dinner

garden decides

Cashew & Spelt Gnocchi

We had a massive clean out in the garden this weekend, kind of an everything-must-go clearance of spent broccoli, earwig-eaten kale and woody fennel. And just in time to grab the last of the nettles too. The season turned really quickly this year – it seemed to take forever to get here, but the transition was complete in 2 days, according to the wilted and browned state of the veggies. So we did what we do every year, and pulled everything out ready for the next season’s efforts. I’ll admit to getting a bit sentimental over this process at times, I always feel bad pulling anything out that may still have a skerrick of green about it, but all it takes to quash that and buck up, is to think about the many pioneering hands that have worked the very same soil on our hill in the 100 or more years there’s been a veggie garden here. Our little patch is a good place for big thoughts.

Had to laugh at myself though, when I interrupted my subconscious mulling over the idea of changing my Instagram name. All romantic notions of connecting with my pioneering forebears ran off right about then. Thing is, the idea of an Instagram name wouldn’t have even been on my radar 5 years ago. Maybe 6. Does it ever make your brain hurt at where things might be at for all of us in another, oh, 5 years? Anyway, I did change it. My Instagram name, that is. Figured I write it in the wet cement of our renovations so it would be there in another 100 years. It’s bound to have historical significance. Having sorted that pivotal point out, I also made plans for dinner. To be honest, the garden decided that one without me. Here’s what the days gardening efforts became…

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Cashew & Spelt Gnocchi 

Serves 2

I make good use of the cashew cheese I make each week for the Scullery’s Saturday pop-up, so this recipe is exactly what I’ve been promising our cashew cheese customers, for maybe 6 months now. Eeep. Or you can always follow the recipe for cashew cheese here if you’re not able to call in to the Scullery this Saturday!

I make my own egg replacer for things like gnocchi too, but you can just as easily use 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoons of water.

If you’d like to make the egg replacer, it’s great for when you want a lighter finish, with things like biscuits and cakes. This will make a batch that you can store to use beyond this recipe. To make it, mix together 1 1/4 cup arrowroot powder, 1/4 cup baking powder and 1/2 tablespoon xanthan gum. Store it in a glass jar for up to 6 months.

For the gnocchi:

1 cup cashew cheese

1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour

1 tsp Himalayan salt

3 tsp egg replacer mixed in 6 tbsp water

Mix cheese and egg replacer liquid mixture in a medium sized bowl and add flour and salt, stirring together until you have a dough consistency. You should be able to handle it without it sticking to your hands. If it’s still sticky, add a little more flour, bit by bit.

Roll into sausages about 1 cm thick on a floured board and cut into 1-2 cm pieces with a sharp knife. On a floured board, make sure to keep them from touching, while you’re preparing the remaining gnocchi, you don’t want them to stick.

When you’re ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pan of water to the boil and gently drop the gnocchi in. Wait until they float to the top and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Serve with pesto immediately.

For the nettle pesto:

A generous handful of each of the following herbs –

organic nettles

organic fennel fronds

organic mint

organic sage

organic oregano

1 clove garlic

extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp capers in salt (don’t rinse)

Blitz together in a food processor until you have the consistency you prefer, adding the olive oil as you go.

To serve the gnocchi, drizzle generous spoonfuls of pesto across the hot gnocchi, top with extra rocket flowers, fresh herbs or whatever takes your fancy. These little guys are filling, so don’t be put off by what seems like a small amount!

 

digging the dirt(y)

Dirty(y) Food Saag Aloo

Way back when the idea of the Full Moon Farm Gate started percolating, dirt(y) Simon Bryant was one of the first foodie types I thought of calling to see if he’d be keen to be on board. He was. His diary wasn’t. It’s taken since 2013 until now to find a happy collision of his free time and our popping up, but that junction is here and it’s happening! This is a very cool thing for lots of reasons, but the most of them are about Simon’s food and his approach to how and why things end up on a compostable plate. If you didn’t get any ‘celebrity’ vibe in that, it’s because there isn’t any of that with Simon. Really. And he’s more than entitled, believe me. Instead, there’s the ‘sure, we can cook to order in a stone stable in unpredictable weather, not knowing how many people are coming, and we’ll talk to all the local producers to make sure we get as many things grown down the road as we can.’ That’s Simon. Clearly a Full Moon Farm Gate kind of guy.

