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Asparagus Tarts!

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Jenny Huxley | 0 comments

I am a huge fan of asparagus and eat it as often and as much as I can whilst it’s in season. But not everyone gets as gastronomically giddy as me over a simple roasted spear, so for those that need more, I roll out the pastry. If ever there was a way to initiate a love affair with a variety of vegetable in my house (or fruit) I simply have to wrap it up in some buttery, flakey goodness or set it in a soft creamy pillow surrounded by a light crust.

Nothing really new here, Asparagus tarts in all facets have been around forever, this is more a gentle reminder and a couple of my favourite reworkings!

Asparagus, Prosciutto and Pesto Tarts

(A sort of Asparagus roll meets savoury Danish)

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets of pre rolled puff pastry
  • ½ cup of your favourite pesto
  • 12 slim spears of Asparagus
  • 8 slices of Prosciutto
  • Olive oil
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten for egg wash)
  • Seeds

Cut the pastry into 12 x 12 cm squares and spread the pesto from corner to opposite corner over each square. Toss the asparagus in a little olive oil and season. Wrap loosely in prosciutto. Pop on top of the pesto. Brush the border with egg wash and fold over the two corners. Leave the ends open and the tips of the asparagus peeping out. Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds. Bake for about 25 mins at about 190.C Makes a yummy lunch. You could even try hollandaise in place of the pesto for a grown up breakfast treat!

Asparagus tart with blue cheese pastry

I like to use a long rectangular tin as I think it looks pretty, but a round loose bottom tart tin is absolutely fine.If you are using a round tin then I think you should treat yourself to another bunch as it really does look so pretty full of lovely green spears.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the Pastry

  • 200g plain flour (GF all purpose flour if you need an alternative!)
  • Just a pinch of salt
  • 100g of butter, diced and chilled
  • 50g of Whitestone Windsor blue cheese chilled and diced (treat the cheese like butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of cold water

For the filling

  • ¼ cup of Greek Yoghurt (sour cream also works, but I like the tang from the yoghurt)
  • 1 tablespoon of whipped cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic

Pop all pastry ingredients into the food processor apart from the egg and water. When you have coarse breadcrumbs add the egg and water and pulse again until your dough comes together. Turn out onto the bench and bring the dough together as gently as you can. If you planning on using a rectangular tin, form it into a small rectangle if you are using a round tin, yep, you guessed it, form a circle! Wrap it up and chill until firm. (If you’re in a rush, you can put it into the freezer to speed it up. Or if you’re making ahead of time, you can leave it in the fridge for a day until you are ready to use it.

  • When ready, roll the pastry on a floured surface and line the tin. Trim off the excess
  • Gently combine the filling ingredients in the bowl, season and spread over the pastry.
  • Toss the asparagus in some olive oil and season. Pop it on top of the filling and bake at 180.C for about 15 minutes until crisp.
Perfect a light dinner with a wholesome salad or a ladies 'luncheon' with a glass of bubbles :)
 

 

 

 

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Roasted Spring Vegetable Burritos

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Jenny Huxley | 0 comments

I got away quite lightly with odd food cravings whilst I was pregnant, but I did eat A LOT of burritos. So many in fact that I vowed I would never even look at another one. Forever and ever after! However, there is something so deliciously convenient about having some yummy fillings all parceled up in a tortilla or a beautiful fresh green Silverbeet leaf!

This week, my Petite Produce Box is a little green fiesta and even though I said I’d never go ‘there’ again, it’s just too good an opportunity to miss.

Roasted Spring Vegetable Burrito with Quinoa and Dilly Guacamole.

Serves 4 (or 1 hungry pregnant lady)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Quinoa
  • 3 Zucchinis
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • ½ Bag of Dill
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • I pack of your favourite Tortillas/Tacos or the larger Silverbeet leaves

Method

  • Cook the Quinoa as per packet instructions. Drain and season when cool.
  • Chop the zucchinis. Either into slender lady batons or slice on the diagonal.
  • Remove the tough stalk from the asparagus and chop either in half or thirds and add them to the zucchini tray.
  • Chop a little of the stalks from the broccolini, but keep them quite long as their stem is super sweet and tender when roasted!
  • Arrange on one big tray or two if the veggies seem too crowded and drizzle enough olive oil to coat and sprinkle a good teaspoon of Malden salt before gently mixing with your hands.
  • Place in the oven on a high heat for about 8-10 mins or until the veggies look plump and roasty.

