brussel sprout, blue cheese fennel and walnut salad
Salad, Savoury, Winter

Two Salads for Winter and Early Spring

This is all about Brussel sprouts.  I know that they aren’t a lot of people’s favourite vegetable. Big love to those people who are fans, I like to think we are very sophisticated! Haha not so much me.  They are a seasonal and affordable vegetable for winter so that makes them worthy of my attention and despite the cold sometimes I still need something fresh, raw and crunchy in the winter.  I think that there is enough flavour and good things in these salads for even the most hardened sprout haters and I would love it if you would give them a go. I have been playing with these two salads using Brussel Sprouts this winter and even though I am hopeful that spring and its new vegetables are nearly with us I don’t want to forget these winners of this winter. I hope that you will give these a try, but if your thoughts have moved on from winter vegetables (yes I know me too), we will have these recorded now for next winter and I will remind us of them then.  Having said that they are still good eaten simply as is for lunch or for a meatier meal team well with pork.  Think about quality pork sausages or chops and mash, or a juicy pulled pork slider or simply as a side at a barbecue.  Both of these salads taste equally good the next day, even the apple will keep its colour, flavour and texture if passed through […]


Fabulous Falafel

Falafel, I love them! My love affair with all food Middle Eastern began nearly twenty years ago when my husband and I bought the most amazing little Lebanese Kebab and Vegetarian café in Queenstown.  Habebes, a little café with a big attitude and the most amazing array of foods, not the least of which were the fabulous little falafels.  We owned and ran Habebes for twelve years through floods, relocations and good times, that is history now but the great memories and my love of Falafels live on. The method we used to make the falafel at Habebes was very specialised and not something I was able to do at home until, through the genius of the internet, I chanced upon the idea of making them in the waffle press.   The perfect solution for a mix that is at its most delicious slightly loose and in need of pressing into shape. The recipe for the Felafel we made at Habebes is top secret so this is a version that I have made to satisfy my cravings at home.   The little falafel are very versatile, great for a mezze type platter, in a salad wrap or as a side to as simple or complex a salad as you care to make. Served with hummus, tahini, yogurt or chilli, they are satisfying and delicious.  Add that to the fact that you have avoided any need to deep fry and these are definitely all good. The recipe for these is as follows INGREDIENTS […]

middle eastern mezze platter

Middle East Mezze Platter

Labna Carrot Spread is a white bean feta smash and a selection of warmed citrus spices, marinated olives with breads and crackers to scoop it all up with. This is to be shared with a group of friends, and added extras who meet with on a rotating venue and themed, arrangement, lots of fun and a shared interest and love of good food and entertaining. In the mix is a vegetarian and a gluten free requirement. I love these extra stipulations as it helps me think outside the square and work with new ideas and ingredients. LABNA CARROT SPREAD I have strained though a clean muslin cloth 500ml of plain unsweetened acidophilus yoghurt overnight. This will leave me with a nice thick yoghurt to begin (don’t forget you can use the whey in smoothies or baking or maybe I will give it to my poor unsuspecting chickens). WHITE BEAN AND FETA SMASH There are possibly more culinary correct words than smash, but I think it describes the effect I want best with a little drama as well. Cook the beans till well done in lightly salted herbed up water, sometimes I add a good pinch of baking soda to the beans as they cook this seems to have a softening effect on the beans. Don’t do this if you want firm beans for a salad, this would fall in the category of lessons I have learned the hard way! Cool the beans and then lightly mash so you still have […]