You’d think, knowing all the above, that I wouldn’t possibly ask him for anything else, but when he told me what he had planned for Saturday night’s menu, “hey, would you guest blog one of the recipes for me?” was out of my typing fingers before I could add, “please say yes!” And he did. So here’s one of the ‘wokked to order’ dishes he’ll be serving come Saturday night at Langmeil. It’s from his new book. The one that hasn’t actually been released yet. If that doesn’t make us all feel loved…

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 Dirt(y) Food Saag Aloo by Simon Bryant

500 g starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

(Syd Lewis’ Pontiacs)

60 ml dirt(y) raw pressed red skin peanut oil *

2 onions, diced

(from Alnda Farms)

4 cloves garlic, crushed

(from Krondorf Farm)

1 tsp freshly grated turmeric

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1 big bunch English spinach, leaves roughly chopped

(from Alnda Farms)

salt flakes

100 ml raw coconut oil

½ large green chilli, sliced

coconut yoghurt and steamed basmati rice, to serve

 

Start by boiling the spuds till they are tender and set aside and keep warm. 

Heat a large heavy-based pan (with a lid), add the peanut oil and once hot sautee the onion and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes or until soft. Turn the heat up a little and add the spices to fry for about 30 seconds or till aromatic – but don’t burn that fenugreek or it will turn bitter! 

Add the spinach along with ½ cup water and toss gently so the spinach is covered with the spice mixture. Place the lid on and cook covered for around 3 mins or until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt flakes. Grab a stick blender and puree the mixture, adding the raw coconut oil while the mixture is hot. 

Add the potatoes and gently fold through the pureed mixture.

Garnish with the green chilli and serve with coconut yoghurt and steamed basmati.

 

A note from Simon…

* dirt(y) is my brand of Australian grown, gm free, wholefoods. So I guess this is my shameless plug for our peanut oil…

dirt(y) raw pressed red skin peanut oil is made with red skin peanuts grown in sunny Kingaroy, Queensland – Peanut Capital of Australia. The peanuts are raw pressed, an authentic, artisan-style process that captures all the intensity of the peanut’s flavour and aroma.

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Bring on Saturday night, we’re so ready for this meeting of worlds!

full moon dinner guest

Not-Sausage Rolls

With our next Full Moon Farm Gate happening this Saturday night, I thought we could put two frogs on a rock by letting you know what morsels might be on offer, as well as you give you a chance to bake these delectable little guys at home after you fall in love with them, nibbling away, perched on a straw bale in the moonlight. I’d love to say that’s the only way you should ever eat these, but that would just be silly. They’re way too good for a once a month kind of dish. Over to my gorgeous buddy and fellow blogger, The Natural Foodie, aka Kirsty…

Growing up, I very quickly came to the realisation that sausage rolls go hand in hand with a party. I was never much of a fan of traditional party food, so I don’t really feel as though I’m missing anything by sticking to a whole food plant based diet. The sausage rolls however, were my one party food weakness, and my seven year old self’s guiltless pleasure.

Since I like to imagine the Full Moon Farm Gate as one big celebration, it seems only logical that my contribution would be not-sausage rolls. This is the kind of party food I wish I’d had access to at parties as a kid. In fact, the Full Moon Farm Gate is the kind of party I wish I went to as a kid, too.

Despite their much healthier outfit, I still think of these not-sausage rolls as a treat (it is pastry after-all). They just so happen to be much better for everyone involved, or not involved, if you happen to be a pig or cow.

If the lack of sausage in this recipe isn’t enough for you, we’re going one step further and making these gluten free as well. So if you happen to be that way inclined and are wondering what you can snack on come Saturday afternoon, please pop by our trestle. We’ll be the ones behind the pie warmer, keeping ourselves, and the not-sausage rolls, warm. There’ll be homemade tomato sauce and paper bags at the ready, too.

