ll get the hang of it!

  • Roast trout (I buy it from the store already roasted and cold in a whole fillet side); flaked
  • orange; segmented
  • radishes, sliced finely (I use a mandolin)
  • fennel; sliced finely (I use a mandolin)
  • coriander
  • mint

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • tsp honey
  • salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. To make the dressing mix all ingredients well and set aside
  2. Assemble all salad ingredients by layering; fennel, radish, trout, orange, mint & coriander
  3. Pour over dressing & serve immediately

week in instagram

112013211736my zombie family hanging out on my kitchen window!
selfie
coffee from Morso
Harley bear
112013205925swordfish carpaccio at Love.Fish
Australia Day homemade salads
Banoffi pie from Love.Fish
homemade laksa
breakfast parfait
112013211530table view from Sugaroom Bar+Restaurant
dinner club at Love.Fish with the Jacksons
rainy out my window at work
macabre pretty skull vodka
our his+her’s Chanel perfume
1220139495 homemade weekend baked eggs, fresh baked mini bread rolls & Kebo coffee

sunday

a good book

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a cup of tea

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a scented candle

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catching up on shows

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some fresh air

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time out for my first shellac

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planning for the week ahead

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a nourishing dinner

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and now early to bed….

on another note, no TV show can replace FRINGE but I’m hoping JJ Abrams creates something new & awesome soon to fill the gaping hole in my SciFi.
RIP Olivia, Peter, Walter, Etta, Astrid, Broyles & the rest of the Fringe team. You’ve been awesome.

chorizo cabonara & catalan market salad

Let’s not tell Jay, but if I could have a second husband it would be Jamie Oliver. That Englishman can cook!

I stalk follow him on Twitter & Instagram and he recently posted this recipe, which of course I just had to emulate for dinner.

Give it a try; it’s pukka!

jamie

For the salad

  • 25 g pine nuts
  • 1 red chicory
  • 1 green chicory
  • 2 clementines
  • 100 g baby spinach
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 45 g Manchego cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey

For the pasta

  • 320 g dried penne
  • 70 g Iberico chorizo
  • ½–1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 heaped tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt

Method:

Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Large frying pan, medium heat • Large lidded pan, high heat

START COOKING
Toast the pine nuts in the frying pan for a few minutes, tossing often • Put the pasta into the lidded pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions • Finely slice the stalk ends of the chicory and click apart the upper leaves into a serving bowl • Peel and finely slice the clementines, add to the bowl with the baby spinach, then pick over the mint leaves • Shave over a tiny bit of Manchego and scatter with the hot nuts, returning the frying pan to a medium heat

In a cup, make your dressing with the vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and honey, then season to taste and put aside • Finely slice the chorizo, chilli and rosemary leaves and put into the frying pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of pepper, then squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher and move everything around until lightly golden

Beat the egg, lemon juice, yoghurt and remaining finely grated Manchego together in a bowl • Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the starchy cooking water • Toss the pasta into the chorizo pan, remove from the heat and mix well with the creamy sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed, then season to taste • Dress and toss the salad, then serve with the pasta

Serves 4

tuck in!
tuck in!

Recipe from Jamie Oliver online [here]. My pics.

chicken salad with cranberries, apple & feta | recipe

There is nothing more joyful & holistic than a healthy salad packed with colour.

I love to mix fruit & nuts in with my lean protein & greens. It’s one way to make sure you don’t get bored with salad day in, day out.

Here is one I made for yesterday’s lunch.

Chicken salad with cranberries, apple & feta 

Ingredients

  • 200g chicken breast; grilled or baked, cooled & cut into strips or cubes
  • 30g low-fat feta cheese; cubed
  • 1 tbs natural seed mix (like sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pepitas) 
  • 1 medium apple; sliced finely
  • 1 tbs dried cranberries
  • 150g (1 packet) of baby spinach & rocket mix
  • 1 large stick celery
  • dressing: 1 tsp olive oil & 1 tbs white vinegar and salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients & enjoy! Serves 2 at 363 calories per serve.

If making in advance (to take to work for lunch, etc), combine dressing with apple & celery and keep in a separate container and combine just before serving.

Bon Apitito!

salad all in one

I am obsessed with this salad. OBSESSED!

It doesn’t matter that Jay walks around singing The Simpsons “you don’t make friends with salad” song when I give this to him in his work lunchbox, because with a salad this yummy you won’t need friends!

my lunchbox salad

Melly’s all-in-one autumn lunchbox salad

  • Baby spinach; 1 cup
  • Green beans; 100g, blanched, cooled & sliced length-ways
  • Broccoli; 1/2 cup florets, blanched & cooled
  • Cherry tomatoes; 4 cut in half
  • Baby beetroot; tinned, 1/2 a serve (40g or about 5) sliced
  • Egg; 1 boiled egg, shelled & cut in quarters
  • Bocconcini cheese; Traditional type (larger than the cherry bocconicini) x 2 pieces roughly torn
  • Salad nuts/seeds (I use the pinenut/sunflower/pumpkin seed mix); 1 tbs

Layer the salad and serve! Makes 1 serve of 363 calories.

*You could skip the nuts/seeds in lieu of 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin. Yum!

halfway through lunch at my desk!