It has been another massive week in the kitchen. From the garden we have had zucchinis, potatoes, figs, warrigal greens, finger limes and loads of herbs and greens.
We began with the holy trinity of zucchini, mint and chilli in a delightful zoodle salad topped with a crunch pangrattato made with sage and fresh fennel seeds.
Our new pizza oven also got its first try-out after a week of curing and we made two types of pizza bianco – one with potatoes, rosemary, parmesan and rocket and the other with thinly sliced figs, thyme, feta and honey. These were devoured by kids and adults alike! Garden club also used the pizza oven to make focaccia using a tomato and basil passata the students made during a rainy garden class.
We used our warrigal greens along with dill, parsley, spinach and and lemon in a gorgeous Greek rice dish. And then much to the excitement of the students who had picked them last week in garden, the finger limes came out for an exercise in contrast with a sweet and sour finger lime and white chocolate cookie. Alternate classes made a rosemary and honey shortbread which also focussed on the flavour combinations of the herbal rosemary contrasted with the honey.
Finally we made some fantastic pancakes, which are a brilliant recipe to have over the school holidays because the dry ingredients can be premixed and stored in the pantry and for an easy breakfast simply combine 1 cup dry mix with 1 egg, 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of melted butter to make a pancake batter. The raspberry jam was licked clean and is a great alternative to store bought jam. It is simply, crushed frozen raspberries combined with chia seeds to thicken and maple syrup to sweeten. It can be made with any type of frozen (and thawed) berry.
Out final class for the term will look at some Pesach recipes.
We are preparing this pizza backwards. You will be rolling out the (pre-prepared) dough, preparing the topping and then making the dough ready for the next class.
375g plain white flour
375g strong white flour
2½ level teaspoons of fine sea salt
1½ teaspoons of instant dried yeast
1½ tablespoons of olive oil, plus a little extra
Put the two flours into the bowl of the stand mixer with the salt and yeast. Mix well using the dough hook.
Add the oil and 500ml warm water and mix to a rough dough. Knead for 5–10 minutes, until smooth. This is quite a loose and sticky dough, which is just as it should be – you get better-textured bread or pizza base this way – so try not to add too much flour if you can help it, it will become less sticky as you knead.
Trickle a little oil into a clean bowl, add the kneaded dough and turn it in the oil so it is covered with a light film. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size – at least an hour, probably closer to two – or if using the next day, wrap bowl in cling film and put straight into the fridge to prove slowly.
When the dough is well risen and puffy, tip it out and ‘knock it back’ by poking it with your outstretched fingers until it collapses to its former size. It’s now ready to be shaped to your will.
Pizza Bianco with Potatoes & Rosemary
1 quantity of pizza dough (this will make 3 large pizzas)
3 handfuls rocket leaves
100g parmesan cheese, grated
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
3 medium-to-large potatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 220C or preheat pizza oven.
Rinse the rocket leaves and dry them in the salad spinner. Shred the rocket into fine strips and place between two paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
Peel the potatoes, washing them as you go, and slice them very thinly and very carefully using. Use the electric grater with the slicing attachment to do this.
Tip the sliced potatoes into the large bowl and drizzle with most of the oil.
Add the rosemary and salt and pepper, then mix together so that all the slices are lightly oiled.
Assembling the pizza
Scatter some flour on the workbench, divide the dough in three and stretch to pizzas.
Assemble the pizzas directly onto the pizza trays, flouring the trays with semolina first.
Arrange the slices of potato on the pizzas, overlapping them slightly.
Sprinkle most of the Parmesan over the potato, keeping some aside.
Drizzle the pizzas with the last of the oil, then place the pizzas in the oven for about 10 minutes or in the pizza oven for about 4 minutes or until the edges are very crusty and the cheese is bubbling.
You may want to slip the pizza off the tray onto the rack for the last few minutes, so that you get a really crusty base.
Top each with a handful of the shredded rocket leaves and remaining parmesan.
Pizza Bianco with Figs, Feta & Thyme
1 quantity of pizza dough
Semolina to sprinkle on the pizza trays
6 sprigs thymes leaves, leaves only (not stalks)
200g feta, crumbled
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon per pizza
A bowl of figs, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey, per large pizza and 1 teaspoon of honey per small pizza
Preheat the ovens to 220C or the preheat the pizza oven.