For the guac, simply mash the avo, finley chop the dill, add the juice and zest of your chosen citrus, finely chop the red onion, salt and pepper to taste and a dash of olive oil.

I tend to plop the guacamole on the bottom spoon the quinoa on and then top with veggies, but as  long as you have all the good stuff, freestyling is the way to personal perfection.

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Chicken Souvlakia with marinated mushrooms and braised zucchini with spinach

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Jenny Huxley | 0 comments

I may have mentioned once or twice that there’s a fair bit of ‘Greek’ in our house. It’s not all ouzo and plate smashing, but there is certainly always feta and lashings of olive oil. During the winter months we tend to eat a lot of comforting one pot wonders but as soon as the sun starts dancing again, we fall easily back in to our favourite eating habits. Mezze (shared plates). I love this style of eating; as the warmer season opens up to the change in produce it’s a lovely simple way to sample a little of everything.

As always, The Petite Produce Box is brimming with potential, but I’m most looking forward to Chicken Souvlakia, marinated field mushrooms and braised zucchini with spinach.

Chicken Souvlakia

Serves 4 (8 skewers)

  • 1kg of Cameron Harris Chicken Breasts
  • 1/3 Cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ tbsps of lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper

Chop the chicken into bite size chunks and pop into a large glass bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk everything other and pour over the chicken. Massage gently so all the chicken bits get well marinated. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to go ‘feed’ onto the skewer, roughly 8 pieces per skewer and cook on a BBQ or a griddle pan in batches for about ten minutes until golden.

Marinated field mushrooms

Serves 4

  • 250g of flat mushrooms (wash with a clean damp cloth and gently pull of the stem)
  • ¼ of a cup of balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • A pinch of salt
  • A few fresh herbs of your choice (I use basil)

Pop the mushrooms smooth side down in a shallow dish and once you’ve whisked all of the ingredients together, pour the marinade over the mushrooms, cover the dish and leave to marinate over night.

Cook this for about 5 minutes on both sides until tender and when cooked serve with a few torn leaves of Basil and shaved Parmesan. 

Braised Zucchini with wilted spinach

Serves 4

  • ¼ of a cup of olive oil
  • 1 finely sliced onion
  • 1 clove of garlic finely sliced
  • 500g of zucchinis (chopped into little logs..about 2 cm)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 300g of Zoe's Garden field spinach (stems removed)

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat, and the onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the zucchini and toss around to coat in the oil and the salt and pepper and spinach and have one more gentle stir to help things on their way, cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Serve with some wedges of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.

It goes without saying there will be olives, feta and Leeds Street Rosemary and Polenta Bread at the table to complete the mini feast!

 

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Lentil Veggie Burger with Feta Mayo

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Jenny Huxley | 0 comments

In keeping with the lovely legume theme I am making a Falafel ‘style’ lentil and kumara burger with feta ‘mayo’ and (since this is legume appreciation week) a chickpea salad with celery, parsley, feta and pomegranate.

Lentil veggie burger with Feta ‘mayo’

Serves 4
  • 2/3 of a cup of green/puy lentils (basically any, but not orange as they are tooo mushy)
  • 1 kumara chopped into little neat cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small red onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ bunch of parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander
  • ½ tsp of sumac
  • 2/3 cup of rolled oats (I use these because I like the texture, but bread crumbs are fine)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • Veggie oil/coconut oil
  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds

In a small to medium saucepan add the lentils, kumara and bay leaf and a pinch of salt and cover with plenty of water (about 2 1/2 cups) and cook until both lentils and kumara are tender. Drain, discard the bay leaf and pop into a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. I find it’s better to pulse this mixture until the consistency is well incorporated and resembles a sort of chunky batter. You don’t want it to be runny as it is impossible to ‘form’

Shape the mix into 4 patties.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan to cover and coat the bottom of the pan and when hot add the ‘burgers’. I cook two at a time for about 4 mins each side. They should be browned and cooked through.

