All posts tagged: spring

Fiercely seasonal in the Bombay Hills

A regular contender at Taste of Auckland, Bracu’s elegant dishes are celebration of quality local produce. Bracu has always been foodie destination on my “one day” list. They also do weddings and even though we visited on a wet spring day, it’s easy to picture a glorious sunny day in the micro-climate of the Bombay Hills. Bracu (pronounced brah-KOO) is set within the 96 hectares of Simunovich Olive Estate who produce olive oils and olive-based beauty products. You can enjoy claybird shooting, archery or even knife throwing if you prefer, before relaxing over food and wine in the idyllic setting of Bracu. Think rolling hills, thousands of olive trees, and country luxury.   Last week, I was invited to sample from the new spring menu at Bracu. Spring must be a dream for chefs, especially when there are items that are so fiercely seasonal. You get to play with these bright and delicate flavours for just a short period of time and if you’re lucky, you get suppliers that have all sorts of weird and …

Tofu Tuesday: Onion weed in spring

Onion weed is in full force in our garden this spring. They might be a thorn in gardener’s side, but the white flowers are straight out of a fairytale. Did you know onion weed is edible? Both the green grassy bit and the flowers are edible. Use in place of chives or use the flowers as a garnish. Of course, with any foraged food, only pick from places you know are free from chemical sprays. Click here to see more editions of Tofu Tuesday.

Asparagus for adults in spring

It might only be the start of spring but it feels like the tail-end already. We’ve had bright sunny days that suggest that summer is just around the corner. Daylight savings has begun, which means I get to photograph food in natural light in the evenings instead of having to save it for the weekend. This means (potentially) more recipes and more blog posts! Yay!   Last week, The Koala and I went to Cornwall Park to see the spring lambs. They were super cute. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, I would advise seeking out a lamb visit. It’s worth it. After our visit with the lambs, we invited a couple of friends over for the first barbecue of the season. It’s been all of winter since we taught ourselves how to use our charcoal barbecue and we’ve still got the skills we picked up in summer. I don’t remember spring barbecues being a thing, but going by the lovely smells in our neighbourhood, we’re not the only ones barbecuing in spring. Spring also means asparagus season. I …

Spring Time Fun Time

This Spring, my to do list focuses more sorting, new beginnings and the garden with just a few new culinary adventures. Declutter the kitchen Build a compost Plant herbs Get a cast iron frypan Make pesto from scratch Live on $2.25NZ per day for 5 days for charity Make hollandaise sauce Bake something from scratch Make Pâté Make cheese What do you hope to do this Spring?…or Autumn for my northern hemisphere friends.

Sayonara Spring

Today is officially the last day of Spring before summer hits us tomorrow. I wrote a Spring To Do List at the start of September and managed to cross off 7 out of 10 items. The aim of the list is to tend to my growing edge. Your growing edge is the part of you that is still learning, trying new things and experimenting. It’s the area of your life that you are improving and working on. It’s often too easy to keep cooking your favourite tried and true dishes and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel like there’s so many delicious things to eat and and so little time so I need to push forward to get anywhere. I first started writing a seasonal list this winter (mid 2011) and you can read my winter summary here. Not only can you learn new things, but the unfamiliar or things that you shrink away from can become familiar to you with practice. It’s the initial leap that is the hardest. A couple on …

Out Standing 2: David Schofield at Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market

David Schofield is the 2011 New Zealand Chef of the Year this year and it was a pleasure to see him whip up some quick and delicious dishes on Sunday morning at the Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market. This was the very last of a national series of cooking demonstrations at farmers’ markets organised by Kylie and Blair from Out Standing In Their Fields. Farmers’ markets celebrate seasonal, local food and buying at your local producers is a great way to show your support. The stars were hot smoked salmon, flounder, oysters, and free range bacon. David had a wealth of knowledge and it was clear how passionate he was about his food by the trivia he shared with the crowd. He encouraged questions and interaction from the audience. Having plenty to talk about, David disclosed right from the start, “I waffle”. His veering was hardly offcourse, never pointless or uninteresting and I enjoyed his tidbits of foodie folklore. Toothsome trivia from David: The demand for perfect produce encourages imports. If we happily buy odd shaped and …

Orzo Salad – Day 1

I’ve never made orzo salad before but I figured it was worth giving a go. I think of orzo as rice shaped pasta and at $4 for 2 x 500g bags at Nosh last week, it was worth a whirl. 250g of orzo made enough for 2 nights dinners for 2 people and a lunch. So in theory, my $4 of orzo will be enough for 20 portions. Yowzers! I just boiled the orzo for about 7 minutes in salted water, drained and mixed with pesto, halved cherry tomatoes and avocado. Served with a grilled mushroom topped with cheese and herbs and a sexy slab of marinated rump. It’s a fast, easy weekday dinner that gets me excited about the warmer weather.

Spring Comfort Food

Happy first of October! It’s absolutely spring time now. Some days are warm, others are chilly. The weather is lovely. It’s not quite time to put the heater away or to hang up your coats for the season. Your meals are probably getting lighter and you may have eaten outdoors a couple of times already. I have. We don’t have a table or chairs outside so we’re going for 1 bowl or a plate of food that can be eaten with just a fork. There’s something very comforting and casual about eating without a table or a knife. When I think of comfort food, I think of stuff that you can eat with a bowl and a spoon. Wrapped in a blanket on the couch. That’s what real comfort is. Now that it’s spring and getting warmer, is the bowl of warmth less appropriate? Top 5 spring time comfort foods: Potato salad (with spring onion, boiled eggs and mayo, bacon optional) Quiche (with smoked salmon and fresh herbs) Noodle soup (Pho) Pasta salad Chowder, light on …

Forage something and cook with it

There is loads of onion weed in the garden again and a recent post on Alessandra Zecchini’s blog reminded me of the onion weed dumplings I made last year. I’m loving daylight savings time and it’s nice to be able to cook and photograph in natural light after work. I made these potato cakes for a pre-dinner snack but I think it will be easy to find another reason to eat these. I used the bottom 10cm of the plant which is the white/green base. It’s crisp rather than stringy. Thoroughly wash the onion weed and don’t use any that may have been sprayed with yucky chemicals. Otherwise, happy foraging! Onion Weed Potato Cakes Makes 8 Ingredients 2 large potatoes 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup chopped onion weed 3/4 cup grated cheese salt (garlic salt optional)  black pepper Oil 8 onion weed flowers for garnish  Preparation Preheat oven to 180°C. Peel the potatoes and remove the skin. Continue peeling the potatoes until it gets too hard to grip. Reserve for another use – about a …

Hello Spring!

Woot! It’s that time of year again here in the Southern Hemisphere. Spring runs from now until the end of November so those hearty winter stews make way for lighter, brighter things like salads and BBQ. Raw food is back on the menu. Seafood comes back in full force. Stuff in your garden and in other people’s gardens start to bloom again. You’re happier eating lighter food and you start eating it outdoors. Here is my list of 10 spring inspired tasks to tend to my growing edge: Eat a flower Forage something and cook with it Make Vietnamese Spring Rolls Have a spring themed picnic Make a white sangria Visit a new farmers market Make macadamia and coriander pesto (using garden bounty). Make Oysters Kilpatrick Deal to a freshly caught fish Prepare a raw meal What are you looking forward to this spring?