Honey-roasted butternut squash pesto and watercress salad with marinated feta
This recipe is inspired by the most delicious salad I have ever eaten, which was at lunch in a charming restaurant called Watercress in Ubud, Bali, which my husband and I stumbled upon. It was a welcome break for my other half, who was at this point fed up of being dragged through the endless shops in central Ubud. Delicious in summer or winter and a very fulfilling combination.
Makes: 2 as main, 3 as a starter
- Peel the squash, cut into chunks or wedges and coat with honey. Roast in the oven at 200.c for 30-35 minutes
- Cut the feta into cubes and marinade in mix of olive oil, oregano and cumin and set aside
- Thinly slice the sundried tomatoes and toast the pine nuts either in the oven (5 mins at 180.c or dry-fry in a frying pan)
- Combine the roasted squash, feta, sundried tomatoes, watercress and coat in pesto and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts
- 1 butternut squash, cut into wedges or chunks
- 250g feta, cut into 2cm cubes
- 4-5 big sundried tomatoes
- 4 tbsp pesto (store-bought is fine)
- 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 200g watercress, washed and drained
- 2 tbsp honey
- olive oil
- dried oregano
- ground cumin
Slow-cooked Texas pulled pork
This dish is an absolute hit with my husband, who is always more than happy to comply and to get the slow cooker out and whack all the ingredients together to make this. It is perfect for a lazy day at home when you know you are not going anywhere and have 5 or 6 hours to leave the slow cooker to do its thing. A great Sunday dinner! We have had this in wraps with rice and guacamole, in burger buns with a nice bit of Cheddar and even with some plain boiled rice - super-versatile and very moreish.
Makes: 6 servings
- Chuck all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook for at least 5.5 hours on the high setting. Stir through and mix halfway.
- Shred the pork with two forks (it should fall apart easily if cooked properly) when it is ready and serve either in buns or with salsa and guacamole in tortilla wraps.
- 1 tsp vegetable oil, or olive oil
- 1 kg pork shoulder roast (other fatty cuts could work)
- 1 cup (250 ml) any bottled BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) hot chicken broth
- 1/4 cup light brown
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 extra large onion, chopped roughly
- 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1.5 tsp dried thyme
chorizo, kale and chickpea soup (caldo verde)
I was inspired to cook this after a trip to Lisbon, when I discovered that Portuguese food is incredibly tasty and yet so under-represented in the culinary world - which perhaps is also what makes it so intriguing. This dish is perfect as a midweek winter supper, and is yum with a chunk of crusty bread. What also makes the dish great is that it is pretty cheap and simple to make, and contains kale - a trendy superfood that is delicious in soups, stir-fries and even in crispy 'chip' form.
Makes: 3 generous servings (4 if starter)
- Heat olive oil, add onions and chorizo and fry for 8-10 minutes til golden brown. Add garlic and potatoes and fry for another 5 mins, stirring.
- Add stock, kale, bay leaves and paprika and bring to the boil.
- Drop to a simmer and cover for 45 mins to an hour, til the potatoes are soft and tender.
- Serve immediately with a garnish of parsley and a chunk of crusty bread.
- good glug of olive oil
- 250 g chorizo, diced into chunks
- 6 new potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 big leaves of curly kale, sliced - including stalks
- 1 heaped tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 litre of hot vegetable stock
- 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
Bundner Gerstensuppe - Swiss barley soup
This is one of the tastiest soups I have ever had, and only came across this when my husband and I were having lunch in Chur (an odd-sounding town), in Graubunden, on a drive around the Swiss-German area. I was particularly intrigued to find barley in my soup, as I don't think I'd ever had barley before except maybe in squash! I find that cooked pork knuckles (the ones you can get in French supermarkets in the deli) and kidney beans are really full of flavour and easiest to find, ingredient-wise. But white beans work just as well. The carrots give the soup a lovely sweetness as well.
Makes: 4 generous servings
- Cut meat into small chunks/ cubes. Warm butter in tall (heavy-based if possible) saucepan. Add onion and meat and braise briefly.
- Add barley and beans and braise briefly.
- Add chicken stock (stock cubes are fine) and if possible, a ham bone.
- Add carrot, leek and celery and cook on a low simmer for 1.5 hours.
- Add cream (1 tbsp) as a garnish, if desired.
- 100g white beans / kidney beans
- 150g dry cured ham / pork knuckle
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 120g coarse barley
- 3 litres water / chicken stock
- 150g bacon (lardons work well)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 carrots, cubed
- 1 potato
- 1-2 leeks, sliced
- 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
- cream (optional)
baked salmon fillets in capers and sundried tomatoes with quinoa and chick pea salad
Makes: 4 servings
I came across the salmon recipe from one of the Australian healthy eating books my mother-in-law gave me (possibly a CSIRO one) and decided one day to try combining it with an awesome quinoa salad recipe that I had modified from something I found online. Alongside a garnish of batavia lettuce, this is a super-tasty, weekday meal that feels very healthy. It was also a great way to get my husband to unknowingly eat quinoa (and enjoy it!)
- preheat oven to 180.c
- brush the skinless side of the salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with capers, lemon zest and sliced sundried tomato. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Wrap into little sealed parcels using aluminium foil and place in the hot oven and bake for 15 mins
- meanwhile, bring some water to boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa to the boiling water and simmer til quinoa is cooked (the white bits become noticeable). Drain and rinse in cold water
- in a large mixing bowl, add the chickpeas, cucumber, tomato and red onion. Add in the mixed fresh herbs. Then add the drained quinoa.
- in a separate mixing bowl, add the cayenne pepper, olive oil and lime and mix well
- pour the dressing onto the salad and ideally let it rest for 10 mins to allow the flavours to sink in
- serve along side the baked salmon and some lettuce leaves
- 4 salmon fillets, skin-on
- lemon zest
- a handful of capers
- 4 sundried tomatoes, sliced thinly
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup of diced seedless cucumber
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 medium sized tomato, diced
- 1/3 cup finely chopped coriander
- 2 tbsp minced fresh mint
- 3/4 cup quinoa (bulghur wheat quinoa mix even better)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don't like spice)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 fresh limes