If you don’t have the time, store bought puff pastry is okay and usually doesn’t contain dairy or eggs (check the ingredients to be sure though). Health food stores usually have organic and gluten free options as well. However, if you’ve got the time and patience, it is possible to make your own gluten free rough puff pastry. There are several recipes floating around the net, like this one. Just be prepared to spend the better part of your day rolling, resting and rolling again, if you head down this road.

 

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Not-Sausage Rolls

 To make the cashew cheese:

1 cup organic cashews (soaked overnight, drained)

juice of one organic lemon

1 tbsp savoury yeast flakes

1/4 cup rain water

1/2 tsp murray river salt flakes

cracked black pepper

 

1 cup brown rice flakes 

1 cup warm water

1 tbsp flax meal 

3 tbsp rainwater

1 organic brown onion

1 cup organic almonds

2 organic garlic cloves, peeled

handful of chopped organic parsley

5 organic oregano leaves

1 tbsp organic tamari

1/4 cup psyllium husks

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp savoury yeast flakes

murray river salt flakes

black pepper

organic sesame seeds

extra oil for brushing

 

Add the cashew cheese ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Scrape the cashew cheese mix out and set aside. 

 

In a separate bowl soak the rice flakes in the warm water. In another small bowl, stir together the flax meal and water. Set both aside.

 

Add the almonds, onion and garlic to the food processor and blitz into rough chunks. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor, including the cashew cheese and flax meal mixture. Drain the rice flakes of excess water and add to the food processor. Blitz the mixture until smooth and sticky.

 

Roll the mixture into “sausages” and wrap with pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with oil and press the edges together. Cut the rolls into desired length, prick them with a fork and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 

Bake in a 220 degree celsius oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and flaky.

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beet ’em, join ’em

Roasted Olive & Beetroot Salad with Nasturtiums

As soon as the weather makes its shift into cooler territory, I find it a bit tricky to eat the amount of raw salady stuff that I know I should. Enter the roasted salad. Such a great fall back plan, on a few different levels actually; there’s the fact that you can still manage to have a decent sized serve of leaves and veggies while your appetite is screaming out for something warming, and the other part I really like about roasted salad is the roasted bit. I’ve been doing an almost weekly ritual of roasting whatever is still in the fridge on a Saturday afternoon when we do the changeover from one Farmer’s Market haul to the next. Things can get a little sad if they’re still sitting on the shelf by the time the next load comes in to replace them, but roasting somehow gives slightly limp veggies a second chance to shine. I throw in overlooked potatoes, beetroot, carrots, onion, any left over bits of cauliflower or broccoli and then add in some fresh stuff from our veggie garden; herbs and greens, maybe the odd tomato – it all goes into a couple of baking pans with lots of olive oil and salt and pepper and comes out ready to supply a week’s worth of soups, salads, risotto, pasta, toasted sandwiches and pies. Just having a choice of roasted veggies ready to go from the fridge cuts the time in half to make something decent for lunch rather than eating sourdough toast 7 days a week! My resolve is only as strong as my prep time I’ve discovered.

So, in doing the roasting thing for a while, I started throwing in whatever I thought might make things a bit different from the week before and olives ended up as part of the deal. Have you had roasted olives before? I never had – they’re good. Here’s what happened when they meet the roasted beetroot and some broad beans I had tucked away in the freezer…

 

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Roasted Olive & Beetroot Salad with Nasturtiums

2-3 organic beets

1 cup organic wild, or kalamata olives

extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt flakes

freshly ground pepper

6-8 fresh organic beet leaves

1 cup organic broadbeans

generous handful of fresh organic herbs – chervil, dill, parsley

fresh organic nasturtiums

1/2 organic orange

Pre heat the oven to 190C.

Roast the washed and cut beetroot, along with the olives, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper until the beet is tender.

Blanche the broad beans in boiling water and drain.

Add the roasted beets, olives, broad beans, beet leaves, herbs and nasturtiums to a large bowl and gently toss through with the roasting juices and oil from the beetroot.

 Squeeze the juice from 1/2 an orange over the salad, add salt and pepper to season, and tumble the salad out onto a serving plate. 

