Tri Pumpkin Salad with Basil, Honey Pepitas and Persian Feta

No, I didn’t make a spelling mistake, it is not a ‘Thai’ Pumpkin Salad, it is in fact a ‘Tri’ Pumpkin Salad, in that there is pumpkin three ways in here (well, maybe even four ways if you count the seeds). There have been pumpkins everywhere at the farmer’s markets lately, and as usual I’ve been making lots of different types of hummus. Turns out my pumpkin hummus has been a favourite. One night recently it even lead to a marriage proposal.

Slow roasting pumpkin with the skin on is probably my favourite way to cook it. And recently I came across a recipe that used raw butternut pumpkin teamed with fresh apple and candied pecans.

So, I decided to make a dish celebrating all things pumpkin and Autumn. It turned out a treat! Next time I will serve it alongside some fresh homemade flatbreads for scooping up all the goodness.

 

RECIPE
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 kent pumpkin, cut in half horizontally, seeds scooped out (you will only need 1 half)
Olive oil
Honey
Salt and pepper
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced with vegetable peeler and placed in iced water
1/4 butternut pumpkin, peeled and thinly sliced with vegetable peeler
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
Small bunch basil, leaves picked
200g persian or danish feta
A few tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
1 tin chickpeas, drained
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup tahini
Handful fresh parsley
1/2 cup pepitas

Method
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place the cut kent pumpkin on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, honey and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook, for about 50 mins, or until caramelised and a knife is easily inserted into the thickest part. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, place the cut butternut pumpkin in a bowl with a 1/4 cup of the white wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Use hands to marinate and set aside.
In a frying pan, toast the pepitas over medium heat. Once nearly done, add a drizzle of honey and stir to coat. Toast for another minute. Remove from pan, onto a plate and leave to cool.
Cut the cooked kent pumpkin in half. Put one half aside. Scoop the inside out of the other half (discard skin) and place flesh into a food processor along with the chickpeas, other 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, tahini, fresh parsley and some salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Check for seasoning and add more salt or vinegar if necessary.
Spoon the pumpkin hummus out onto a large platter and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Cut the remaining kent pumpkin into six wedges, leaving the skin on. Arrange on top of the pumpkin hummus. Drain the celery from the iced water. Arrange celery, butternut pumpkin, basil leaves and feta on top of the pumpkin hummus and cooked pumpkin. Sprinkle with pepitas. Drizzle with a little olive oil and the pomegranate molasses.
Enjoy!

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Charred Avocado, Cucumber, Radish and Chickpea Salad

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Here is a recipe for an impressive but simple salad that would serve well as a nice lunch with some white wine or to take to a barbecue. It’s perfect on it’s own but would also go really well with some grilled chicken or salmon. Crusty bread would also go well on the side.
I used to talk about stuff on this blog about life and inspiration. But, at the moment, I have nothing interesting to say. And I’m sure no-one cares anyway. However, if you do, I’d love some feedback.
Hope you like the salad.

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Recipe
Serves 4
Ingredients
2 avocados
Lemon oil for grilling
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
5 baby cucumbers, finely sliced on a mandolin
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Handful of fresh dill sprigs
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Crusty bread to serve (optional)
Method
Heat a grill pan over high heat. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the seed and cut each half into thirds. Peel away the skin. Brush the avocado with the lemon oil and place, cut side down, on the hot grill pan. Grill each cut side for about 2 mins, or until blackened lines appear. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard and some salt and pepper in a tightly sealed jar and shake well to combine.
To serve, arrange the avocado, radishes, cucumbers and chickpeas on a platter. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the dill.
Enjoy!

