Beetroot and Pinot Risotto

Like rubies, real rubies, the Prince of Vegetables – such is the humble beetroot. This is another beetroot risotto, a perfect combination of the earthy taste of beetroot with the creaminess of risotto. Such an unusual colour! It is beautiful served on white or green plates. A splendour of colour! Stand back and wait for the spontaneous applause which is sure to come.

You might like to explore other Risotto recipes here and here. Our Beetroot recipes are here and here. Or browse our Italian dishes here and here. If you are after Spring recipes, our Mid Spring dishes are here.

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A Quick Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts

A salad comes together from almost nothing

The other morning, while making coffee and getting a quick breakfast ready, I got my lunch prep underway. In no time there was a small handful of burghul soaking in hot water. The last of some green olives, halved. Hazlenuts quickly toasted. Some left over slivered almonds.  Onions soaking in red wine vinegar. The last of a jar of kimchi.

Feel free to browse our Salad recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Burghul recipes here. Check out our easy Summer recipes here and here.

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Seasonal Cooking | Goodies, Grains, Lentils, Preserves and More for Early Autumn Sustenance | Volume 2

Autumn is such a joy. The cooling weather of Autumn arrives, yet food is bi-seasonal — we are not yet ready to let the last season go but are making tentative forays into the food of the coming season. We need dishes to remind us of summer, and others to warm our hearts.

Enjoy our Goodies, Grains and More Inspiration for Early Autumn. This is the second volume of two. You can find the first volume here.

You can also browse other Early Autumn recipes:

If you notice any links that have problems, please let us know – we’d love to fix them for you.

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Seasonal Cooking | Salads, Dressings, Dips and Sauces for Early Autumn Good Living

Salads are excellent in Autumn. As the heat retreats, so many vegetables are at their best in Early Autumn. Salads are still very much at the fore of our kitchen fare. As the heat tempers and the gardens once gain flourish, a slow Autumn rhythm begins to emerge.

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Spinach Thoran | Spinach Stirfry with Coconut

A seriously deliciously Thoran from Kerala

Spinach Thoran is an everyday side dish for rice which is generally cooked in an Indian wok or Kadhai. In this style of Thoran from Kerala, the main ingredient is stirfried or wilted, then pushed aside while a coconut and spice paste is placed in the centre of the wok. This is covered by the main ingredient and it is allowed to cook gently. This method leads to dishes that are light and delicious.

In this recipe a little rice is used as a spice adding a little texture and a lovely nutty flavour.

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Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint

As soon as the hot weather hits, thoughts turn to iced drinks and drinks that are cooling on the system. Iced teas, iced coffee and juices are our go-to coolers. This juice uses watermelon and is delicious! It is best to buy watermelon later in the season, no early watermelons. They are lacking in the true watermelon taste.

Don’t be afraid to add other cooling juices to the watermelon. Strawberries go very well with this. Cucumber and zucchini too, although green and red juices together go a murky colour. They taste amazing, but are not so visually appealing.

You might like to explore other drinks and juices. Would you like to know how to extract Pomegranate Juice? Or explore our Mid Summer recipes here.

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Seasonal Cooking | Early Winter Dishes Not to Be Missed

Healthy Winter Living

Enjoy these highlights from our Early Winter classic recipes.

You can browse all of our Early Winter recipes here: Indian Deliciousness, Soup Recipes for Early Winter, Salads, BBQs and Vegetables, Goodies, Grains, Lentils and More, Drinks and Sweets, Dips, Sauces, Purees and Preserves, and Tips and Hints for Cooking in Early Winter.

Please let us know if you find links that are not working. We would love to fix them for you.

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Seasonal Cooking | Early Summer Dishes Not to Be Missed

Enjoy these highlights from our Early Summer classic recipes.

You can browse all of our Early Summer recipes here: Soup Recipes for Early Summer, Salad Recipes, Vegetable Recipes, Indian Deliciousness, BBQs, Goodies, Grains, Lentils and More, Drinks and Sweet Things, and Tips and Hints for Cooking in Early Summer.

Please let us know if you find links that are not working. We would love to fix them for you.

