The Year 4 & 5 kitchen program has commenced with lots of enthusiasm and excitement. The Year 4s have been learning and practising their knife skills by cutting an assortment of vegetables into sticks and salads and making pita crisps and dips to accompany them.

The Year 5s have gone straight back into the cooking using the gorgeous late summer produce from the garden. Eggplants, zucchinis, finger limes, rhubarb, and loads and loads of sun ripened tomatoes and basil have formed the basis of the first menu.

All the recipes are included below. Feel free to chop and change to your tastes at home. The pesto for example, can be made with different nuts (pinenuts, cashews, pistachios) and different greens work too (parsley, kale, mint, coriander). The bruschetta can be topped with the tomato salad, or have the hummus as a base for other cut up vegetables. The rhubarb in the muffins can be substituted for apple or any stone fruits with beautiful results. The main thing is to let your kids into the kitchen with you and get them involved in the shopping, planning and preparing process. It makes the eating part so much better. Enjoy!


Crispy Baked Eggplant with Honey & Finger Limes


2 eggplants

4 cups of milk

2 cups of polenta

2 teaspoons of Maldon salt (plus extra for serving)

½ a teaspoon of cumin

olive oil spray

To serve

2 tablespoons runny honey

6 finger limes, just the pearls



Preheat the oven to 220C.

Cut the eggplant into small wedges or chip shapes.

Place the eggplant in a large bowl and pour over the milk. Soak the eggplant in the milk for at least 10 minutes.

Line some baking trays with baking paper.

Mix together the polenta, salt and cumin.

Remove the eggplant from the milk and coat the wedges in the polenta mix. Turn a couple of times to make sure they are evenly coated.

Place the wedges on a baking tray and spray generously with olive oil.

Bake fore 12 -15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Serve topped with extra salt, finger lime pearls and honey drizzled (from a height) over the top.




Zucchini Fritters


900g zucchini

1½ cups of green peas, crushed or lightly mashed with a fork

A big handful of mint, leaves only, chopped

6 spring onions, finely sliced

a good pinch of Maldon salt

a good pinch of black pepper (from the grinder)

zest from one lemon (use the microplane grater)

4 eggs

4 tablespoons of plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

oil to fry



Grate the zucchini and place in a colander. Sprinkle wit some salt and mix through. Allow to sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Squeeze out all the moisture from the zucchini. You can either do this by taking handfuls and squeezing or you can wrap the zucchini in a thin tea towel and wring out the liquid.

Place the zucchini in a large bowl. Add the peas, mint, spring onions, a bit more salt and pepper, lemon zest, flour and baking powder. Check the consistency of your batter and add a bit more flour if you need.

Cook teaspoons of the mixture into fritters in a non stick fry pan with a just a little bit of oil for about 2 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through.




Penne Pesto


1½ cups basil leaves, tightly packed

½ cup parsley leaves, tightly packed

3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated (plus extra parmesan to serve)

1 small garlic clove

½ cup olive oil

pinch of Maldon salt

750g dried penne



Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to the boil.

When the water is boiling add a tablespoon of table salt and the pasta and cook for 10 minutes. (When you drain you will need to save a cup of the pasta water).

Meanwhile, pick the basil and parsley leaves and wash them well. Dry them thoroughly using a salad spinner.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add the sunflower seeds and cook for about 2 minutes, until they are golden.

Place all the ingredients (aside from the pasta and the oil) into the food processor and process until it is finely chopped.

Add the oil gradually, through the chute while the motor is running until you get it to the right consistency.

Taste the pesto for seasoning and adjust if necessary, then using a spatula, put the pesto into a big, clean mixing bowl.

When the pasta is cooked and drained (remember to keep some of the cooking water), mix the pasta trough the pesto with a little bit of the pasta water to moisten it.

Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.



