Archive for olives

A: Spring lunch

Posted in gardening, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

5 weeks in and it’s finally starting to look like spring. What better weather than this to enjoy some precious balcony time with my fellow holidaying teachers?

Having people over always motivates me to clean and tidy. Spent 2 consecutive days at Ikea, initially to purchase some glasses for school and ended up with new shoe racks, napkins, placemats, glasses for home as well as for work. At least I didn’t forget to buy the glasses! On arrival I insisted everyone worship my newly sprouted rocket and lettuce seedlings.

Only after all my guests had oooooh-ed and aaaaaah-ed to my satisfaction were they allowed appetizers! I am genuinely excited about my seedlings. On R’s advice I had opted for the haphazard-sprinkling technique when planting my seeds. Step 1: Open packet. Step 2: Sprinkle seeds on soil. Step 3: Sprinkle some soil over seeds. Step 4: Water in. Step 5: Watch like a hawk!!! My seedlings sit in the same pot as my dwarf lemon tree, which means I am able to dedicate a solid watch-plants-grow session every possible moment of my day!

A great one-stop-shop for food to impress, I decided to head down to the Boatshed to stock up on some gastronomic delights for my 4 guests. This is where I discovered this:

I think they showcased about 4-5 different types of spinach, among which lay this beautiful deep purple mountain spinach. It’s flavour profile is quite similar to radicchio but with more sweet than bitter. Either way, it looked real pretty sitting among the green of its other spinach friends, roasted pumpkin and nut-brown roasted pinenuts.

This is also where I go for sicilian olives– my new favourite antipasti dish. Almost flourescent green, the sicillian olive is mild and EXTREMELY morish! Nowhere near as salty or tart as the kalamata but far more interesting than black olives. I still have some leftover in the fridge, which I plan to attack Nigella-style later tonight. 🙂

While putting together my pre-lunch munchies, I realised that I’d inevitably created some sort of edible united nations! Let’s see– Sicilian olives, pita crisps (middle eastern?), Persian feta, Mexican salami (lots of chilli, beware!) and finally the unavoidable cacciatore sausage!

And don’t forget the West Australian olive oil, egyptian style dukkah, Australian semi-sundried tomatoes and home-made marinated artichokes!!!

Despite the gourmet spread laid out before her, little K decides that a dusty old table looks far more palatable. STOP EATING TABLE!

Despite the gourmet spread laid out before her, little K decides that a dusty old table looks far more palatable. STOP EATING TABLE!

For lunch we had a roast that was horrid (seriously), balanced by a gorgeous 4-cheese baked polenta and a warm pumpkin and spinach salad! Then there was dessert…

Chocolate mousse and strawberries marinated in balsamic and basil, inspired by Karen Martini’s Where the Heart Is. The mousse was so rich only the brave and the greedy (which happened to be the same one person) managed to finish the entire 200ml serving! I am constantly amazed by the transformation that occurs when strawwberry meets balsamic. Pure alchemy. Plus basil? Genius.

So that was my mid-week lunch special, courtesy of fine weather and good company. Highly recommended for the disheartened and the bored. 🙂

Advertisements

A: Got lamb?

Posted in Meat with tags , , , , on September 28, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

I know it’s not necessarily a mid-week type of meal, but this is a meal so simple I could possibly do it with my eyes closed! 10 minutes of prep and 60 minutes to roast an easy-carve leg of lamb makes this meal an all-round winner for the busy cook.

Olive paste

Combine in a food processor:

1. 2 handfuls of kalamata olives, drained

2. 2 anchovy fillets (or anchovy stuffed olives)

3. 2 red chillies

4. 3 cloves garlic

5. 1 quarter preserved lemon, rinsed (skin and flesh)

6. leaves from 3 sprigs of rosemary

7. Enough olive oil to lubricate processor

8. 2 tsp mild paprika

9. 1 tsp smoked paprika

Process tiill smooth. Cover the leg of lamb in paste, dot with butter and season with pepper.

Roast till required doneness and enjoy! (Roast potatoes and veggies in the same pan for an even easier 1-pot meal.)