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

Japanese buckwheat soup

buckwheat kernels, tofu, carrot and pine mushrooms – ingredients for Japanese buckwheat soup

This soup makes me ridiculously happy, for a lot of reasons. A sure first is remembering the day last year when we hired a car and drove deep into the mountains of Shikoku, Japan. It was a big day in the car, punctuated by pockets of time spent in the quiet little villages of the Iya Valley, and at our final destination before we turned back, which was the double vine bridges suspended high above a turquoise river. Continue reading Japanese buckwheat soup

Greek-style stuffed tomatoes

Greek style vegetarian stuffed tomatoes

When my mum talks about food, I listen. It isn’t usually on her radar – she’s much more of a book and movie fiend, an avid follower of current affairs, a lover of indigenous cultures, a keen traveller, and an amazing woman in general … For food to rate a mention, it has to be beyond good. Like the broad bean and ham dish she once had in Spain and still talks about, and the stuffed tomatoes she had in Greece. Continue reading Greek-style stuffed tomatoes

Pasta salad with olives and roasted garlic

Pasta salad with olives and roast garlic

I started out making pasta when I moved out of home, at age 17, featuring a crisper worth of vegetables plus some pesto from a jar. (Wry smile thinking about the strange tiles of pumpkin I used to cut, and the undercooked eggplant. But I was doing a good job of eating vegetables at least!) Continue reading Pasta salad with olives and roasted garlic

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

Zucchini, tomato and basil stew

zucchini tomato basil stew close upBaby Tromboncino zucchini

The zucchinis are upon us! I’m growing the Italian variety called Tromboncino again, and I won’t write much about it here as you can read about it in last year’s post (Stir-fried zucchini and seasonal greens with soybean paste). In a nutshell, this zucchini is a climber so it takes up much less ground space than regular zucchini. We have it growing over an arch-like frame, which creates a lovely shady nook in the garden. The pale-green zucchinis are super long and thin and the kids like to pretend they’re walking sticks. Family, friends and neighbours have been gifted a few this year – I’m spreading the crazy zucchini love! Continue reading Zucchini, tomato and basil stew

Potato, dill and caper salad

Potato, dill and caper salad

Our family has been exchanging emails about who’s bringing what for Christmas. I love how this day has evolved from the traditional roast meat and veg, to meat with a spread of colourful salads and side dishes spilling over the meat on your plate, pushing the meat a little into the background (well, the way I dish up anyway!). Just quietly, I think the salads and vegetables are the main event. I do love quality ham and roast pork with crackling, but you’ll generally find me hanging out in the trimmings department. Continue reading Potato, dill and caper 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

Beetroot and horseradish relish

beetroot and horseradish prepBeetroot horseradish relish, gravlax and bread

Planting horseradish is like letting a genie out of a bottle – you will never get it back in. My dear friend Alice told me about the horseradish in her grandmother’s country garden. As her grandmother got older and the garden went untended, the horseradish went wild and started covering the yard … I am not really talking the plant up, am I? Continue reading Beetroot and horseradish relish