Rosemary Focaccia

A beautiful focaccia from the experts.

The act of eating focaccia is traditional and almost primal – tearing pieces from a large focaccia slab, dipping it into oil or gravy, and relishing the flavours both baked into the focaccia and those which adorn it at the table. For years our special family dinners included a large focaccia that sat in the centre of the large table, with family helping themselves during the meal. It is also great to take on picnics.

You might like to browse our Bread recipes here and here, and perhaps the Italian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer dishes here and here.

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Caramelised Roast Pumpkin Risotto

A beautiful partnership

When caramelised pumpkin and risotto come together it is a beautiful partnership. The deep intense and slightly sweet flavours of butternut pumpkin with the creaminess of the risotto rice create a dish that will feature in your kitchen again and again.

Risotto is made by meditatively stiring risotto rice as it cooks, which brings out its creaminess. Read more about the Risotto Basics, and how to caramelise pumpkin.

You might also want to try Asparagus Risotto, Risotto with Tomato, Eggplant Risotto or Beetroot Risotto. All of the Risotto recipes are here and here. Or browse our Italian recipes here and here. Or browse the Pumpkin recipes here and here.

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Caramelised Roast Pumpkin

A particularly Winter-y dish

In Autumn, the pumpkins arrive and thoughts of beautiful Autumnal pumpkin salads, risottos, mashes, curries, soups, BBQ’d pumpkin, pasta and other dishes swim around in a cook’s mind.

In Australia, we are not familiar with the huge variety of pumpkins available in other countries, so everything yellow and round is a pumpkin to us. We only have a few varieties. Queensland Blue pumpkin, for example. Need to take an axe to that one. Butternut, my favourite. Sweet natured and thin skinned, easy to deal with and delicious in taste. Jap, a sweet beauty. Sometimes in markets I might find a red pumpkin.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here. Continue reading “Caramelised Roast Pumpkin”

Crimson Beetroot Fry

A beautiful, crimsom curry.

When you have beetroot in the fridge and you are tired of boiled, roasted or pickled beetroot, try this spicy, crunchy Indian recipe.

You could also try Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing, Beetroot Halwa, Indian Beetroot and Carrot Salad. Or simply browse our beetroot recipes here and on our sister site here.

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Baingan Ka Bharta | Punjabi Smoky Eggplant Curry

An Indian eggplant dish with a wonderful smoky flavour.

There are so many way to cook eggplants – it is such a versatile vegetable. Although it can definitely stand on its own (eg steamed eggplant dishes), it often prefers to be a part of a larger dish than stand on its own.

This recipe is an Indian dish where the eggplant is grilled until cooked through, and the flesh is mixed with spices. Many cuisines have recipes that treat the eggplant in similar ways but vary the ingredients. Baba Ganoush is one example.

Bharta are North Indian (Punjabi) dishes where the main ingredient is roasted and then pureed with spices. The flavours are intensified by the roasting and the resulting dish is spicy and tangy. Baingan Bharta is so popular, though, versions exist in several states of India.

Are you looking for other Bharta recipes? Try Tomato Bharta. Or try other Punjabi dishes – Kohlrabi Subzi, Dal Makhani, and Potato and Eggplant Curry.

Perhaps you are looking for Eggplant recipes. Try Grilled Marinated Eggplant, Saffron and Rose Scented Eggplant and Brinjal Fry.

See all of our Bharta recipes here. Read all about Indian Chutneys here, and feel free to browse other Indian Chutneys recipes here and here. You might also like to browse our other Eggplant dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Perhaps browse our Indian Essentials. Or find some inspiration in our Early Spring recipes.

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Hummus | Middle Eastern Chickpea Dip

Middle Eastern deliciousness in a chickpea dip

I prefer hummus made the old fashioned way, with chickpeas soaked and cooked before whizzing into that heaven called hummus. To make the whole process quicker, soak and cook chickpeas beforehand, and pop them into the freezer. When you want hummus, defrost them and whizz them up with garlic and tahini.

But sometimes an emergency solution is required. At these times, use a tin of chickpeas or butter beans. Or mix the two.

Are you after chickpea recipes? You might like to also try Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli, Baked Chickpeas, or Channa Sundal. You might even like some Falafel with the hummus.

You might like to browse our Dips here and here, and all of our Chickpea recipes here and here. Explore our Middle Eastern recipes. You might find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

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Chaat Masala | A tangy spice mix

The masala (spice mix) that adds tang to Indian snacks.

