In our final weeks of term we are using all the last of the summer harvest as well as the start of the autumn crops. Pumpkin, basil, carrots, spinach, silverbeet, potatoes, figs and jerusalem artichokes are dictating the menu this week as well as a couple of Pesach recipes including macaroons and matza granola (which has been a huge hit!). The students are being pushed to create beautiful dishes that require varied skills and have multiple elements. The Year 4s have been fantastic, taking on the challenge of learning new skills in the kitchen and trying new foods and flavour combinations. The Year 5s, while more comfortable in the kitchen, are still learning how to balance flavours, create contrast in texture and are refining their techniques. One place where all year levels could improve is cleaning – please let your kids into the kitchen to help cook and to help clean up and set the table.
With Peasch on the horizon, a few of my favourite Pesach recipes can be found at these sites.
3 egg whites
180g caster sugar
180g desiccated coconut
3 tablespoon cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 150C.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Add the sugar slowly and beat until stiff.
Stir in coconut and cocoa with a spoon.
Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto lined baking trays and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Matza Granola with Yoghurt and Fresh Figs
6 sheets of matza, broken into small pieces (approx. 2cm)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
¾ cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup rice bran oil
½ cup honey
¼ teaspoon of fine salt
1½ teaspoons of cinnamon
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
Fresh figs, cut into sixths (halves then thirds).
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Combine the matza, coconut and pumpkin seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, stir the oil, honey and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and combined.
Pour the honey mixture into the matza mixture and toss until is all combined evenly.
Place the mixture on a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning a couple of times to prevent anything burning.
Chop the apricots and clean up.
Take the mixture out. Add the apricots and raisins and bake again for 5 minutes.
Serve with yoghurt and figs.
Quinoa Salad with Carrots, Beetroot and Pomegranate
2 cups of quinoa, cooked and cooled
3 carrots, grated
1 beetroot, grated and rinsed and drained twice (this will prevent everything turning pink)
½ a cup of pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon of oil
2 teaspoons of tamari
zest of one orange
1 cup of mint leaves, finely chopped
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
juice of one orange
¼ cup olive oil
½ tspn cumin
½ tspn cinnamon
1 tspn maple syrup
1 tbspn white wine vinegar
Whisk together dressing ingredients.
In a frying pan, toast the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, oil and tamari until golden.
Combine other ingredients in a large bowl, add the seeds, pour over dressing and mix to combine.
Roasted Pumpkin with Pesto and Feta
1 red onion
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
maldon salt & pepper
1/2 quantity of pesto (see pesto recipe)
Preheat oven to 220C.
Wash the pumpkin and wipe dry, then cut into small pieces (about 2cm). You might want to cut it into slices first then into cubes.
Peel the onion then thinly slice.
Put the pumpkin and onion in a large bowl, drizzle with oil, sprinkle over spices and season with salt and pepper. Then mix to combine.
Place on lined trays and bake for 20 minutes until caramelized and golden.
Meanwhile make the pesto. See the pesto recipe sheet.
Place the pumpkin on your serving dishes.
Dribble or dot the pesto over the pumpkin.
Crumble the feta over the top.
Pesto with Basil, Parsley and Sunflower Seeds
1½ cups basil leaves, tightly packed
½ cup parsley leaves, tightly packed
3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 small garlic clove
½ cup olive oil
pinch of Maldon salt
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 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.
Spinach, Silverbeet & Potato Soup
6 spring onions
1 big bunch spinach
a bunch of silverbeet
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
3 litres of chicken stock (use the massel cubes)
salt & pepper
Slice the spring onions into small pieces.
Peel and wash the potatoes and cut them into 2cm pieces.
Wash the spinach and silverbeet well and spin dry.
Crush the garlic using the garlic press.
Heat the butter in a large soup pot. Saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
Add the potato and silverbeet stalks, a big pinch of salt and the bay leaves and mix so that the potato starts to sweat. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook on low heat for 10 minutes then add the spinach and silverbeet leaves. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves. Add a good grinding of pepper. Turn off the heat.
Bamix the soup until it is smooth and silky. Be careful of splashes.
Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if you need.
Ladle into ramekins.
Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
a bowl of jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed
Preheat oven to 200C.
Cut the jerusaem artichokes into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt.
Bake until crispy and golden (around 45-50 minutes depending on the size)