While the rain has been slightly dampening on spirits, it has been wonderful for the garden and this term we are focusing on the ingredients that the garden is positively bursting with.
This week, we began with freshly picked broad beans to make a zesty dip served with crispy baked wontons. We also have a glorious crop of rhubarb which we made jam out of and served with freshly baked scones and vanilla cream. We made a colourful rainbow stir fry with a Hokkien noodle base as well as savoury muffins laden with cheese and silverbeet. We also used the abundant silverbeet as well as spinach, beans and spring onion in the ever popular green rice.
The other focus of our classes this term will be celebration – of the year gone by, of what’s to come, of the garden produce and of our learning.
2 tablespoons olive oil
50g butter plus 1 tablespoon for the end
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 portion of greens, washed, dried and finely chopped (approx 8 large leaves) – we use silverbeet and spinach
1 bok choy, finely shredded
A handful of green beans, chopped into small pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups basmati rice
3 cups chicken stock (1 cube in 3 cups cold water)
Salt & pepper to taste
Chopped parsley to garnish
Het the oil & butter in a heavy based pot. Add the spring onion, garlic, bok choy and greens.
Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the rice and keep staring for 2 minutes or until the rice is coated.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
Once all the liquid has evaporated, stir in the extra tablespoon of butter.
Season with salt and pepper and top with chopped parsley.
Rainbow Stir Fry Noodles
2 tablespoons rice bran oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
a large handful of snow peas, stringed and cut into thin strips
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 red capsicum cut into thin strips
a handful of purple cabbage, shredded
a can of baby corn, drained
3 tablespoons of soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
400g hokkien noodles, cooked
toasted sesame seeds to garnish
Heat oil in a large wok. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add other veggies and stir-fry for 5 -10 minutes until veggies are cooked (but not soggy).
Add sauces and honey and toss then add noodles and mix through. Garnish with sesame seeds.
Silverbeet & Feta Muffins
2 cups of SR flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 cups cheddar cheese, grated
150g feta cheese, roughly crumbled
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
80g butter, melted
4 silverbeet leaves (or kale or spinach), finely chopped (remove stems)
Extra cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 180C.
Line 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 silverbeet.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently with a fork until the mixture just comes together (if you over mix the batter, the muffins will be rubbery instead of fluffy).
Moisten hands with water and roll the mixture into golf ball sized balls. Place into mini muffin tins.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and springy to touch.
Scones with Jam & Vanilla Cream
3 cups of SR flour
a pinch of salt
1 cup of cream
1 cup of lemonade
Preheat oven to 220C.
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in cream and lemonade.
Mix with a knife until mixture just comes together.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead. (It is important not to knead it too much because otherwise the scones will be hard, rather than soft and light).
Shape the dough into a large rectangle and cut into 30 small squares.
Arrange close together over two lined baking trays.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Serve with jam and cream.
Rhubarb, Strawberry & Balsamic Jam
350g chopped rhubarb (1 bunch)
200g chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
3/4 cup rapadura sugar
Place all ingredients in a heavy based saucepan on low-medium heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low and cook for another 20-30 minutes until sticky and jammy. Stir occasionally to ensure jam doesn’t stick.
Cool completely and then fill in sterilised jars in the fridge for up to one month.
300ml thickened cream
1 tablespoon of castor sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Beat the cream using electric beaters. Slowly add the sugar and vanilla and beat to desired consistency.
Note – overbeating causes the cream to look curdled so stop when it is thick and soft.
Broad Bean Dip with Wonton Crisps
3-4 cups podded broad beans
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
25 wontons, cut in half diagonally
Preheat the oven to 180C
Pod broad beans and plunge into boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and slip beans out of their skins.
In a small food processor, pulse the beans and mix with oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper.
Crumble the feta and gently mix it through the broad bean mixture.
Place the wonton sheets on lined baking trays and spray with oil. Bake for a few minutes – until crisp and golden.
Serve the wonton crisps with the dip.