Japanese greens and walnut salad

Blanched beetroot leaves, chopped asparagus, calendula and short-grain rice

We just got back from three weeks travelling around Japan, and we’re still doing that lovely thing – remembering what we were doing in increments from now. You know, ‘This time last week’, or ‘Two weeks ago today’: ‘We were walking around that amazing moss-covered cemetery in Koya San / at the giant Buddha in Kamakura with Shiro and Timoko / eating yakitori skewers for breakfast in Kochi / in our Airbnb in Kanazawa listening to the typhoon howling out our window!’ Continue reading Japanese greens and walnut salad

Kale, bean and breadcrumb salad

kale and broad bean salad 3kale and broad bean salad 2

Kale is one of those ingredients that people do seem to love or hate. The haters might have tried kale once and thought it chewy or bitter or just better left as rabbit food. The lovers throw it in everything and anything – smoothies, pestoes, salads, stir-fries and soups. I’m somewhere in the middle with kale; still finding my way with it. Even though it looks a bit like silverbeet, I wouldn’t use it interchangeably. Continue reading Kale, bean and breadcrumb salad

Stir-fried zucchini and seasonal greens with soybean paste

Stir-fried courgette and seasonal greens

We grew a great zucchini (courgette) in our garden this year – as soon as I saw its first baby fruits in pre-flower stage, like long curved pencils drooping downwards, I knew I liked this fellow a lot! It’s an Italian heirloom called Tromboncino and it appealed because it could climb up a trellis, and also because regular zucchini hasn’t worked for me in recent years … Continue reading Stir-fried zucchini and seasonal greens with soybean paste

Spring soup with green garlic

Spring soup with green garlicHomegrown green garlic bulbs

I’ve been watching a bird make a nest in our lemon tree through our kitchen window. First I made sure it wasn’t a nasty Indian myna (it turned out to be a more benign but still imported suburban blackbird), then thought to myself, this is going to be good viewing – a touch of David Attenborough in our own backyard. Continue reading Spring soup with green garlic

Beetroot salad with spinach, egg and dukkah croutons

Beetroot salad with spinach, egg and dukkah croutons

We got a bag of beautiful organic baby beetroots in our Friday box of fruit and vegetables, and I set to thinking about all the things I love to do with beetroots. Sri Lankan beetroot curry and borsht are on the top of my list. But when it’s a matter of gorgeous baby beets, I think it’s best to keep it simple and do as little as possible, in what has become known in my head as ‘Italian-style beetroot’. Continue reading Beetroot salad with spinach, egg and dukkah croutons

Stuffed flatbreads

Filling for breads

Sometimes life goes so fast you completely forget to take photographs. Or you feel too giddy with the experience to stop to write anything down.

Pulling the back off our house two years ago and embarking on our renovation was like this. My husband worked his butt off through winter rebuilding as fast as he could, while our then-1-year-old daughter and I got on as best we could in our draughty half-house with its bathroom in a tin shed in the backyard. Continue reading Stuffed flatbreads