Beetroot Carpaccio with Horseradish Dressing

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This recipe came about as a result of some amazing fresh beets that I picked up at the farmers market and my new love for horseradish cream. This is a simple but impressive starter or light meal, or you could serve it with some grilled meat and crusty bread to bulk it out. Replace the horseradish cream with dijon mustard if you’d like the dish to remain vegan.dsc_1110

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Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 4 as a starter or light meal

4 fresh beetroot, stalks trimmed and discarded, leaves reserved
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs fresh chopped dill, plus extra to serve
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp honey
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tsp horseradish cream (or mustard for vegan)
salt and pepper
50g baby capers
70g walnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
Crusty bread

Method

Place the beetroot in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat and continue to boil for about 45mins or until a knife inserts easily into the flesh. Drain and rinse under cold water,using your hands to slip away the skin. Set aside and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing, Place the lemon juice, 2 tbs chopped dill, red onion, honey, olive oil, vinegar, horseradish and salt and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake thoroughly to combine.
Using a mandolin, thinly slice the beetroot into rounds.
On a platter arrange the beetroot leaves, and then the beetroot. Drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle with the capers, remaining dill and walnuts.
Serve with crusty bread.
Enjoy!

Indonesian Jackfruit and Mushroom Curry with Red Rice, Crispy Tempeh, Green Papaya Salad and Sweet Potato Chips

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Here is another curry recipe using the Indonesian Curry Paste from the last post. If you haven’t had jackfruit before, I strongly suggest you give it a go, especially if you are a vegan or vegetarian, it’s a great substitute for meat. It’s becoming easier to find in Australia, most good asian or indian grocers should have it in cans. Here in Indonesia it’s growing everywhere and most markets sell it by the piece, already cut, which is good because cutting a fresh one can be a very messy, sticky task. Check out my recipe for Smokey Pulled Jackfruit Burgers for another yummy way to use jackfruit.

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Recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

Curry

2 tbs sesame oil

1 cup Indonesian Curry Paste

500ml coconut milk

1 litre vegetable stock

4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

2 cans jackfruit, drained

200g chanterelle mushrooms (or any mushroom you like)

Bunch kale, roughly chopped

Bunch choy sum, roughly chopped

Green Papaya Salad

2 cups shredded green papaya

1 chilli, finely chopped

Juice of 3 limes

2 tablespoons palm sugar

1 tsp salt

Handful each of lemon basil, coriander and mint

Crispy Tempeh

1 piece tempeh, chopped into 2cm pieces

3 tbs Canola oil

3 tbs kecap manis

To serve

Cooked red rice

Lime wedges

Sweet potato chips

Method

For the curry, heat the sesame oil in a large wok over medium to high heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for about 1min until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, stock, tamari and jackfruit. Bring the boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45mins, or until jackfruit is very tender and starting to fall apart. Add water during this time if the sauce is becoming too thick and reduced.

Add the mushrooms, kale and choy sum and cook for a further 10mins or until mushrooms and greens are just cooked.

Meanwhile, for the green papaya salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir well, cover and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to serve, cook the tempeh. Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the tempeh and the kecap manis and cook, stirring, for about 5mins or until tempeh is crispy and golden brown.

Serve the curry with the cooked red rice, papaya salad, crispy tempeh, lime wedges and sweet potato chips.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Tempeh Burgers with Chilli Beetroot Relish, Tahini Sauce, Salad and Seeds on Pumpkin Bread

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Tempeh is possibly one of the best things on the face of this earth. It is so damn tasty and so damn good for you (except for maybe when you fry it up all crispy in oil….)

The flavour of tempeh on it’s own is delicious already, but, teamed with a few spices and some sweet and salty sauces, it is next level. All shoved in a dripping burger full of fresh salad, spicy beetroot relish and nutty tahini sauce, you definitely won’t be missing meat after this meal.

I love how readily available and cheap the tempeh is here in Bali. I’ll definitely be missing that back in Aus. I need to get into making myself. We bought the beautiful pumpkin bread and fresh produce from the organic markets here in Canggu on the weekend, always a treat!