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Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil

Bounce into (almost) summer with a sweet citrus salad with Italian flavours. Simply mix herbs with orange, onion and olives – what a wonderful homage to this stunning weather. May there be much more of it. This is the time to enjoy eating outside under the shade of a tree with a carafe of white wine, salads and fresh flatbread, and lots of fruits with creme fraiche. For this salad, use navel oranges if they are of good quality (easy to peel), but grab some more seasonal ones if they look better and juicier.

You might like to browse our other Orange Salads here, our Citrus Salads, or our other Salad Recipes here and here (we have a lot!) Our Italian dishes are here and here. Or simply explore our recipes for Early Summer.

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Masoor Sprouts Rice | Maharashtrian Kitchari

Today’s recipe is a kitchari from Maharashtra that incorporates sprouts made from masoor lentils, and which uses Goda Masala. Goda Masala is a spice mix unique to Maharashtra. I should say, one of the several spice mixes unique to that state of India. It is a spice mix that is complex and layered in flavours. There are a whole range of dishes that use it (e.g. Masoor Sprouts Usal), and we intend to make a few over the next weeks.

Goda Masala can be difficult to get outside of Maharashtra – try in North Indian groceries, because those specialising in South Indian ingredients won’t have heard of it. You can try to make your own masala – I generally prefer to do this, but several of the spices used in Goda Masala are hard to find outside of Maharashtra, even in India.

This kitchari is pilaf style rather than the South Indian style which is more porridge-like. It uses the long grained basmati rice rather than the shorter grained rice of South India.

Check out other Goda Masala recipes here. There are many other Kitchari recipes here. You will find more sprouts recipes here. Or explore all of our Maharashtrian recipes and our Indian recipes. Feel free to browse our Late Spring recipes here.

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Chilled Beetroot Soup

The colour of this soup is enough to bring joy to the heart.

A glorious and colourful start to a meal. Royal red beetroot transformed into a soup. I had fennel flowers sitting on the kitchen bench so these went into the soup as well, with some plain yoghurt.

Feel free to browse our Beetroot recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Cold Soup recipes here and here. Check out our easy Summer recipes here and here.

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A Plate of Cauliflower | Simplicity Itself

This must be simplicity personified in the kitchen

Towards the end of the day, after yoga, I picked up a very large cauliflower very cheaply. It turned out that we didn’t need a lot for dinner, so the cauliflower became one of the features of our meal with some crusty bread, a few hot cannellini beans and a salad.

Feel free to browse our Cauliflower recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Asparagus Risotto with Basil

Perfectly Spring.

Here is a beautiful spring risotto, made with asparagus. This gorgeous, simple and delicious green risotto really shows off the flavours of the asparagus.

What is it about this risotto? It is the first of the season’s asparagus that is looked forward to by Italians with a lot of joy. Asparagus risotto, with its melting creaminess offset against the chew of the rice and the delicacy of young asparagus, enriched with butter and  parmesan which is whipped into the rice at the end, is a joy to create and a pleasure to eat.

The secret to the dish is softened asparagus, properly cooked rice and using good risotto rice. Strictly an entree dish in Northern Italy, in Australia we have turned this into a one-course meal. It pairs well with a fresh green garden salad.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Risotto recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Asparagus recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here.

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Quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup

Cucumber is so cooling in these hot months. With tomato it is even better. This soup is gorgeous. Not quite gazpacho, it is definitely similar. Best eaten chilled, it can have yoghurt stirred through. We first made it in 1998 – that sounds so very long ago. But it has stood the test of time, and as soon as hot weather hits, we make it again.

Our preference is to use tomato purees, pastes or sauces from our freezer – we made them in Autumn to get us through the Winter and Spring months until good tomatoes hit the green grocer shelves again. But it can be made by juicing tomatoes, or even with a can of tomato soup if you are desperate (don’t ever mention that I said that – we usually don’t promote processed foods!)

It is a filling yet cooling hot weather soup.

You might also like our Cucumber recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Cold Soup recipes here and here. Check out our easy Summer recipes here and here.

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Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce

Nigel Slater with a dessert of strawberries and raspberries.

I love Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II and perhaps it is even better than the first volume. While browsing through the June recipes (ie those suitable for December in Australia), it was his pairing of strawberries and raspberries that grabbed my attention. The festive season is notoriously hot in many parts and it is beach and BBQ weather every day. Berries are prolifically available in Australia at this time, and their gorgeous colours and flavours suit the season well.

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