Tomato Bruschetta


2 sourdough French sticks (cut into approx. 30 slices)

1 clove of garlic, cut in half

olive oil spray

4 cups of tomatoes, chopped finely diced

¼ red onion, very, very finely diced

a handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped

a pinch of Maldon salt

a generous grinding of pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

half a cup of grated feta cheese



Chop the onion as finely as you can and place it in a small bowl with the balsamic vinegar.

Mix together the chopped tomatoes with the basil, salt and pepper and olive oil. Add the onions and balsamic vinegar, and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, pepper or vinegar if you need.

Line a baking tray with foil, lightly spray the foil with olive oil. Place the slices of sourdough on the tray and spray them with oil. Grill on both side until lightly golden. Rub the garlic on the bread (to impart the garlic flavour).

Top the sourdough with the tomato mixture, sprinkle over some grated feta and serve.




Rhubarb & Cinnamon Muffins with Coconut Crumble Topping


2½ cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ tspn salt

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup sunflower oil

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-3 stalks of rhubarb, cut into tiny cubes (approx. 1½ cups)



½ cup self raising flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup rolled oats

1 cup shredded coconut

75g butter, cut into small cubes

1 teaspoon cinnamon



Preheat oven to 180C.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, bicarb, sugar, cinnamon and salt.

Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla. Add rhubarb and gently mix with a fork.

In another bowl mix crumble ingredients together with the tips of your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Half fill patty pans with muffin mixture. Spoon over some crumble mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.




Pita Crisps


1 packet of pita flat bread

olive oil spray

1 teaspoon of cumin

Maldon salt



Preheat oven to 180C.

Line a few trays with baking paper.

Cut pita into half and then into pizza slice shapes.

Spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and a tiny bit of cumin.

Bake for about 7 minutes or until golden.

Allow to cool and serve with yummy dips (or another time broken up into a salad).





2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup of tahini paste

juice of 1 lemon

1 garlic clove

2 teaspoons Maldon salt

1 cup of very cold water


To serve

olive oil

small handful of parsley (finely chopped)

a teaspoon of paprika



Place everything but the cold water in a food processor and blend until smooth. With the motor still on, slowly add the water through the chute until you get the hummus to the desired consistency (you may not need all the water). Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

To serve, remove the blade from the food processor. Use a spatula to spoon the hummus into 3 bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over paprika and parsley.




Tuna Dip


1 x 425g can of tuna in oil, drained

1 egg, hard-boiled and mashed

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped

1 spring onion, finely chopped

½ a stick of celery, finely diced



In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.

Season with salt and pepper and mix again.



Shabbat Egg Dip


1 large onion or 2 small onions, finely diced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

8 eggs, hard-boiled and mashed

2 heaped tablespoons of mayonnaise

Maldon salt & pepper



Place the eggs in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for 8 minutes. Drain the boiling water and cover with cold water again.

Meanwhile fry the onion on low to medium heat til brown and caramelised (this can take a while so be patient and stir occasionally).

Peel and mash the eggs, then add the fried onion and the mayonnaise a bit at a time until it get to right consistency. Season well with salt and pepper and mix again.



Friday Avocado


2 ripe avocadoes

¼ red onion, sliced as thinly as you can

a good pinch of Maldon salt (be generous)

a good grinding of black pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar


Use a teaspoon to scoop out chunks of avocado. Place them in a bowl and top with onion slices. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and vinegar.

This is delicious on the pita crisps, or on toast with some sliced tomatoes and white cheese. But I like it best on Challah – try it this Shabbat and see if you agree.



Tomato Salad


6 cups of tomatoes, chopped or halved (depending on their size)

2 avocadoes, cut into cubes

¼ red onion, very, very finely diced

big handful of basil leaves, chopped

a pinch of Maldon salt

a generous grinding of pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

half a cup of grated feta cheese



Chop the onion as finely as you can and place it in a small bowl with the balsamic vinegar.

Mix together the chopped tomatoes with the avocado, basil, salt and pepper and olive oil. Add the onions and balsamic vinegar, and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, pepper or vinegar if you need.

Put the salad into three small serving bowls and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve with pita crisps or as a topping for bruschetta.