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Recipe

Ingredients

4 pumpkin bread rolls (or whatever type you prefer)

1/4 cup coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

4 pieces tempeh, halved horizontally

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tsp ground turmeric

Lettuce leaves

Tomatoes, sliced

Red onion, thinly siced

Bean sprouts

Cucumber, sliced

Toasted sunflower seeds

Fresh coriander

Chilli Beetroot Relish

Ingredients

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp crushed black pepper

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tbs olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

6 cloves garlic, crushed

Thumb side piece of ginger, grated

5 birdseye chillies, finely chopped

3 fresh beetroot (small fist sized), peeled and grated

2 cups white vinegar

2 litres water

salt to taste

Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tbs tahini

1 tbs coconut syrup (or maple syrup/golden syrup/honey)

3 tbs lemon juice

water

salt and pepper

Method

To make the beetroot relish, first, toast the cumin, coriander, pepper and dried chilli in a dry frying pan for about 1min, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for about 3mins, or until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies, and cook, stirring, for a further 1min. Add the toasted spices, beetroot, vinegar, some salt and 2 cups of the water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding a cup of water at a time as it reduces. Continue this for about nd hour and a half until beetroot is very soft and liquid is mostly absorbed. Spoon hot relish into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge after opening. Makes about 3 cups.

Meanwhile, to marinate the tempeh, in a shallow dish sprinkle the tempeh with the soy sauce and turmeric. Rub to coat evenly and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

To make the tahini sauce, combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is reached.

To make the burgers, heat the coconut oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat. Cook the tempeh, about 2 mins each side, until browned and crispy.

Toast the buns if you wish. Assemble the burgers with as little or as much ingredients as you want!

Enjoy with a side of potato wedges and cold beer!

 

 

Watermelon, Radish and Pistachio Salad with Herbed Quark

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Here is a beautiful fresh recipe that would be perfect for Summer, not really now, in this freezing cold, disgusting wintry weather. Back in February was when I actually made this salad, we took it to the beach to watch the sunset and enjoy the beautiful warm weather. It’s just that I haven’t had two seconds to spare until now to actually sit down and get the recipe up on here for you all. I’m struggling to remember how I actually made the dressing, I did have it written on scrap of paper somewhere, but who knows where that is hiding now. Lucky it’s a pretty straightforward salad, you could almost make it just from looking at the photos, which, as you can see, there are plenty of (they are all just too pretty with those radishes!)

If you’ve never heard of quark before, it’s a European style cheese, similar in texture to cottage cheese or ricotta and similar in flavour to yoghurt. It is a healthier option to cheese as it is lower in fat and salt, and has a lot more protein than yoghurt. It is becoming more available in Australia these days, I was surprised to find it in my local supermarket. However, if you can’t find it, ricotta or feta will work just fine in this recipe.

This salad is perfect as a fancy little entree or, if you want to serve it as a main, you could beef it up with a grain, such as pearl barley, or add some cooked prawns and some fresh crusty bread alongside. Yum!

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Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

Half a small watermelon, sliced into small triangles

1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, half finely chopped and half left whole

1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped

300g quark

edible flowers and nasturtium leaves

3/4 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

salt and pepper

 

Method

To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and a 1/4 cup of the pistachios in a small food processor. Process until the pistachios are finely chopped and the dressing is well combined. Taste and check for seasoning and a balance in acidity and sweetness. Adjust if necessary.

To make the herbed quark, combine the quark, finely chopped basil and chives, mix well.

On four plates, arrange the watermelon, radishes, whole basil leaves, quenelles of the herbed quark, flowers, nasturtium leaves and the rest of the pistachios. Drizzle with the dressing.

Enjoy!

 

 

Smokey Pulled Jackfruit Burgers with Rainbow Slaw and Cashew Mayo

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After a few big months of work, parties, events, weddings and catering jobs, life is finally starting to slow down for the year. I have no more major events scheduled in for the rest of the year, apart from going to Indonesia over July and August (where I will be turning 30!), and am looking forward to a couple of months of slower/healthier living and creating lots more recipes.

I cooked this dish a couple of weeks ago as a trial dish for an upcoming wedding. The main for the wedding was to be three taco stands, a pulled pork, a fish, and this pulled jackfruit. It went down a treat and people were shocked when I told them it wasn’t meat. The texture is so similar, I actually prefer it to pork. It soaks in the flavours really well without all the fat of pork (which I know some people love).