Dust the pizza trays with semolina.
Divide the dough into appropriate portions and gently stretch out to fit the pizza bases.
Note, if you knead the dough or play with it too much it becomes tough and difficult to work with so spend time gently stretching and turning.
Scatter the figs over the pizza bases. Top with feta and scatter over thyme leaves.
Drizzle with honey and olive oil.
Bake for 10-15 mins in the oven (or until golden) or for about 5 minutes in the pizza oven.
Zoodle Salad with Pangrattato
3 zucchini, spiralised
1/4 cup mint leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Maldon salt & pepper
Juice of half a lemon (zest it for the pangrattato before you juice it)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Half a loaf of sourdough bread
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
3 sage leaves, thinly sliced (you can use scissors to do this and just cut into thin strips)
1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt flakes
For the pangrattato:
Break or tear the bread into small chunks and then blitz in the food processor until crumb like.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non stick fry pan. Add the breadcrumbs and all the rest of the pangrattato ingredients and toss until golden and crunchy. This takes about 5 minutes – be patient.
Set aside to cool.
For the zoodle salad:
Spiralise the zucchini and place in a large bowl. Finely slice the mint and add to the zucchini.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Crumble the feta over the zucchini and toss well.
Divide onto serving plates.
Serve the pangrattato in bowls next to the zoodles and sprinkle it over just before eating (so it stays crunchy – if you put it on to early it will lose its crispiness).
A large bowl of warrigal greens
4 silverbeet leaves, leaves and stems separated and then both finely sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
A handful of dill, finely chopped
A handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 cups basmati rice
3 cups chicken stock (3 cups cold water + 1 chicken stock cube)
Salt & pepper to taste
400g tin crushed tomatoes
1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
Juice of half a lemon (optional)
Bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch the warrigal greens for 2 minutes. Drain and the squeeze out as much moisture as you can (the water is bitter, so really try to squeeze it out). Then roughly chop.
Heat the oil in a heave based saucepan. Add the onions and cook until glassy (translucent).
Add the warrigal greens, the silverbeet and the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the rice and tomatoes and keep stirring for 1 minute, until all the rice is coated.
Add the stock bring to the boil with the lid on. Turn down the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed, stirring every 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir through dill and parsley. Squeeze over some lemon juice if desired.
150g butter at room temperature
50g caster sugar
1 tablespoon honey
250g self-raising flour
1 pinch salt
A medium branch of rosemary with extra sprigs to garnish
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Wash the rosemary and wipe dry. Strip the needles from the medium branch and finely chop. You will need about 2 tablespoons worth.
Line the baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
Beat the butter and the sugar and honey into a creamy mass. Stir in the flour, with the rosemary and salt. Do not beat too long, it just has to be well blended. Knead a few times on a countertop dusted with flour until it turns into a smooth dough ball.
Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each into a log. Slice each log into 10 circles and place on lined baking trays. Using a fork, prick a few holes in the dough and garnish each circle with a small sprig of rosemary.
Bake the shortbread in the oven for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the trays.
Pancakes with Homemade Raspberry & Chia Jam
For the pancake mix
600g plain flour
3 tablespoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon of fine salt
40g of caster sugar
1 litre of milk
80g of melted butter
Combine all the dry ingredients in bowl.
Melt the butter and combine it with the eggs and milk.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture and use a whisk to make sure everything is combine and there a no lumps.
Heat a fry pan to medium heat (too hot will burn the pancakes). Lightly spray pan with oil.
Place tablespoons of the mixture into the pan. When bubbles appear on the surface, flip the pancakes. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
Serve with raspberry & chia jam.
Raspberry & Chia Jam
250g thawed raspberries
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
Place the berries in a bowl and mash up with a fork. Stir in the chia seeds and maple syrup. Whisk to combine then set aside for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent the chia seeds from sticking together. Serve with the pancakes.
Finger Lime & White Chocolate Cookies
2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
200g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
zest of 2 finger limes
pulp of 4 or 5 finger limes
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime (zest it first!)
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 175C.
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add the egg, lime zest & juice and finger lime zest & pulp to the butter/sugar and mix well.
Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms then add the white chocolate chips.
Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture and place onto lined baking trays. Flatten slightly and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Cool on trays for a few minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.