A super simple baked spud idea
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.
A Gizzy orange salad idea
Take some salad greens, slices of avocado and segments of navel orange. Splash with a dressing of citrus juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and scatter with roasted macadamias.
A kūmara picnic salad idea
Cook kūmara, cool and dice. Create a dressing with unsweetened natural yoghurt (The Collective here), sweet chilli sauce (Culley’s here), and, if available, a splash of worcestershire sauce. Layer a container, first with the yoghurt dressing, followed by the cooked kūmara (here’s where you’d also add cooked crayfish, if you were lucky) and top with chopped fresh veges, herbs and salad greens. Upend onto your picnic plate.
A wilted greens pūha idea
Try some pūha, stir fried with garlic, and baby spinach, with toasted pine nuts, lemon juice and zest. Tremendous.
A simple radish idea
As a perfect tasty treat, showcasing market produce, top and tail fresh radishes, smother with delicious butter (here, Whitestone North Otago salted) and sea salt. Couldn't be easier.
An asparagus and eel pate slider idea
Briefly blanch fresh asparagus (we used skinnies), refreshing in cold water at the end. Cut open you favourite slider buns, spread with eel or smoked fish pate, and add the blanched asparagus tips. A simple and tasty lunch option.
A simple spring salsa idea
Chop together, coarsely or finely (as you like), spring onions, capsicums or chilli (depending on your preference for spice), and coriander. This is a great combination for topping fish, chicken and meat dishes, to perk up a salad, or, as shown here, with avocado and goats cheese bruschetta.
A seasonal nutty carrot soup idea
Saute chopped onion. Add chopped carrots (and potato for some bulk, if you want) and about half a chopped orange. Cover with water and boil until carrots are cooked. Add dollops of peanut butter, and puree, seasoning as you go. You might need to add a bit more water, to get the soup as you’d like it. It's a warming taste of the season.
A winter salad lunch idea
A winter farmers market on a plate - arrange watercress, skinned chopped tamarillo, peeled and segmented mandarins, and macadamia nuts on a platter, and dress with olive oil, or a favourite vinaigrette.
A cauliflower tabouleh idea
Finely chop up cauliflower segments into pieces resembling oversized breadcrumbs. Toss in a little olive oil, salt, and a teaspoon or so of cumin seeds, if available. Bake in the oven for around half hour, stirring as it goes. Once cooled, add chopped fresh herbs, and roasted nuts, if available. Dress with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing, adding a dash of mustard to the dressing if available.
A winter kumara gratin idea
Mix crushed garlic (to your taste) and around a teaspoon of Fresh As sage powder with a cup of cream. Layer kumara in a baking dish (slightly upright, as the picture shows), and pour over cream, letting the garlic bits fall down between the kumara slices. Bake until cooked through.
A fragrant autumn parsley and green salad idea
Make a dressing combining olive oil, a gentle wine vinegar, and a pinch of cinnamon and allspice, which add a subtle taste and fragrance well suited to the autumn season offerings. Toss with seasonal salad greens and herbs - shown here with spinach, parsley, finely sliced red onion, sliced persimmons and spiced walnuts.
A bright asparagus (and pea) idea
For a combination as part of our spring barbecues, or with roasted salmon: we have been chopping blanched spears and mixing with peas, olive oil or vinaigrette, and salt and pepper. Long asparagus spears are delicious and elegant, but for a change of texture it’s been hard to beat this salad this spring.
A carrot top pesto idea
For a delicious carrot top pesto: in the food processor, pulse together toasted nuts (we used walnuts) and garlic. Add carrot tops, basil, lemon, salt and pepper. Then add olive oil. Stir in a little bit of chilli flakes or capers. There’s the pesto: we had it with crackers and carrots. Delicious - and really satisfying not to toss the lovely green carrot tops out.
A raw rhubarb idea
We've tried raw rhubarb - dipped into sugar (or honey, or maple syrup), to mellow the tartness just a bit. Before the dipping it tastes like a sharp cooking apple. And after, a bit like a delicious granny smith - still tart, but refreshing. Try it after dinner: it's really good on a cheeseboard.