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Recipes, that's it.

grilled prawns on arugula with lemon vinaigrette — 20/07/2017

grilled prawns on arugula with lemon vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • pinch of cayenne
  • salt and cracked black pepper
  • 24 large prawns, peeled and deveined, with tails on
  • handful of green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 unhusked corn
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, preferably white balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 cups arugula leaves
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, torn

To marinate the prawns, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, and cayenne in a glass or other non-reactive bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently toss the prawns through the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.

Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil just over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill or pre-heat a gas grill. Grill the corn, covered, turning often, until the husks are charred, about 20 minutes. Husk the corn and remove the silks. Cut the corn off the cobs and set aside.

If using a charcoal grill, the coals should have burned down to medium-hot. If using a gas grill, adjust the heat to medium. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill the prawns, turning once, until firm and pink, 4 to 5 minutes.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the arugula, green beans, tomatoes, corn and basil in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Divide the salad evenly among 4 large plates with some grilled prawns on top. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Recipe from Art Smith, Back to the Table

 

Algerian eggplant — 07/07/2017

Algerian eggplant

Algerian eggplant

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
  • salt
  • olive oil for frying
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 pinches of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, or more to taste

Remove three vertical strips of skin from each eggplant, leaving it striped, then cut eggplants into ½-inch slices. Salt the slices and leave to drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Rinse well, squeeze gently, and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat about ¼ inch of oil in a skillet and fry the slices, a few at a time, over high heat until golden brown on both sides. Drain. Using the back of a fork, roughly mash the eggplant with the garlic and spices. Fry this mixture in the oil in skillet until all liquid evaporates, stirring often.  Don’t worry about the oiliness because when it’s done you drain the eggplant mixture in a colander. Stir lemon juice through and check for salt. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Paula Wolfert, Mediterranean Cooking

 

Niçoise salad with seared tuna — 25/05/2017

Niçoise salad with seared tuna

When I firsIMG_1870t made this salad, I misunderstood the recipe and mixed, finely chopped, anchovies into the dressing. Since I’m not fond of having a whole ‘furry’, salty anchovy in my mouth, this worked better for my taste. If you prefer the classic way of preparing this salad, then slice them into thin strips, and drape them over the eggs at the end.

  • 2 1-inch thick tuna steaks
  • ½ a head of lettuce, torn
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced
  • 100g green beans, tailed and steamed or boiled until just tender
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • half red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 spring onions or 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 55g small, black olives, preferably Niçoise
  • 2 large, hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • a handful of basil leaves, torn

DRESSING

  • 4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt

To sear the tuna, get a cast-iron pan very hot. Brush the fish with olive oil, a dash or two of soy sauce and a good sprinkle of black pepper. Grill each side for only 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. The centre should be pink and raw or the tuna will be tough and dry. Allow to rest while you prepare the salad.

Place lettuce, cucumber, steamed green beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, onions and olives in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk together. Add most of the dressing (reserve some to drizzle over eggs) to the salad and toss.

Slice the tuna and add to the salad, then top with eggs, herbs and pour the remaining dressing over the eggs.

Serves 2 (as a main dish)

rice salad with ginger lime dressing — 09/05/2017

rice salad with ginger lime dressing

Whenever I make this salad, I get asked for the recipe so here it is. It’s easy, healthy, delicious and a great way of using up leftovers and then throwing in whatever else you have in the fridge. I try to mix up the colours and textures of the ingredients and then top it with something crunchy like fried shallots or toasted almonds. You can serve it as a main meal if there’s enough stuff in it.  It is important to add the dressing while the rice still warm and serve the salad at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge first, the rice will become dry and the dressing will lose much of its flavour. You should also know that the measurements here are approximate because I never measure anything for this salad, I simply check it towards the end and adjust if necessary. It is important however, that you add a lot of fresh ginger and lime juice (lemon juice is okay but it’s not as good) and then top the whole thing with loads of fresh coriander leaves.

DRESSING

  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 fat garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • salt and pepper

SALAD

  • 1 cup white or brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ – ½ cup of any combination of various ingredients such as: any beans; any grilled and/or raw vegetable; corn; green onion; smoked salmon; tuna; shredded chicken; cooked egg; nuts; etc.

Boil or steam the rice and then place in a large salad bowl when done. Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Prepare the salad ingredients and add to the rice. Add dressing and gently mix to combine. Top with fried shallots and fresh coriander.

serves 2 – 4

 

 

 

 

beet salad with feta & toasted walnuts — 21/02/2017

beet salad with feta & toasted walnuts

  • 3 or 4 beets
  • handful of spinach leaves
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons clear honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200g Feta, crumbled into big chunks
  • 50g chopped, toasted walnuts
  • drizzle of reduced or syrupy balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Clean beets and boil for 25 – 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool. Peel off skin and cut beets into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, rinse and dry spinach and place in large bowl with the green onion.  Whisk together honey, lemon juice, salt and oil.

Toss the beetroot in half the vinaigrette. Then add beets to lettuce and top with toasted walnuts and feta. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette (and balsamic syrup if you have some) over salad and toss. Sprinkle a little black pepper. Serve warm or cold.

serves 4