Chaat Masaa is a very special spice mix from India, full of wonderful, contradictory flavours. There are many ways to use it, and it is an essential ingredient to many street foods, including the wonderful Chickpea (Channa) Chaat, Kachumber Salad and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach. You will also find it on Watermelon Salad, Borlotti Bean Chaat, Spicy Vegetable Sticks and Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad.

Chaat or Chat are appertisers, teasers or small bites eaten as a snack. They are flavoured with this very special spicy and tart spice mix that pairs well with vegetables, lentils and fruit. It is particularly used to flavour fried pastries, potato dishes, chickpeas and tomato based salads.

You might also like to make Sambar Powder, Rasam Powder, and Garam Masala. Browse our Indian Essentials here, and all of our Indian recipes here and here.

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All You Wanted to Know About Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a roundish, beige to light green members of the legume family, grown primarily in Asia, India, and in the Mediterranean.

This is the story of chickpeas.

If  you would like to browse chickpea recipes, you can see our collection here. Continue reading “All You Wanted to Know About Chickpeas”

Channa Chaat | Tangy Indian Chickpea Salad | Street Food

The spicy, tangy taste of a true Indian chaat.

A craving for some spice brought me today to a spicy chickpea dish, commonly sold as street food in India. It is a dish that is full of flavours found thoughout India. Continue reading “Channa Chaat | Tangy Indian Chickpea Salad | Street Food”

Simple French Cucumber Salad | Concombres en Salade

The simplest but the best cucumber salad.

The French approach to vegetables is to be admired. No artifice, just simplicity to bring out the flavours of the produce.

Feel free to browse our cucumber recipes here and here, and our cucumber salad recipes here and here. All of our salads are here and here. Or gain inspiration from the Summer recipes here and here.

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The Best Tomato Salad

No need to treat tomatoes in complex ways.

From Late Spring to Mid Autumn, our tomatoes are beautiful. In Australia, we each eat around 25kg on average per year. Salads, soups and curries, baked, roasted, grilled, sauteed, and dried, chopped, sliced or pureed, tomatoes play a large part in our cuisine. Elizabeth David reminds us of the French approach of simple is best, even when it comes to tomatoes.

We also have lots of tomato salads to browse, and indeed lots of salads here and here. Take your time. Perhaps you might like the tomato recipes here and here. Or find some inspiration in our Summer recipes here and here.

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Seasonal Cooking | 11 Simple Beautiful Summer Salads

Sometimes we forget that simplest is bestest.

I ran into a lady today from Northern France and we chatted about France and French food. I have spent some time living and working in the North East of France, so it was great to chat to such a beautiful lady.

Coincidentally, I have just started to re-read, Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking. I love the simple approach to food and the reverence she shows to food and eating.

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Zucchini Fry | Indian Stir Fried Zucchini with Spices

This is an amazing curry that is both gentle and strong.

Love Zucchinis! Juicy, fresh and luscious. Amazing vegetables that can be baked, grilled, char-grilled, steamed, fried, sauteed, boiled, mashed, and eaten raw. Full of seeds, but no-one minds. Not when the zucchini are fresh and young. Such soft, gentle seeds.

Zucchini is in season now and for the summer months, here down-under in Australia. Zucchini are prolific bearers, so with many of them in the kitchen I turn to this amazing curry that is both gentle and strong.

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How to Make Herbal Teas

An infusion of herbs and spices, to temper your day.

Herbal tea is a wonderful drink. Not having been much of a tea drinker yet always interested in herbs and lotions and potions, some time ago I started to regularly drink herbal tea. The truth is, you can make much more flavoursome teas than with shop bought herbal teas. I still enjoy playing with fresh and dried ingredients to make the great and unusual teas.

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How to Oven Dry Capsicums

Such intense flavours

It is so helpful in the kitchen to have bibs and bobs that you can munch on while cooking (or watching TV, or changing the baby, or reading that novel). And lots of bibs and bobs that you can add to the dishes that you are cooking to add more flavour, texture, colour and bulk.

This is one of those recipes. It produces not only great snacks, but also a treasure trove for adding to soups, vegetable stews, curries and other dishes.

You might be looking for Capsicum recipes here and here. Or find some inspiration from our Summer recipes here and here.

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