For the feta ‘mayo’

Simply crumble 75g of feta into a food processor, with a good dollop of Greek yoghurt, a dash of olive oil and a dash of lemon and blend until smooth.

I like to eat mine on top of a mountain of lemony grated carrot, but in a burger bun or a wholemeal pita topped with all the trimmings would be aahhhmaazing!

 

Chickpea salad with celery, Italian parsley, pomegranates and feta

  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • ½ cup of pomegranate
  • 75g of feta
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of good olive oil

Zest and juice the lemon, and the oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper and whisk all together and toss through the chickpeas

Crumble the feta, chop the celery quite small.. I personally LOVE Italian Parsley so I leave a good few sprigs whole but I do make sure I cut the stalks as fine as possible.

The quickest way to 'deseed' a pomegranate is to hold it over a bowl and give a few 'assertive' hits with all over with a rolling pin. You should be able to feel the skin has become a little looser and the seeds have come away. Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally and tip the seeds into the bowl.

Add the seeds to the rest of the ingredients and then to the chickpeas. Give the salad a thorough but gentle mix and serve!


Still just as yummy the next day and if you're not thoroughly legumed 'out' it, it makes a fab 'stuffing' for some big mushrooms or in a roasted kumara. Very quick dinner for a mum on the run!

 

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Polenta Crumbed Fish with Spring Salad

Posted on October 15, 2015 by Jenny Huxley | 0 comments

I’ve been living by the sea for as long as I can remember, (with a stint ‘in land’ growing produce) met the man of my dreams in a little Greek fishing village and would often be found ‘hanging out’ with the local fishmonger as a child. So, it should come as no surprise to me that my daughters’ favourite foods so far in her one year of life are fish and greens. For her we still keep it quite simple; roasted or baked en papillote to seal in the flavour; but for us big kids, we like a little bit more texture. A crust or crumb. Left over quinoa mixed with pesto is a quick and delicious way to add some crunch or a polenta and herb crumb.  

Polenta ‘Crumbed’ Fish 

Serves 4 

  • 4 Fish Factory Fillets 
  • ½ a cup of polenta  
  • 2 tbsp of Italian parsley, finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese, finely grated 
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest, finely grated 
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes 
  • Plenty of freshly ground black pepper 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1tsp of Dijon mustard 

Method 

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. 
  • Combine the polenta, parsley, Parmesan, lemon zest and seasoning and mix well using your fingertips. 
  • Smear the olive oil on a baking tray and pop the fish on it, paint a thin layer of Dijon on the fish. 
  • Press the crumbs evenly onto the mustard-spread fish and dot with a few drizzles of oil. 
  • Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. 
  • Rest for a couple of minutes before serving. 

To go with my fish I have so much to consider this week as my Petite Produce Box is singing spring and sunshine!

A lovely Nadine Potato salad with some shaved fennel and avocado or maybe some massaged green kale with a few sprinkles of chilli flakes, little roasted potatoes with a blob of lemon aioli?? All sounding good, but I can’t move past the watercress and asparagus!  

Watercress, with asparagus, avocado, capers and lemony dressing (eggs optional) 

Serves 4

  • I bunch of Asparagus 
  • ½ a punnet of Watercress 
  • 1 Avocado 
  • ¼ of a cup of capers 
  • 2 tbsp’s of olive oil 
  • 1 lemon zest and juice 
  • Salt and Pepper  

Method 

Nothing complicated about this recipe. The ingredients do all the work! Peppery watercress, buttery asparagus and the acidity of the capers make for the ultimate fish salad in my humble opinion. 

  • Simply blanch your asparagus for a few minutes until tender and pop them in an ice bath to keep them bright green, drain, pat dry and set aside. 
  • Trim the watercress, I actually like to keep mine quite long as they are just so pretty on the plate. 
  • Slice or chunk your avocado, whichever you fancy.  
  • Place the watercress and avocado on the plate and pop the asparagus on top, dot most of the capers around but keep a few (about ½ a tspoon) for the dressing. Combine the olive oil and lemon juice and zest, give a little whisk and then a quick stir with the capers and drizzle over the salad. If you have any nasturtium in your garden, this makes a wonderful addition. You can even add potatoes for a more substantial version.  

Yum. Spring is in! 

 

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