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you say tomato…

Roasted Tomato Passata

It’s been a bit of an odd season for tomatoes this year. I love that a 20 minute conversation can take place across our Farmer’s Market trestle discussing just that. It’s not that tomatoes haven’t grown this Summer, more that they seem to be waiting in the wings for something spectacular to call them into their starring role. Who knows what the trigger is to turn a tomato from green to red; I unconvincingly placed my faith in the Sun taking that job on, but nope, we’ve had plenty of that and still no dice. A new theory did emerge after last weekend though.

We have a truly brilliant manager at the Barossa Farmer’s Market, we all love Jess, and not just for the extra shine she’s brought to Saturday mornings, but also for the fact she really gets what communities are authentically looking for – participation. Showing up and making something happen. In this spirit, Jess organised the inaugural Barossa Farmer’s Market Great Passata Collective, complete with hand drawn logo. No need to explain why we love her so; hand drawn and hand coloured logo. On the back of a brown paper bag. It’s true.

 

 

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The idea was, that a group of us keen green thumbs picked up our baby tomato plants in time to nurture a serious amount of homegrown produce to pool in the ‘Collective’s’ passata pot, at a later stage in the season. The part the tomatoes didn’t understand was their obligation to be ripe for the occasion, but to quote our Collective Commander, “never let perfect get in the way of good” – so we bought 200kg of tomatoes from fellow stall holder and the day was underway. It was brilliant. Dean Martin was cranking, interspersed with John on his mandolin, the passata was flowing and a quietly ingenious pasta machine assembly line assembled itself, so we could all share the day’s efforts with a communal lunch. Jess adoration was at its peak at this point!

 

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So my latest theory on tomatoes and ripening, developed after the Great Passata Collective, because that’s exactly when our tomatoes ripened. Little punks knew we’d set a date for them to be ready and figured our expectation needed a little tempering with a reminder of who’s running this show. That’d be Nature. Let’s call the Collective the best way to have a practice run in passata making – ever – and run with the chance it gave me to tweak a few things after the fact. In lieu of a missing assembly line of pasta machines at the ready and all those extra hands to make light work, I went with the easiest option I could think of; put all the uncut tomatoes, stems and all, into a roasting pan with a good dousing of olive oil, salt and pepper, and this way the oven makes passata for you while you drink tea, or similar. I’ve never done this before so I was quietly relieved when it actually worked. Once the tomatoes are burnished and shrunken, throw the whole lot into a colander, or mesh sieve, over a pan and use the back of a spoon to push the reduced tomato pulp through. The stems and skins stay on one side of the fence and the already seasoned tomato puree lands in the pan. Done.

 

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plane picnic

Beetroot Burgers

At the risk of sounding like a retreat junkie, I’m on a plane heading to Bali to do another dose of yoga and meditation. If only this could be an ongoing monthly occurrence in my life! More about that when I get back.

Because it’s all I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of days, I wanted to talk about what to pack when you’re flying if you don’t eat really overcooked non-descript meat and cold white bread rolls. I’m flying with a couple of buddies today and between us we could just about open a wholefoods cafe on board. We’d be the ‘alternative’ flight attendants. Dressed in organic hemp uniforms, no doubt.

The thing with taking food on planes is that you want to eat anything that will help hydrate you, but you don’t want anything that will leak over your only pair of socks. Beetroot burgers. Plus fresh fruit; apples are great because you don’t have any skin to peel and they can handle a bit of a pre flight bumble about in your bag. Raw nuts are really good too. I’ve packed a ziplock bag of rocket that I picked from the garden this morning, no dressing, but that’s forgiven, it’s still a load of chlorophyll going in along with the burgers. I usually pack dehydrated coconut water powder to mix into whatever water I drink on board too, really good stuff to up your electrolytes. And maybe a little orange and chia seed muffin or two. And tea! I always pack loose leaf tea with a single cup infuser so you just need to ask for hot water.

The easiest thing is to make these burgers for dinner the night before you fly out so you can quickly pop a few of them into a container once they’re cold the next morning. They taste pretty good cold too, another factor to tick off when your packing your plane picnic. When we had these last night, we added nettle pesto but that’s not exactly plane friendly when you think about opening a jar of raw garlic under the nose of the person next to you. It’s really good with these though, for the non-flying times.

