Roasted pumpkin with fennel and thyme

Pumpkin is probably my most favourite vegetable, for its natural nutty sweetness and capacity to absorb flavour. I love it in soups, curries, as part of a traditional baked dinner slathered with gravy, and roasted with spices and garlic and herbs as in this recipe. In my part of the world there are a number…

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Charred eggplant with capers

“Gleaming skin; a plump elongated shape: the eggplant is a vegetable you’d want to caress with your eyes and fingers, even if you didn’t know its luscious flavor.” ~ Roger Verge I cannot praise the delights of beautifully cooked eggplant more highly. The flesh is creamy and soft, and slightly smoky in flavour. And in…

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Tomato salad with sumac

As a lover of tomatoes I am always looking for different ways to prepare and serve them that will enhance their already beautiful flavour. This recipe is based on one I read in an Ottolenghi cookbook – it used sumac as an ingredient – a spice I have been experimenting with for some time. Sumac…

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Chinese cabbage and crispy noodle salad, and messing with classic recipes

Mrs. Chang’s Chinese cabbage and crispy noodle salad is a staple at Australian bar-be-ques and family gatherings. It is a very simple salad – wombok, slivered almonds, shallots and crispy noodles – but it has a sweet and tangy dressing that makes it an absolute winner. So why mess with it by adding different ingredients?…

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Super seeds

Seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and have many benefits to our health. They contain healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and they also taste delicious! I like to use seeds (and also some nuts) to make a treat to sprinkle over salads, or to serve with hummus and…

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Zucchini, mint and haloumi fritters

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. John Gunther My weekday breakfast is anything but leisurely; a quick bowl of porridge or granola before tackling the peak hour traffic is the norm. On Saturday morning however, several cups of tea, followed by poached eggs on toast made by my husband is the way I like…

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Overnight oats with berries and chia

Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public. It’s too controversial. Erma Bombeck After a lifetime of detestation of oat porridge (something about the texture was anathema to me), I have lately come to love it quite passionately. I decided at age 52 that I needed…

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Golden beetroot salad with honeyed walnuts

The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious. Tom Robbins Serves 4 4 small purple…

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Eggplant curry: the miracle meal

A few weeks ago I was catering for a retreat for 150 young adults. They needed to be fed for the whole weekend, which involved some serious cooking and quantities of food that were quite staggering. The friends who helped in the kitchen with me laughed and cried (onions, lots of onions), chopped, peeled, roasted,…

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Fennel and blood orange salad

A the beginning of winter this year I planted fennel in my vegetable garden for the first time. It’s been an astounding success and I am harvesting beautiful bulbs every few days. The aroma of the freshly cut young fennel is astonishing – so fresh and sharply aniseed, but also almost sweet in overtone. I…

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