Sweet potato roti

Sweet potato flatbreads Winter, Autumn, Summer books by the Fruitful Kitchen

Writing little stories and recipes here is just about my favourite thing to do in the world. They’re a record of life, gardening, travelling and of course cooking, and one day, you never know, my kids may read and appreciate them (I’ll probably print them out, bind them in a folder and put them under their noses the unimaginable day they move out of home) … I mean to do a recipe every month, but yeek, five months just slipped by. Partly it was because of a big editing job, but another reason is the mini cookbooks I’ve been making. Continue reading Sweet potato roti

Cheese souffle + best-dressed French salad

Cheese souffle and best-dressed salad

December cooking is the best, isn’t it? Christmas, obviously, plus all those extra get togethers with good friends and family … That feeling it’s the end of the year and time to mark and celebrate it in lots of ways, including through the food we eat. Some of the things that may happen in our house: Continue reading Cheese souffle + best-dressed French salad

Strawberry and coconut cake

Chick with Paris the mother henStrawberry and coconut cake

This spring we attempted some kind of holy grail in chicken keeping (shy of getting an actual rooster), and got twelve fertilised eggs to put underneath a clucky chicken. We’d wanted to do this for years, but hadn’t managed to seize the moment and get the eggs quick enough. This time things were looking good. Our famously clucky old chook called Paris started showing signs on a Thursday, and by Sunday we’d fetched the eggs and placed them underneath her. Then began a three-week waiting period that felt like an age. Continue reading Strawberry and coconut cake

Okonomiyaki + homemade sauce

Simple cabbage okonomiyaki, homemade brown sauce

Okonomiyaki ­– I doubt I’d heard the word 10 or 12 years ago, but at some point this Japanese pancake made its spectacular entrance, bursting into our kitchen, our love for it totally sealed after we had kids. Throwing back to the good old ‘vegetable fritter days’, when our two children were babies and each went through that tricky stage of not wanting to be fed from a spoon, but not having the skills to spoon-feed themselves – carrot fritters and pumpkin quinoa fritters (and others; I made a list!) were the TOP way to eat vegetables and also be happy at the dinner table. Okonomiyaki, essentially a big cabbage fritter, with its bonus smothering of mayonnaise, brown sauce and seaweed, has always been the queen of all fritters, and the one I still make regularly, and it’s probably quite cagey of me that it’s taken this long to bring the recipe here. Continue reading Okonomiyaki + homemade sauce

Chipotle potato tacos, pepita salt

Chipotle potato tacos, pepita salt

A pile of potatoes = money in the bank if you ask me (or any of the other small/large humans in my house). This is not the same as declaring love for quinoa or kimchi, is it? I’m pretty sure spuds have never been named a super food, but eating organic ones with the skin on might get them just a little closer …?? They make up for any shortfall with the delight they have to give in so many ways. Continue reading Chipotle potato tacos, pepita salt

Broccoli mallum

Broccoli mallung

I fell for broccoli hard as a teenager, lusting after its crunchy, healthy greenness, which, when I moved out of home to go to uni, probably also had something to do with how easy broccoli was to cook and how dependable it was to find in the supermarket … But something happened along the way, and years later (okay, close to decades later) I notice that broccoli is virtually missing in action on this blog! I’m remedying this right now with a recipe that has made me love broccoli all over again. Continue reading Broccoli mallum

Lemon and rye biscuits

Lemon and rye cookies, lemon cordial

I’m totally guilty of taking our lemon tree for granted. Such is its happy disposition – never asking for water all summer yet always looking so waxy green, and providing us constant fruit since sometime before last winter! I think partly I’m resigned to the fact I can never use all of its lemons (lots end up in bags for family and friends), and the ripe fruit also waits patiently on the tree, so most of the time, I have to say I ignore it. (For instance, I noticed I hardly ever post recipes featuring lemons!) Though I do admire the tree from our kitchen window, and of course pick lemons whenever we need. We planted it about 9 years ago along a north-facing wall in our Melbourne backyard, a position it clearly loves. Continue reading Lemon and rye biscuits

Eggplant with yuzu and bonito

Japanese aubergine with yuzu and bonitoJapanese aubergine with yuzu and bonito

Years back, while travelling in rural China, we realised that the best stir-fries are a lot like the best Italian pastas – minimal ingredients, simple technique, allowing the produce to shine. It’s true of this dish from Japan, too. (But in case those two foreign words in the title are mysterious: yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that I think you can only have fresh here in Australia if you grow it. However, in the Japanese sections of Asian grocers you can buy bottles of yuzu concentrate, which works wonderfully here. Hunt it out – so delicious! While you’re there, search the shelves for bonito flakes, which are fine shavings of dried fish famously used in dashi broth, but which also make a magical, delicately fishy garnish. You can get them in convenient serving-sized sachets.) Continue reading Eggplant with yuzu and bonito

Peach and Thai basil granita (and sherry cobbler!)

Peach and Thai basil granitaPeach and Thai basil sherry cobbler

The fruit from all the trees in our backyard inspires me to cook the best that I can; to make it really count; to capture the short season before it is gone. It’s usually a balance of making old favourites and having fun exploring new and delicious things. And while enjoying the fruit in the now, I also like to dabble in a little preserving/making things last, even if it’s just putting one small thing in the freezer. Continue reading Peach and Thai basil granita (and sherry cobbler!)