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otago farmers market mobile kitchen menu – 6/09/2014


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Spring is certainly in the air and i’m  loving it!  Daffodils are flowering,  blossoms are blooming and my broadbeans are popping through the soil.  However we mustn’t get to carried away as new season produce is still for us southerners some time away.  What I find myself doing with regards to menus as we all want more summery lighter dishes even though we don’t have the produce to back us up.  I have taken out the creamy mash and put warm salads with perhaps puy lentils, cannellini beans or even cous cous and mixed it up baby spinach or kale and handfuls of herbs and of course a punchy dressing. With a bit of juggling, yet still utilising our seasonal vegetables you will find that you will be able to withhold from buying tomatoes that taste of little, strawberries which aren’t in season and cucumbers which cost you a small fortune.  Be patient and hold if you can, we can still make some fantastic dishes!

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Broccoli has been fantastic this winter, firm, crunchy and nutritious. This Japanese inspired dressing adds a simple twist to make this magnificent vegetable even more desirable.

Serves 4


1 large or 2 small heads of fresh broccoli

1 cup sesame seeds

1 tsp sea salt flakes

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp rapeseed oil (or any good quality oil)

1 lemon to serve


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

Add the whole heads of broccoli and submerge in boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes, carefully drain and refresh immediately in ice cold water. When cold remove and drain well.

To make the gomasio; toast the sesame seeds with the salt in heavy based fry pan until the seeds turn a golden colour. Remove from the heat and grind lightly to extract a little more flavour. Set aside and cool. This can be kept in sealed container for a couple of weeks.

Wipe the fry pan clean and place on the heat so that it heats to very hot. Prepare the broccoli by separating the florets into even sized medium-large pieces. With the stalk, remove any tough outer layers and but into finger sized lengths. You may have to blacken these in batches depending on the size of your pan.

Place the broccoli directly into hot pan and allow the broccoli to char/blacken so that it will give the broccoli a smoky flavour and crunchy texture in places. Repeat this process until all the broccoli is done and place onto a serving plate.

Add the oil to the sesame seeds and mix to combine. Pour the dressing over the broccoli and toss to combine. Serve with fresh lemon and enjoy!




Pears are still readily available and this fragrant method of poaching them adds a wonderful Middle Eastern flavour. I like to serve them with creamy strained yoghurt.

Serves 4-6

6 pears

6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

Pinch of saffron threads (8 approx)

1cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated

½ cup sugar

2 cup water

1 orange, zest

250 g unsweetened yoghurt


Strained yoghurt – If wanting to make strained yoghurt you will need to start this at least the night before as you want the liquid to drain from the yoghurt. I line a sieve or colander with muslin or some suitable fine mesh cloth. Place the yoghurt in this and pull up the sides. Tie with string and drain for at least 12 hours or longer if possible.

When ready to use remove the string and cloth and turn carefully onto a plate. The yoghurt will be creamy and thick. This can be used for sweet and savoury dishes.

Place the cardamom, saffron, ginger, sugar and water into a suitable size pot (medium to large). Add the orange zest and bring to the boil, reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer.

Peel the pears, remove the core and cut into either halves or quarters. Place into the poaching liquid, cover the surface of the liquid with a round of greaseproof paper (cartouche) as this will assist in keeping the pears submerged for even cooking.

Poach very gently until tender (12-20 minutes). Remove from the heat and cool in the liquid.

Serve in bowl with a little of the cardamom syrup and a generous spoonful of the strained yoghurt.



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Risotto is pretty much a one pot meal, easy on the pocket and so versatile. I was looking at my vege patch and saw a lot of healthy green vegetables and herbs resulting in this nourishing risotto.

Serves 4

½ small onion, diced

2 sticks celery, peeled and cut into 1cm long pieces

8 large leaves cavolo nero, stalks removed

200g silverbeet and or spinach

Handful parsley, chervil, and chives, roughly chopped

5 to 6 cups vegetable stock

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp butter

1 ½ cups faro, barley or Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

Salt to taste

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 4 cavolo nero leaves and the silverbeet leaves and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. With remaining leaves finely slice and set aside. Rinse quickly under cold water. Put cooked leaves in a blender or food processor and add just enough water to allow machine to puree until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. When it is hot, add onion, celery and sliced silverbeet leaves, stirring occasionally until soft but not yet brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine, stir, and let liquid bubble away. Add a large pinch of salt. Add warmed stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring constantly. Each time stock has just about evaporated, add more.

After about 15 minutes, add cavolo nero leaves, and a couple of spoons of the puree, continuing to add stock when necessary. Taste the rice as you go, you want it to be tender but with a bit of crunch; it could take as long as 25 minutes total to reach this stage. When it does, stir in ½ of the leaf puree. Remove saucepan from heat, add remaining butter and stir briskly. Add Parmesan and stir briskly, then taste and adjust seasoning.

Risotto should be slightly soupy. Serve immediately.



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I have to admit I like to cook my fillets of fish like this as it is quick, easy to prepare and with a little sprinkle of this spice mix it certainly livens it up!

Serves 4-6


4 – 8 fillets of fish 25g butter 2 Tbsp oil Sea salt and cracked pepper

Japanese spice mix

1 Tbsp black peppercorns

1 Tbsp chilli flakes

2 tsp flaked nori

2 tsp black sesame seeds

2 tsp white poppy or black poppy seeds

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp dried citrus peel (if available)

To serve – lemon wedges


To make Japanese spice mix; Combine all the ingredients for spice mix and grind together until you reach a coarse consistency. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 1 month.

Heat up a large fry pan with 1 Tbsp butter and the oil. When the butter starts to froth, put the fish in skin side down. Continue with the remainder fillets and add to the pan. Do not however overcrowd the pan, sprinkle each fillet with a little of the spice mix. When the fillets are browning up (2-4 minutes depending on size of fish) carefully turn them over (two forks work well). Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

Remove the fish and place onto warm plates.

Serve with lemon wedges.



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Serves 4-6


250g fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Coarse salt, pinch

1 cup Greek yoghurt, unsweetened

1 ½ cups cold cream

1/3 cup icing sugar

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Either blend the raspberries or mash with a fork or potato masher until a thick puree is reached. . Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on solids (discard seeds). Combine raspberries, granulated sugar, and pinch of salt and stir to combine and let sit so the sugar dissolves, about 5-10 minutes.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, beat cream and icing sugar on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Beat in lemon juice.

In 4-6 small glasses, alternate layers of raspberry puree and whipped cream. With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, gently swirl whipped cream and puree together. Smooth tops and serve immediately.












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