The jackfruit is so versatile, you could match it with any flavours, I think next time I’d like to try it in a green curry.

You could also serve it with this smokey sauce in a jacket potato, on rice, in a burrito, enchiladas, or, like at the wedding, on tacos.

Any good Indian or Asian grocer should stock the tinned jackfruit in water or brine.

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Recipe

(Serves about 6-10)

Ingredients

Pulled Jackfruit

1/4 cup rice bran oil

2 brown onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbs smoked paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

3 tbs dried oregano

4 tins jackfruit in water or brine, drained

2 tins kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup bbq sauce

salt and pepper

Cashew Mayo

2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight, or boiled for an hour, drained

1 cup water

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs mustard

salt and pepper

Rainbow Slaw

1/2 white cabbage, shredded

1/2 red cabbage, shredded

3 stalks celery, finely sliced

2 small or 1 large carrot, grated

1 red onion, finely sliced

2 long red chillies, finely sliced

Bunch parsley, finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

salt and pepper

To serve

Soft bread rolls (white or brown)

Store bought sweet potato and potato chips

Siracha chilli sauce (optional)

Method

For the jackfruit, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5mins until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the spices, jackfruit, kidney beans and bbq sauce. Being to the simmer and cook, stirring often, for about 1 hour. Use the back of a wooden spoon to squash the pieces of jackfruit against the sides of the pot to shred them apart. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to suit.

Meanwhile, for the cashew mayo, put all of the ingredients into a food processor and process until a smooth paste. If your food processor doesn’t produce a smooth enough consistency you can transfer the mix to a bowl and finish it with a stick blender. If it is too thick add a little more water. Keep in the fridge until needed.

For the coleslaw, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

To serve, fill a bread roll with the warm jackfruit, the coleslaw, the cashew mayo, the chips and a drizzle of chilli sauce if using.

Enjoy!

 

 

Panzanella Salad with Haloumi and Pomegranate Molasses

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Hello again. It’s been a long time between posts! Over 6 months I think! But don’t mistake this to mean that I haven’t been cooking, in fact, I’ve been cooking so much that I just haven’t had time to write down recipes or take photos of everything I’ve been doing. The best I’ve been able to manage lately is a quick snap on my phone and an upload to instagram (which I kinda love).
So much has happened over these last six months, the last time I posted was from a friends apartment in Amsterdam, just a couple of days before I flew to Mykonos to work for a month as a private chef in a Villa there. Oh how I wish I had sufficient words to describe that month. To keep it brief, it was one of the most challenging months of my life, physically, mentally and emotionally. I was struggling to figure out why life had sent me there, apart from learning that I never EVER want to be rich. It was an amazing (if not soul destroying) experience and I wouldn’t take back a second of it.

Then it was on to Turkey, one of my most favourite and cherished countries. The food, the people, the landscape, it’s incredible. I spent a couple of months slowly roaming around, a large chunk of which was spent in the crystal clear waters of the mediterranean sea, free diving with turtles and lying on the pebbly beaches. I met some beautiful people and had a beautiful time. I love that place.

After that came Indonesia, where I met up with some friends and also showed my Mum around Bali for her first ever trip overseas. We ate, drank, lay on the beach and hooned around on a scooter, she loved it.
Finally, after being away from my home town for over 12 months, it was time to head back. Fortunately I had already been contacted by a friend here in Aus that owns the cutest little fish restaurant right on the beach about doing some work for them upon my return. I took the job and we haven’t looked back! it’s been an amazing experience and I feel so fortunate to be working with such kind and generous people. I’m learning a lot and have the freedom to be as creative as I like.
This summer has been a total whirlwind of work, parties and beach time. It’s been totally amazing. I could go on and on about all that has happened over the last six months, but, I highly doubt anyone wants to know every detail, and to be honest I can’t even remember half of them. I just know that I’m happier than ever and so excited for everything to come.
Anyway, here is a quick and easy recipe for one of my most favourite types of salads, I absolutely love the way the bread soaks up the dressing, along with the pops of sweetness from the pomegranate, the saltiness of the haloumi and the freshness of the herbs. It’s perfect on it’s own or you could serve it alongside some grilled seafood or meat. The recipe simply lists the ingredients I used, without amounts, so you can adjust it to however many people you are catering for (and also because I can’t find the piece of paper I wrote the actual recipe down on….)DSC_0030DSC_0028DSC_0026DSC_0003

