Chop carrots and cook (boil, blanch, roast) a little - until not crunchy. Toss through a dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and lots of pepper - cool. Once cool, mix plain yogurt through the carrots and add lots of fresh herbs - coriander here.
Travels to Ōhākune, Taranaki & Manawatu.
Halve a pear, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with honey and thyme, and bake until tender. Once cooled, add soft blue cheese and some walnut, and drizzle with a little more honey. Serve warm or cold, as a savoury starter or a sweet after. Tremendous on a picnic.
Travels to Cromwell
For a a simple and classic favourite bacon butty idea, slice white bread thickly, butter, and add grilled bacon, salad greens, and slices of winter’s tree tomato, the New Zealand tamarillo. The tangy tamarillo balances the richness of the bacon perfectly.
Wash and clean unpeeled potatoes. Prick with a fork, and place in any available oven (or wrap in foil on coals) until cooked through. When cooked, halve, and scoop out the inside. Mash with some mustard, cheese and salt, put back to the heat until the cheese melts. Top with sauerkraut.
Travels to Whanganui, Manawatu.
Halve fresh figs, add a dark chocolate slither and a walnut half, and bake (drizzled in honey or port). Serve with a little mascarpone. Dried figs can be used, but fresh figs when in season are the best.
Travels to Hawke’s Bay.
Take skin off oranges (using a knife is best, it helps remove all pith). Slice and arrange on a plate. Top with fresh mint. Sprinkle with orange blossom water, if available.
Travels to Gisborne.
Take an unwrapped round cheese and place in a round tapas or ovenproof dish. Score the top of the cheese and sprinkle with a spice seasoning (here a seasoning, of juniper berry, pink peppercorns and fennel). Bake in a medium oven for 15-20 minutes, and serve with lots of crusty bread for dipping - it’s a lovely gooey cheese dip. It could be done on a closed barbecue too.
Travels to Port Chalmers, Dunedin.
Steam some clams in New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc, for just a few minutes, until they open. Serve with their own broth, some toasted pine nuts, lemon wedges and greens.
Travels to Marlborough.
Remove sausage meat from casing, break into pieces and cook through. Add cooked sausage pieces to a salad, with chopped tomatoes, greens, and red onion. Torn stale bread or croutons is a nice addition. Toss well with lemon juice and olive oil, or your favourite dressing.
Travels to Motueka, Nelson & Tasman.
Chop a couple of fresh apples. Add to this some very finely chopped spring onion, a dressing with a good splash of apple cider vinegar, honey or apple syrup, mustard and olive oil, and plenty of chopped fresh herbs - mint, coriander or fennel (or a combination of them) work really well. This slaw is a great change from traditional apple sauces, and works brilliantly as a side with cold cuts and barbeques.