Feb 26, 2011

Melon salad with honey and ginger

Melon salad with ginger & honey

Last days of summer. I can even feel the autumn breath and this feeling inspires me. I love autumn - no more crazy hot days, plenty of fruits and veges, my figs in the garden are almost ready and sky at night is full of stars ...
Melons are in season now too. I'm not a big fan of ginger and I don't like honey at all, but in this salad they make quite a beautiful composition. Recipe adapted from Gourmet traveller magazine.

(Serves 6)
175 gm (½ cup)  honey
2 tbsp finely chopped glacé ginger
1 vanilla bean, split
500 gm watermelon
500 gm  rockmelon
500 gm  honeydew melon
To serve: vanilla ice-cream

1. Combine honey, ginger and vanilla bean and ½ cup water in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 8 minutes or until reduced by half. Cool to room temperature.
2. Peel melons and remove seeds, then cut into 3cm cubes. Combine melon and syrup and stand for 30 minutes to marinate. Serve melon salad with scoops of vanilla ice-cream.

Melon salad with ginger & honey

Feb 18, 2011

Beetroot rosti with horseradish cream and smoked salmon

I love the combination of beetroot and salmon. It reminds me about my childhood. This recipe is really good for a weekend breakfast, then you are not on a hurry. So forget about your cereals and make something different.

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 x 450g tin baby beetroot, drained
4 medium (about 600g) pontiac potatoes, peeled
50g butter, melted
2 tbs olive oil
250g ctn creme fraiche
1 tbs grated horseradish, drained
2 tsp Dijon mustard
200g smoked salmon slices
1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced lengthways
 Dill sprigs, to serve

Coarsely grate the beetroot and potato and place in a bowl. Use your hands to squeeze as much liquid from the potato and beetroot as possible. Transfer to a clean bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 100°C. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Spoon three 1/4-cup portions of beetroot mixture into the pan. Use a spatula to flatten each portion to an 8cm disc. Cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked though. Use the spatula to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Place in a warm oven. Continue in 3 more batches with remaining beetroot mixture, adding and reheating more oil if necessary.

Combine the creme fraiche, horseradish and mustard in a small bowl. Arrange three rosti on each serving plate. Top with salmon, cucumber and a dollop of creme fraiche mixture. Sprinkle with dill to serve.

Feb 13, 2011

Beetroot, avocado & goats cheese salad with pine nuts

Beetroot, avocado & goats cheese salad with pine nuts

Easy and really tasty salad. You can roast the beetroot ahead or use cooked from supermarket. Just quickly put all the ingredients together before serving.

Serves 4
4 medium sized beetroot
2 avocados, peeled
50 g pine nuts
200g goats cheese, crumbled
50g rocket leaves
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Half a clove of garlic, minced
A good pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper

To cook the beetroot wrap them in tinfoil, place on an oven tray and bake for about an hour at 190C or until tender.  Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then peel and slice.

Toast the pine nuts over a medium heat, until golden brown.

In a large bowl whisk together the Dijon mustard, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and set aside.

When you are ready to serve the salad, arrange the beetroot and avocado slices over the rocket leaves, drizzle with dressing, then add the goats cheese crumbles. Finally scatter each plate with the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

Feb 6, 2011

Warm beetroot, orange & haloumi salad

Beetroot, orange and grilled halloumi salad

This vegetarian salad mixes salty haloumi with the sweetness of beetroot and orange.

Ingredients (serves 4)
3 medium beetroot, ends trimmed
3 oranges, peeled, white pith removed
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
150g baby spinach leaves
1 x 250g pkt haloumi, drained, thinly sliced crossways

Preheat oven to 200°C. Wrap each beetroot in foil. Place in a roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour or until the beetroot is tender when pierced with a skewer. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool. Wearing gloves to avoid staining your hands, peel the beetroot and cut into wedges.

Meanwhile, holding the oranges over a bowl to catch any juice, use a sharp knife to cut along either side of the white membrane to remove the segments. Use your hands to squeeze the remaining juice from the flesh into the bowl (you will need 80ml/1/3 cup juice). Add the oil and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the beetroot, orange segments and spinach in a large bowl. Divide among serving plates.

Cook the haloumi in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes each side or until golden.

Top the salad with the haloumi. Drizzle over the dressing to serve.

Feb 5, 2011

Beetroot, chocolate and orange loaf

Beetroot, chocolate & orange loaf

Beetroot is actually very sweet and keeps this rich chocolate loaf wonderfully moist. Make it for your friends, then ask them to guess the mystery ingredient. This loaf has a surprisingly smooth velvety texture and rich chocolate taste. Really good with yoghurt.

Ingredients (Makes 8 slices)
1 large cooked beetroot, about 180 gr,
225 gr flour,
100 gr cocoa,
1 Tbsp baking powder,
225 gr sugar
3 eggs,
juice and grated zest of a half large orange (reserve zest from the other half for decoration)
2 tsp vanilla essence,
200 ml sunflower oil,
100 gr dark chocolate (not too bitter), chopped into pieces
2 tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
Chocolate for frosting  (optional)
Crème fraiche or yoghurt, to serve

1. Heat the oven to 190C, Line a 900gr loaf tin with baking paper.

2. Tip the beetroot into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add a pinch of salt, sugar, eggs, orange juice, zest, vanilla and liqueur. Mix well.

3. Mix together flour, cocoa and baking powder, then add it to the liquid mixture, stir well.

4. Add the oil in a steady stream, while whizzing, as if you were making a mayonnaise.

5. When all the oil has been added, stir in the chocolate, then tip the mix into prepared loaf tin. Bake for about 1 hour until an inserted skewer comes out practically clean. Leave the loaf to cool on a rack.

6. Cover the loaf with a melted chocolate and decorate with orange zest if desired. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or thick yoghurt.

Beetroot, chocolate & orange loaf

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