Sunday, 27 April 2014

Wild Rice Salad

These days most of my cooking experimentation is aimed at just getting dinner on the table.
As much as I would love to be hanging out at local restaurants or hunting down the latest coffee joint and as much as I would love to spend a whole day making some ridiculously complicated cake, the little spare time I have is usually spent cleaning, re-organizing or laying somewhat comatose in front of the computer flicking through blogs and pretending to read them.
I am however submitted to that for now. Perhaps that is why the house has seemed so much quieter recently, because my soul has quietened. I feel a little more settled in this season. I know one day I will be released again, but for now, I may as well enjoy what this space of time has to offer me.

And so my creative outlet has not so much squashed as just refocused. 
One thing that has caught my interest is inserting more grains and legumes into our diet. I have always loved my g’s and l’s and with a tightening budget and bend towards simpler eating there couldn't really be a better platform for trying out more of these recipes.

So that brings me to a wonderful wild rice salad. My dear friend ‘Mina first introduced me to this one, I’m not sure where she got it from but over time it has changed a little, and it will probably continue to the more I make it.  
Admittedly the photo attached contains the more hip-pocket-savvy mountain rice, but if you are happy to spend the extra coin I really recommend you try the proper wild rice at least once. 

As with all salads, they are really quite flexible depending on your pantry or the season. But there are 3 elements here that really make this salad what it is. 
Firstly, the rice. These alternative rice’s add so much more flavor and texture than just plain white rice. 
Secondly, the dressing. 
And Finally, a handful of finely chopped crasins. I love finely chopping things that are full of sweetness or just bolder in their flavor. They make such an impact on the dish but in a much subtler way, so that it goes from an, 'ok' dish, to a, ‘Oo that’s so yummy, but what is that flavor I can’t quite put my finger on??’.
Everything else is pretty much rattle (the cupboard) and bake (whatever falls out)


Wild Rice Salad (base recipe)
consider adding more seeds and grains to this recipe

Roast veg (I used sweet potato, cauliflower and mixed carrots, all chopped into small pieces and roasted with a bit of olive oil and seasoned well) about one baking tray full.
1 cup of wild rice
toasted corn kernels
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 bunch of asparagus 
a handful of craisins finely chopped
coriander (leaves, stems and roots)
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of honey
1 garlic clove
olive oil (for dressing), about 1/2 a cup (give or take)
1 teaspoon(ish) of salt

Cook rice as directed on packet

for corn fry kernels till they start to colour

Slice asparagus and place in a bowl, boil kettle and pour over, leave until asparagus brightens in colour then drain.

Combine mixed roast vegetables, asparagus, corn, craisins, chickpeas, roughly chopped coriander leaves with cooked rice.

to make dressing place lemon juice, garlic clove, dijon, salt, honey and the steams and roots of coriander(you may need to pre-chop them a little first) into a food processor with oil and blend till smooth (you may need to add more oil and salt if it needs)
combine with salad.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Tarte a la Tomate


I have been very excited to bring you this month’s recipe. But first things first, if you've noticed that the top of my page has had a little change, well done, and I have to pass credit to my dear friend Eleta, who by chance has this great little online jewelry store (plug, plug, plug) and if you happen to live in Perth she also shows up at various markets around the city (thank you hon’ xoxo)

But back to food. I feel like I should have some wonderful story to share with this recipe, like a back story to place emphasis on just how special a recipe this is. Truth is I have squat. Nothing. I found the recipe, I tried the recipe, I slid the recipe into my ‘favorites’ file and there I think it shall stay for quite some time. It is simple, (or at least as simple as French gets) it is buttery, it is sweet and salty and something you want to eat with your eyes closed and a sultry French songstress wooing you in the back ground. It is Tarte à la Tomate. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Perfect for dinner parties, picnics or sneakily chowing down whilst sitting on the kitchen floor and hoping no one is looking so that you don’t have to share.
So without further delay, here she is…….

(Adapted from Food of the world’s The cooking of Provincial France)

Tarte à la Tomate


140 grams of butter
170 grams of plain flour
1 teaspoon of salt
3-5 tablespoons of cold water

Combine and chill for 3 hours

Butter and dust lightly with flour a false bottomed quiche or cake tin (8-9 inch) then roll out pastry (may need to take out of fridge for 5-10 minutes before rolling out) lay pastry in tin, cut off over hang and return to fridge for an hour


Cheese: Combrè, Swiss or Gruyere (I’m sure you can put in whatever you like or can get from local shops) about 500 grams
2-3 large tomatoes (I used about 600 grams of cherry tomatoes)
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh basil, about 4 or 5 leaves
30 grams of Parmesan cheese- grated
30 grams of butter

Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with a good amount of salt and leave to drain for 1 hour.

Bake pastry (using blind bake method) at about 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven, remove baking paper and weights, prick pastry with fork all over and return to oven for another 5 minutes.

Lay sliced cheese over pastry, then lay tomatoes on top.
Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle the Parmesan across and a little of the basil- finely chopped.

Melt butter and pour over top of tomatoes and return to oven for around 25 minutes till starting to golden.

Adorn with some freshly chopped basil and serve.