Recipe

Ingredients

Wholemeal sourdough, toasted and cut or torn into pieces

Heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

Baby cucumbers, sliced

Red and green capsicum, sliced

Red onion, finely sliced

Kalamata olives

Rocket

Mint, leaves picked

Pomegranate seeds

Haloumi, sliced 1cm thick

Olive oil

Fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Pomegranate molasses

Method

In a large bowl, gently toss together the sourdough, tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, onion, olives, rocket, mint and half of the pomegranate seeds with the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Leave to marinate and for the flavours to develop for about 15mins, tossing gently every 5mins.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan or frying pan to medium/hot with a little olive oil. Fry the haloumi until golden. Set aside and keep warm.

Place the salad into serving bowls, top with the remaining pomegranate seeds, drizzle with the pomegranate molasses and place the haloumi on top.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Spiced Eggplant with Savoy, Lentil and Pomegranate Salad

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It’s becoming more obvious everyday. I think I finally need to make the move, the one I planned to a couple of years ago but got sidetracked by other travels, it’s time to come and live in London for a while. It’s a weird thing, to want to come and live in one of the biggest and coldest cities I’ve ever been to, but I feel there is so much opportunity for me here, as well as one of my dearest friends, and, when it gets too cold, I’ll just shoot off down to Spain or Morocco and warm the cockles. Anyway, I’ve got a few more months here in Europe, I’m sure I’ll have more of an idea by the time we head back to Australia.

So, we finally got to catch up last night, my dear friend and I. The conversation did not have more than a two second gap in it for about five hours straight. I was so excited to cook for her and wanted to make something wholesome and delicious, but, as it is when travelling, I’m also restricted by the ingredients I can use. Luckily there were some spices in the cupboard here and I was able to find the rest of the ingredients in the endless Middle Eastern grocers lining the main street here. So much pita bread!

If large enough, the eggplants are sufficient on there own as a meal, but we ate them alongside some warmed pita bread, hummus and a quinoa salad. Find the recipe for my favourite creamy hummus here.

I adapted this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories, one of my favourite food blogs to turn to when I want some inspiration for a truly healthy and wholesome meal. I also made some little chocolate and almond cakes for dessert, completely sugar, dairy and gluten free. They were so delicious! Unfortunately we were too busy eating and talking to think to get any photos by the time dessert came around!

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Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large eggplant

Olive oil

2 tbs garam masala

2 tbs curry powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

salt and pepper

Salad

1 small savoy cabbage, finely sliced

400g can puy lentils, rinsed and drained well

Bunch parsley, finely chopped

1 pomegranate, arils (seeds) removed

1 tbs olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbs maple syrup

salt and pepper

To serve, hummus, pita bread, quinoa salad (optional)

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthways and use the tip of a knife to cut a criss cross pattern, about 1cm deep, into the flesh. Drizzle well with olive oil, using fingers to rub all over. Sprinkle with the spices, salt and pepper, and use fingers to rub spices into the cuts. Drizzle with more olive oil if they feel too dry. Place in the oven and cook, for about 45-50mins, or until flesh is dark on top and soft in the centre.

Meanwhile, for the salad, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Blanch the cabbage, for 1min, drain and rinse under cold water. Leave to drain as much water out as possible. In a small jar, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper and shake well. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lentils, parsley and dressing and toss to combine.

To serve, place the eggplants on a large serving platter, scatter the salad over the tops and sprinkle with the pomegranate. Serve with sides such as hummus, pita bread and quinoa salad. Enjoy!

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