Banana Porridge with Glazed Apples, Golden Syrup and Passionfruit

Glazed apples are delicious and endlessly versatile. We have made them before, and used them to top porridge. They can also be used to top any pudding, syrupy cakes or endless desserts. Sit atop some junket, for example. Or over icecream, with grilled banana, on top of a fruit salad, topping a bowl of yoghurt. Any way you like.

Bill Grainger in his book Sydney Food has glazed apples with Banana Porridge. We hinted at it in our last recipe.  Today we get more specific about how to make that porridge, with our own twist, of course. It really is delicious, and so Australian!

One of the major changes is that we have added passionfruit. It is a very Australian thing, but also the sour notes of the passionfruit cut through the sweetness of the apples and porridge.

Try these as well – Rice and Raisin Porridge, Baked Apples with Star Anise, Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon, and Apples Baked in Marsala.

Browse our Apple recipes here, our Breakfast dishes and our Desserts too, or find some inspiration in our Late Winter recipes.

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Bondi Bircher Muesli | Bondi Overnight Oats

Muesli is a breakfast and brunch dish of raw rolled oats and other ingredients including grains, fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts, and may be mixed with cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, other forms of plant milk, yogurt and/or fruit juice. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

Bircher Muesli was developed around 1900 by Maximilian Bircher-Brenner, a Swiss doctor and nutritionist, for his patients at his Zurich sanatorium as a way of getting more raw fruit into their diets. It is still a very popular breakfast in Switzerland and Germany, as well as many other parts of the world. The original recipe called for a higher ratio of fresh fruit to grain, and soaked the raw oats overnight since they took some time to soften. Each day the patients began their day with this mushy fruity mixture. Perhaps it was not an inspirational dish at the time, but in the past 12 decades, the dish has been refined and is an attractive start to the day.

Bircher Muesli traditionally contains a lot of apples, by way of juice and grated fruit. Bircher-Benner believed apples cured him of jaundice in his youth, and he strongly advocated the healing powers of diets high in fruit and vegetables. Thus originally it had few oats (about 1 Tblspn per person) and lots of fruit.

I guess Bircher Muesli was the original Overnight Oats! Here in Australia it is a perfect Summer breakfast. Fruit is plentiful in Summer – beautiful, perfect peaches, apricots, peacharines, nectarines, berries, plums, …. all and more freely available. This breakfast dish – the Australian version – celebrates our sunshine and Summer.

You must also try Overnight Oats. Other dishes include Shrikand and Besan Payasam, both interesting dishes for breakfast. See also Easy Summery Breakfast and Brunch Ideas.

Have a look at all of our Breakfast dishes here, or browse our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

I recently came across this again, which reminded me of a conversation on Boxing day with Bill and Karen, friends of my brother, while eating Bill’s pesto. The recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and dig out the mortar and pestle. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta. I often leave out the walnuts.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

You should check out our home made eggless pasta too.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Tomato and Creme Fraiche Pasta Sauce, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

Use Broad Bean and Mint Puree as a pasta sauce too, by thinning it until a suitable consistency is reached.

You might also like our other Pesto recipes. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Pan Fried Toastie Sandwich with Tomato and Fontina

Goodness from Bill’s in Sydney

A delicious snack, filling and comforting, for a day when you are snuggled up on the couch reading a book, or perhaps before you rush off to the next football game. They are great for breakfast or brunch too.

Similar recipes include Vegetable Toasties, and  Spinach, Mozzarella and Ricotta Toasties.

You might like to browse our snacks, or perhaps you are after cheese recipes. Try all of our Toasties.  Or explore our easy Autumn recipes here.

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Du Puy Lentil Soup (Slow Cooked or Stove Top) with Parmesan Toasts

Du Puy Lentil Soup recipe with Parmesan Toasts or Middle Eastern Tafoon

There is a a Middle Eastern flatbread, fresh Taftoon – Persian flatbread. It can be found in any Middle Eastern store. A little like Naan, but huge, round and soft, thicker than lavash, yeasted and made from a mix of wholewheat and plant flour. Just right for soups. So to fit in one more soup before the end of winter, and to use up any du Puy lentils left in the cupboard, make a slow cooked Du Puy Lentil Soup.

Those little green-black disks are great in winter slow cooked soups (but can of course be cooked on the stove top too). Throw some into the slow cooker and then go to the office. Arrive home to wonderful soup and soft taftoon to mop up the juices.

I first ate this soup in London. With oven-baked slices of thick bread topped with crusted parmesan cheese, it was wonderful.

The soup is very accommodating, and so the recipe can be bent and flexed, depending on what is in the kitchen and the freezer at the time. This recipe works well with whole frozen tomatoes from a previous bountiful summer, in place of the tinned tomatoes, with home made red chilli paste or frozen chillies instead of fresh red chillies, with home made garlic paste instead of garlic, and so forth. I have even used frozen tomato juice in addition to a can of tomatoes. (In summer I juice surplus tomatoes and store in the freezer. It makes delicious soups, and I add it to stocks and to other dishes that require a tomato-based flavour.)

Similar Recipes include Spicy Beluga Lentils, Puy Lentils with Ragout of Mushrooms, and Thai Red Lentil Soup, and Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomato.

You might also like to browse our other Du Puy Lentil recipes.  Have a look at our Slow Cooker recipes too. Explore our Lentil Soups, and all of our Soups . Find some inspiration in our Mid Winter recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. It appears here as part of our Retro Recipes series of recipes which documents our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

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Bill’s Vegetable Soup with Winter Vegetables

Bill Grainger, chef in Sydney, has a recipe for soup using Spring vegetables. I turned it around to make it with winter vegetables.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Leek recipes here. Or you might like to browse Soup recipes here. Check out our easy Winter recipes.

Bill’s Spring Vegetable Soup with Winter Vegetables.

25 g butter 0.66 cup fresh corn kernels 1 cup sliced leeks, white part only
1 pkt winter soup vegetables, peeled and diced (or a collection of carrot, celery, turnip, swede, onion, potato etc) 0.5 cup peeled, chopped tomatoes, or some Home-made tomato paste 6 or so cups Vegetable Stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve 0.66 cup parsley, chopped Parmesan Toasts

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced and diced vegetables, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Lower heat and add the corn and beans. Simmer until vegetables are just tender.

Ladle into bowls and top with chopped parsley or Coriander Pesto. Pass around Parmesan Toasts and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

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Butter Glazed Apples

Glazed apples are delicious. You can eat them for dessert in various forms – with icecream, with grilled banana, on top of a fruit salad, topping a bowl of yoghurt or porridge. Any way you like.

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