I'm loving experimenting with pepperberries - its like pepper, but so much more! There's a fruity edge to it initially, and the heat comes later...not in a blow your head off, chilli kind of way, but more of a back palate kick that rounds the mouthful off perfectly.
This recipe really showcases how a single ingredient, even used sparingly, can turn a tray of roast veggies into a truly special meal. And it's great for those bottom-of-the-crisper veggies you don't know what to do with. Pumpkin, potato, carrot, zucchini, capsicum… just throw in whatever you've got! For the below recipe I've specified the veggies I used on this occasion.
Take our word for it, the addition of pepperberries will provide a slight fruitiness packed with a zing you'll want to come back for everyday. 😀
(serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side)
½ cup pumpkin, cut in bite sized cubes
1 fresh beetroot, cut into bite sized cubes
1 celeriac, cubed as above
Juice of 1 Lemon
A handful of walnuts
6-8 cubes persian fetta or vegan fetta
1 tsp crushed Pepperberries
A good handful of rocket or salad greens
Preheat the oven to 190c.
Lay your veggies out on a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and half the lemon juice. Sprinkle it with a little salt and half the pepperberries.
Roast for 30 mins or until the veg is lightly golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile put the walnuts, fetta and salad greens in a large bowl. While the veg is still a bit warm, add it to the bowl and toss it all gently to combine, adding a little more olive oil and the remaining lemon juice and pepperberries.
Serve as a side to a main meal, or eat on its own as a delicious, light lunch!
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This pumpkin scone recipe is an old family one of mine, passed down through the generations. It won many a medal for my foremothers at the Brisbane Ekka over the span of the 20th century.
For a different spin on it I have added lemon myrtle, and it brings a whole new element! I can almost hear my great grandmother gasping as she clutches her peacock blue beads...but i think it’s a good gasp :)
"But wait", I hear you say, "that photo - surely that's not a scone! It's baked in one piece! Controversial!" Home bakers of the Inner West, remain alert but not alarmed; I am here to assure you that scones can indeed be baked in one piece.
Not only does it ensure the most sublime texture and crumb, but it cuts out so much faffing about with cutting the scones into circles and transferring them to the baking tray. You just pile the mixture onto your tray, bake, cool and cut into wedges or squares.
1 cup roasted mashed pumpkin, still hot
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten into the milk
3 cups wholemeal SR flour
(Can add cinnamon to flour if you fancy)
1 tbsp Lemon Myrtle
Place in a mixing bowl the pumpkin, sugar and butter. Stir to blend. Add egg and milk then add flour & salt.
Now, I can't stress this enough - Do not over mix! Stop mixing as soon as ingredients are blended.
Now, here is the plot twist: compared to your garden variety scone, this mixture will be less like a dough and more like a batter. So instead of cutting out individual scones, place the whole mixture onto a baking tray lined with paper or an Agreeno baking mat, then bake in a 220C oven.
It takes about 20 minutes. Poke a toothpick in the centre. When it comes out clean, it's ready to come out. Let it cool on the baking tray for 15 mins before cutting into squares or wedges.
They're perfect with butter & golden syrup or honey.
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Look, I have to tell you that this recipe is amazing as is. But you can definitely add some different dimensions to it. Try a teaspoon of cinnamon added to the flour. Lemon zest and dried lavender also work beautifully. I'd even be so bold as to suggest folding a sprinkling of chai tea into the mix. Make it your own. And please let us know how it goes!
Spring has well and truly sprung, and it's the perfect weather for our new Watermelon & Lime kombucha to really come into its own.
Of course it's delicious as is, but this simple spritzer really makes it sing.
The Virgin Version:
Watermelon & Mint kombucha
6-8 Fresh mint leaves
Grab an empty glass and throw in 3 or 4 mint leaves. Swish them around the bottom of the glass with a teaspoon, muddler or chopstick to release the magic mintiness.
Now add some ice cubes and a squeeze of lime, & fill glass with Watermelon & Lime kombucha.
Garnish with remaining mint leaves and a twist of lime
The Not So Virgin Version:
After adding ice, pour in a measure of white rum, gin or vodka. Add remaining ingredients.
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*Add crushed watermelon, or serve with a small slice of watermelon as garnish.
*try a frozen version: mix ingredients, pour into a shallow container and freeze. Break up with fork and serve the icy shards in a fancy glass. Yum!
Combine ingredients in a bowl along with 1 cup water and any additional flavourings from the suggestion list.
Leave for 15 minutes for the seeds to soak up the water. Give everything a good stir. (It should feel like very thick batter.) If necessary, add a splash more water before stirring again. Then spread the mixture thinly over a lined baking tray The ideal thickness is about 3-4mm. Too thin and the crackers will be too fragile, too thick and they won't be crunchy enough.
Bake for one hour or until golden and crisp. If they don't feel crunchy after an hour, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then break into shards. Store in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks.
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Additional, optional flavourings - pick 1 or pick many:
1 tsp salt or smoked salt
1 tsp Dried rosemary
1 tbl Nutritional yeast
½ tsp Chilli flakes
½ tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Italian herbs
½ tsp Smoked paprika
2 tsp Vegetable stock
2 tsp Falafel mix
CANNELLINI BEAN DIP
2 cups cannellini beans
4 cups water, for soaking
4 cups water, for cooking
1 brown onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest from ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Few grinds black pepper
1 tsp stock powder of choice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle over finished dip
1 tsp smoked paprika to dust on top
Cover beans with four cups of water and soak the beans for a full 24 hours in fridge. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Place beans, another 4 cups of water, bay leaf and onion in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil covered. Lower to a simmer with lid partially covering the pan and simmer for about an hour or until soft and tender.
Drain but reserve the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf and onion. Cool the beans and the reserved liquid completely before next step.
Place the cooled beans and ¼ cup of the cooled cooking liquid in a food processor with all remaining ingredients (olive oil, garlic, lemon, stock, salt and pepper). Process until well blended. You may need to add more cooking liquid while blending to reach desired consistency - you're going for a creamy dip. Taste, then adjust seasoning if necessary.
To serve, drizzle some olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika over the top. Serve with seed crackers.
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*try adding fresh herbs like parsley or thyme
*change the flavour profile by using different spice blends - z'ataar, dukkah, bay seasoning and Italian herbs are a few ideas.
*add some cayenne pepper, chilli or ground Tasmanian pepperberry for an extra kick.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
Cannellini Dip also makes an excellent, nutrient-rich stand-in for mashed potato or rice. I swear it's true!
Look no further. These delicious baked beans will have you throwing away your can opener for good.
150-200g dried haricot(navy) beans, soaked in cold water overnight
1/4 cup (125ml) olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
Brown sugar or maple syrup to taste - anywhere from 2 tsp to 1 tbs
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
200ml of the reserved soaking water
Drain the beans (reserve the soaking liquid for a later step)and transfer to a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy based pot over a low heat, add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until onion starts to turn transparent.
Increase heat to medium and add the garlic, spices, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 mins.
Add the sugar/syrup and vinegar, stir well for 1 min.
Now add the tinned tomatoes and half a can/200ml of the water you soaked your beans in, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the drained beans. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has slightly reduced. Adjust seasoning and serve with toast.
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For a TexMex take, use pinto or black turtle beans instead of navy, and add a good glug of chipotle sauce in step 5. Serve with sliced jalapenos, coriander, a lime wedge and warmed tortillas.
Add bacon if you like! During step 2, while you're sauteeing the onions add 3 or 4 rashers of diced bacon
Boozy Beans anyone? Add a measure or 2 of bourbon in step 4. It's insanely good!