The seasons have truly changed and this first week back we are embracing the spring produce and the bounty of the garden, as well as making the most of the weather and eating al fresco at our new outdoor table. The mood is festive and the excitement of Term 4 and summer on the horizon is palpable. We had lots of lovely Year 4 grandparents visiting the kitchen garden this week and in preparation the Year 5 students baked lots of yummy biscuits to share with them.

For our menu this week we explored picnic food and discussed the considerations for planning an outdoor menu.  The warmer weather has enabled the herbs in the garden to flourish as well as the lettuces and soft greens, so we made use of these and also of the first crop of broad beans.

Bruschetta with Smashed Broadbeans & Feta

Ingredients

3-4 cups podded broadbeans

a handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

a handful of parsley, finely chopped

½ cup olive oil

a good squeeze of lemon juice

salt & pepper to taste

crumbled feta to garnish

2 baguettes, cut into slices

oil spray

Method

Pod broadbeans and plunge into boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and slip beans out of their skins.

Smash beans using a fork or potato masher and mix with oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper.

Place baguette slices on lined baking trays and spray with olive oil. Grill on both sides until golden.

Top warm baguette slices with broad bean mix and crumble over feta.

Chop Chop Tuna Salad

Ingredients

400g tuna in oil, drained

4 eggs, hardboiled and finely chopped

2 red peppers, finely diced

2 cucumbers, finely diced

2 sticks celery, finely diced

2 spring onion, finely chopped

8 pickled cucumbers, finely diced

small bowl of mixed lettuce from the garden, washed, dried well and chopped

a small bunch of dill, finely chopped

a handful of parsley, finely chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

juice of 1 lemon

salt & pepper to taste

Method

Place the mayonnaise, mustard lemon juice and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk week until smooth. (If the mayonaise is really thick, just use 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup olive oil.)

Place the tuna in a bowl and break up with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Silverbeet & Feta Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups SR flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

150g feta cheese, roughly crumbled

3 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

80 g butter, melted

4 silverbeet leaves, finely chopped (remove stems)

extra cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

Line mini muffin trays with patty pans.

In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, grated cheese and feta cheese.

In another bowl combine eggs, milk, butter and sliverbeet.

Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix gently with a fork.

Moisten hands with water and roll mixture into walnut sized balls. Place into mini muffin tins.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and springy to touch.

Soba Noodle Salad

Ingredients

150g sesame seeds

salt

450g soba noodles

4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

10 teaspoons soy sauce

4 teaspoons honey

4 teaspoons sesame oil

10 spring onions, finely sliced

chopped coriander (optional)

Method

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry non-stick fry pan until golden then tip them into a bowl.

Cook the soba noodle in boiling salted water for about 6 minutes (or according to packet) – they should be tender but not mushy. Refresh in cold water after draining.

In a large bowl mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and oil.

Add the spring onions to the bowl along with the cooled noodles and sesame seeds. Toss to combine and serve.

Garnish with chopped coriander if desired.

Anzac Cookies

Ingredients

125g soft butter

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup flour

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup desiccated coconut

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1½ tablespoons hot water

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add flour, rolled oats, coconut, salt & vanilla. Mix well.

In a cup, dissolve bicarbonate soda in the hot water. Add to the biscuit mixture and mix well.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking tray. Allow room fro spreading.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool and crisp on a wire rack.

Cheddar Bikkies (for Grandparent’s day)

Ingredients

1 cup plain flour

2 cups grated cheddar

75g cold butter, cut into cubes

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon Maldon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Method

Place flour, cheddar, butter, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper in a food processor and process until breadcrumbs form.

Gradually add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water and process in short bursts until the dough comes together.

Lightly knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll to form long log. Place the poppy seeds on a chopping board. Roll gently in the seeds to coat. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Cut the log into thin slices and place on the trays. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.