baked potato

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. 

Gisborne orange salad with avocado greens and nuts

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 kumara picnic salad idea

A wilted greens pūha idea

Try some pūha, stir fried with garlic, and baby spinach, with toasted pine nuts, lemon juice and zest.  Tremendous.

wilted greens and pūha

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.

radishes, butter and salt

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.

asparagus and eel pate slider

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. 

spring herb salsa

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.

nutty carrot soup

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.

watercress, mandarin, tamarillo, macadamia salad

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.

cauliflower tabouleh

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.

kumara gratin

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.

parsley persimmon spiced walnut salad

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.

asparagus and peas

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.

carrot top pesto

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.

sugar dipped raw rhubarb