Brussels side

Brussels sprouts may not be to everyone’s taste but i really love them. This side dish is the perfect table wow factor and will leave your guests (and kids) loving brussels.
I used beautiful fatty streaky bacon here to add to the flavor of the dish. This can however be substituted for pancetta, chicken/duck/turkey bacon or reduced fat pork bacon.
For a simple and quick lunch, toss it through lemon, garlic & chilly spaghetti. Delicious!

ingredients | serves 2-4 | easy
300g Brussels sprouts, halved
125g streaky bacon, sliced
40g walnuts, roughly chopped
2 leeks, sliced diagonally
4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
2T olive oil
1T butter
1/2t salt
good grind of black pepper
zest of half a lemon

how to do it
Heat a dry pan over medium heat and toast the walnuts. Keep your eye on the pan to avoid it from burning.
Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to the boil. Submerge the halved Brussels sprouts in the water and blanch for three minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the water bath by running cold water into a large bowl and add one cup of ice to it. Remove the sprouts from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and submerge it into the iced water. Leave to cool and then drain.
Heat the olive oil and fry the bacon until almost crispy.
Add the leeks and Brussels sprouts, toss and then add the tablespoon of butter and the fresh thyme.
Cook on a moderate heat until the bacon have crisped beautifully and the sprouts has a nice color to its skin.
Sprinkle the toasted walnuts into the skillet and toss.
Season with the salt, pepper & lemon zest and toss to coat.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

warm tomato & feta salad

Although we are currently in our winter season, which normally calls for all things slow cooked and piping hot, i still have a big love for a good salad as a healthy dinner option or as a side to a good piece of protein.
This salad, served warm, is a very delicious alternative to normal salads and pairs well with red meat, chicken or fish.
A great addition to this dish is toasted butter & garlic ciabatta or sour dough slices, making it a delicious, light meal on its own.

Easy, simple, fresh, delicious.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
2T olive oil
300g-400g vine tomatoes or rosa tomatoes
4 rounds feta cheese, halved
150g green beans
handful fresh basil leaves
1t dried basil
3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
3T balsamic vinegar
2 red onions, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled & halved
1/2t salt
good grind of black pepper

how to
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Place the tomatoes and red onion into a roasting tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat.
Nestle the feta rounds in and amongst the tomatoes & onions. Add the thyme leaves, dried basil, garlic, balsamic, salt & pepper and gently coat everything using your hands.
Place the tray into the preheated oven and roast for about 15-18 minutes.
Meanwhile, blanch the green beans.
Prepare an icy bath with water and ice. Set aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Immerse the beans into the water and cook for about three minutes. Remove the beans from the simmering water and into the ice bath to cool.
Remove and drain on kitchen towel paper.
Add the beans to the tray and continue to roast the salad for a further five minutes or until the tomatoes have popped.

Garnish the salad with the fresh basil leaves and serve warm.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

zucchini & goat’s cheese galette

This puff tart makes a great side to almost any main, is perfect on its own as a snack or served as a light meal, with a zesty salad. The creamy goat’s cheese and zucchini are the perfect match and set atop a flaky, buttery pastry is my idea of a perfect taste sensation.
Shop bought pastry is perfect and saves a lot of time. If you prefer making your own, I salute you!
Puff pastry is one ingredient I always have readily available as it really simplifies things. The thawing and cooking time is quick and it works really well with both savoury and sweet dishes.
I absolutely love sinking my teeth into thick pastry, topped with great flavours…

ingredients | serves 4 – 6 | easy
1 roll puff pastry, thawed
3-4 zucchini’s, peeled
100g soft goat’s cheese, broken into pieces
1 round crotin cheese, sliced
4T creme fraiche, at room temperature
3T cream cheese, at room temperature
zest of 1lemon
1t crushed garlic
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 egg, whisked
black pepper
a few pinches of salt
fresh rocket, garnish

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Place the sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface and evenly roll it out, extending the pastry by about 1cm on each side. Gently lift the pastry onto a greased, ovenproof tray.
Using a sharp knife, cut along the pastry, about 1cm from the edge, not cutting all the way through. So as to create a border.
Lightly the border of the pastry with the beaten egg.
Mix the cream cheese, creme fraiche, lemon zest & crushed garlic and spread it across the centre of the pastry.
Top the cream cheese mixture with the peeled zucchini strips followed by the spring onion and goat’s cheese. Top with the crotin rounds & thyme and season with salt & black pepper.
Bake in the preheated oven until puffed and browned, about 25 minutes.
Carefully remove the tray from the oven and garnish the galette with fresh rocket.
Slice the galette with a pizza cutter and serve immediately.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

parmentier potato side dish

this is a great side to almost any meaty dish and fish. a different take on the normal roast potatoes and so tasty.
you can mix all the ingredients together in a bowl but i prefer shaking it all up in a ziploc or freezer bag…less to clean up.
for a little bit of extra amazing, top the potatoes with grated parmesan.
soft middle, crispy crust, fresh herbs and garlic and parmesan…this really is my idea of a potato orgasm.

6 potatoes, peeled and cut into blocks
1/3c olive oil (not extra virgin)
6 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
4 rosemary sprigs, leaves only, chopped
2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp black pepper
1/2tsp salt
chives for garnish
parsley for garnish

preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. warm a roasting tray in the oven.
place the potatoes and other ingredients into a ziploc bag or bowl and mix well to coat.
tip the potatoes out into the warmed roasting tray and roast until the potatoes are cooked and crispy, tossing half way. (about 45 minutes to an hour)

garnish with chopped chives or parsley or both.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x

ricotta, walnut & herb galette

pastry is a big love of mine whether its sweet or savoury and i am fortunate enough to have an amazing friend with an amazing walnut farm.
this dish is lovely on its own with a tossed salad but i served it alongside rump steak with a rich red wine sauce. it was delicious.
you can make smaller, individual galettes, roll the pastry to form pinwheels or enclose the pastry to make a large or a few small pies.
the ricotta with the walnuts really makes this tart so creamy and decadent that you most certainly will opt for seconds.
i topped the galette with mushrooms but there really are no rules. be creative. follow your taste requirements.

1 roll puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
200g ricotta cheese
1 garlic clove, peeled
50g walnuts (and extra chopped walnuts for the topping)
2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
a few parsley sprigs
handful rocket leaves
squeeze of lemon juice
1/2tsp black pepper
1/2tsp salt
1/2 punnet mushrooms (optional)
olive oil (to fry mushrooms)
shaved parmesan (optional)

preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
on a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry. score a border around the pastry, about 1.5 – 2cm from the edge.
brush the pastry with the beaten egg, dock the pastry a few times using a fork and bake for roughly ten (10) minutes until lightly coloured.
while the pastry bakes, add the remaining ingredients (except mushrooms, olive oil & parmesan) to a blender and blend until just smooth.
remove the pastry from the oven and cool for ten minutes. carefully push down any pastry that has risen in the middle.
meanwhile cook the mushrooms in a little olive oil until just cooked.
spread the mixture evenly into the middle of the tart leaving the beautiful puffed up edge. top with the mushrooms and the chopped walnuts and bake for a further 12 minutes until the pastry is golden and the nuts lightly toasted.
remove from the oven, cool for five minutes and garnish with shaved parmesan and fresh herbs.

best served warm

from my kitchen to yours, with love x