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Chimichurri (photo)


This fresh sauce will compliment this oncoming BBQ season perfectly.

makes 1 good cup

1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems

3-4 garlic cloves

2 Tbsps fresh oregano leaves (can sub 2 teaspoons dried oregano)

1 Tbsp fresh mint and basil leaves

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Finely chop, or pound in mortar and pestle the fresh herbs and garlic (or process in a food processor several pulses). Place in a small bowl.

Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings.

Serve immediately or refrigerate. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving. Can keep for a day or two.




cherry chilli (640x446)

Cherry Chilli

Serves 6

3 fresh red chillies

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper


Prick the chillies with the tip of a sharp knife – this stops them popping or exploding when they are cooked. The best way to blacken the chillies is to hold them with a metal pair of tongs directly into a gas flame obviously if that isn’t possible pop them uder a hot grill. You want the skin to blacken and blister all over.  Place the chillies in a small bowl, cover with cling film and leave for 15 minutes. This way they will steam in their own heat and the skins will peel off very easily.
First this stage I would recommend using gloves at this stage to peel the chillies, open them up and scrape out all the white seeds. Discard these, then finely chop the flesh of the chillies. Put in a mixing bowl, add the oil, lemon juice and mint, and mix well. Season to taste and serve.

You can omit the mint and add coriander or flat leaf parsley if desired.


IMG_7658 (620x640)

This is a perfect pasta for this time of the year!

Serves 4-6


Makes 1 Cup

3 Tbsp Pine Nuts

2 cups fresh Basil Leaves

1 clove Garlic, peeled

Pinch of Salt

½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


6 New Potatoes or small Red Potatoes

1 cup trimmed young Green Beans or Haricots Verts

500 g Linguine or spaghetti

Sea salt flakes

Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving



IMG_3270 (640x416)

TO MAKE PESTO - Combine the pine nuts, basil, garlic, and salt in a large stone mortar and grind with the pestle until the mixture forms a paste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, beating all the while with a wooden spoon. Add the Parmesan 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the mixture forms a thick paste. The pesto can also be made in a food processor. The pesto can be stored in a jar, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the refrigerator.

mortar pestle (640x594)

TO MAKE PASTA – Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to large bowl. Add green beans to same pot and cook until crisp and tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with potatoes. Cook pasta in same pot until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Transfer pasta to bowl with potatoes and green beans.

Whisk reserved ¼ cup cooking liquid into pesto. Add pesto to pasta mixture and toss thoroughly to coat. If the sauce looks to dry on the pasta add remaining cooking liquid.  Toss to through and transfer pasta to large platter. Serve, passing additional cheese separately.



Fresh Basil Pesto (photo)
I do realise this is nothing new but when made with fresh summer basil and pounded in a mortar and pestle this sauce is brought back to life!

makes 1 cup

large bunch fresh basil, about 50 leaves

10g sea salt

40g fresh pine nuts

4 cloves garlic, peeles

100ml olive oil

80g freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese


For the pesto, put the basil leaves in a large mortar with the salt, pine nuts and garlic. Grind down with the pestle until it becomes a fine pulp. Start to add the oil and continue grinding until the mixture is smooth. Add the parmesan and mix well.


Rocket leaves in their prime

Makes about 1 cup

Handful of rocket

Handful of flatleaf parsley

1 Tbsp capers

1 garlic clove

Sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


Place the rocket, parsley, garlic and capers in a food processor or in a mortar and pestle and process until the mixture is roughly chopped. With the machine running, add the olive oil and lemon juice in a slow, steady stream, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, and thin with a teaspoon or two of water so that it can be drizzled over grilled or roasted vegetables, fish or meat.




25g unsalted butter

15g flour

550ml full-fat milk

25g fresh parsley, stalks removed and chopped


Melt butter in a heavy-based pan and sprinkle over the flour. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon to mix, then cook until the mixture smells nutty.

Gradually pour in the milk, stirring all the time, to make a smooth sauce. Add 290ml of the ham poaching liquid or simply loosen with a water or add more milk, leave to simmer for 12 minutes. Season well with cracked pepper and a little salt, add the parsley and stir to combine.



This is wonderfully hot aromatic Middle Eastern sauce.  It goes with pretty much anything!

Ingredients for making Zhoug

Makes ½ cup thick sauce
35g coriander
20g parsley
2 green chillies
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cardamom
⅛ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water


Put all the ingredients into either a food processor or mortar and pestle and blend until smoothish. Put into a small bowl and use in any which way you choose



I love this sauce served warm over vanilla ice cream or generously spooned over Greek yoghurt with a few toasted honey oats for a little crunch.

Makes about 500ml

About 4 cups finely chopped fresh rhubarb
½  cup orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
½  cup sugar
2 cm  piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise, vanilla paste or ¼ tsp vanilla extract
Few grates fresh  nutmeg

Scrub rhubarb, trim ends, and cut lengthwise down center. Cut rhubarb into ½ slices.

Combine rhubarb, orange juice, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg in large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Stir, cover and bring to simmer, which will just take a few minutes. Remove lid, stir well and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir.

Cover and let stand, sauce will continue to cook a little as it stands. The sauce should be about the consistency of thick soup. If you want it thicker, cook a few minutes more with lid off. Serve warm or at cool room temperature; it can be easily reheated.


Arugula - rocket

           makes approx 300ml


             2 cups of packed rocket,         arugula  roquette leaves, stems removed

½ cup of shelled walnuts, hazelnuts or pinenuts
½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt


Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.
Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown.
Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the rocket, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
Mortar and pestle method: Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the rocket and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.
Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.
Serve with pasta, over freshly roasted potatoes, pizza, salads, grilled fish, drizzled over bruschetta.



This fresh-tasting salsa is great with fish, meats or perhaps used as a topping for flatbreads. It is best made with sun-ripened tomatoes and freshly grown coriander to get maximum flavour.

makes enough for 4-6 side servings
½ red onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
2 fresh hot chillies, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes, halved widthways, gently squeezed to remove seeds and finely diced
30g (about ½ bunch) coriander leaves and stems

Put onions into a small bowl, cover with vinegar and leave for 30 minutes (this removes the pungent flavour). Drain onion, pressing hard to extract as much vinegar as possible. Discard vinegar. Wash and dry bowl and tip back in. Stir in chilli, garlic, tomato and coriander (if tomatoes are a little tart a pinch of sugar will lift them up). Serve.