 

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Beetroot Burgers

makes 12

 

3 medium sized organic beetroot, grated

1 organic leek, finely chopped

300g organic borlotti beans, cooked and cooled

2 cups organic brown rice, cooked and cooled

1 cup fresh organic chervil

1 cup fresh organic parsley

1/2 cup organic pepitas

1/2 cup organic sunflower seeds

1 heaped tablespoon organic tahini

2 teaspoons organic coriander seeds, dry toasted and ground

1 teaspoon organic cumin seeds, dry toasted and ground

1 teaspoon organic fennel seeds, dry toasted and ground

organic GF whole flour or spelt flour, to coat burgers

Celtic salt & pepper to taste

 

Blitz the cooked beans, herbs, tahini, spices and half of the seeds in a food processor until you have something resembling hommus.

In a large bowl, combine the pureed bean mixture with the chopped leek and grated beetroot. Add the remaining seeds and cooked brown rice. Season to taste.

To shape the burgers, have a plate of spelt flour at the ready and as you mould each burger with your hands, coat both sides in the flour, this will stop them sticking when you cook them.

Heat a flat grill and cook the burgers for 8-10 minutes, flipping half way through the cooking time to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.

Serve with fresh greens, whether at your table or in seat 16F.

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patch to plate

Cauliflower With Cashew Cheese

We have what we call ‘town’ clothes, and then our farm clothes. Our town clothes are nothing fancy let me assure you, just more of an effort to wear matching socks than anything, which might say something of the comfort level that our farm clothes offer. This recipe comes from the farm clothes end of the wardrobe. It’s a grey hoodie, comfy jeans and favourite socks kind of dish. Nothing pretty, just good food picked at the end of a decent day’s gardening stint, that somehow speaks of all the reasons you’d choose to spend your free time repeatedly scooping soil with your right hand and planting with your left. Scoop, plant, scoop, plant. One of the coolest ways I’ve discovered to embody mantra. And you get cauliflower at the end. It’s hard not to turn into Nature’s ra-ra girl when I’ve spent an afternoon in the veggie patch. Lucky I have my town clothes to bring me back from the brink. Then again, I’ve heard I wouldn’t need those in a commune. Thinking, thinking.

 

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Cauliflower With Cashew Cheese

serves 2 for dinner

 

1 whole organic cauliflower

3 organic baby leeks

1 tbsp organic coconut oil

2 batches organic cashew cheese

2 cups water

1 tbsp arrowroot

generous handful of fresh organic parsley

generous handful of fresh dill

celtic sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

 

I try to have a batch of cashew cheese in the fridge each week, but if this is the first you’ve heard of such a thing (!) you can find instructions to make it here. 

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Roughly chop the cauliflower and leeks and brown them in a pan with some coconut oil. Once you can notice a change in colour with the veggies, remove from the heat and pile into a baking dish. Stir through the chopped herbs.

To make the cheese sauce, mix 2 cups of cashew cheese with 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of arrowroot. Stir until the arrowroot is smoothly emulsified into the mixture and then pour over the cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and golden brown.

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sheep in wolfe’s clothing

Spanikopita

A bunch of us went to see David Wolfe last night and because the drive was a little over an hour, and because we’re all food obsessed, and because it’s hard not to be into the ‘ladies-bring-a-plate’ notion when you live in the country – we had a car picnic. One hell of a car picnic!

It’s such a cool thing when telepathy takes care of who’s bringing what and you end up with a 3 course meal that covers the full spectrum of colours and flavours. We had a wildcrafted saffron and split pea soup (in a thermos of course), carrot and quinoa salad and beetroot and orange salad, a version of Spanikopita filled with most of our garden and ‘tofu turned feta’, with tamarillo and chilli chutney, and for dessert, raw cacao tart with raspberry puree, perfectly presented in a jar for easy eating at the red lights on the way home. It was a carload of pretty happy campers I can tell you, and that’s apart from the epic proportion of jocundity a couple of hours hanging out in David Wolfe’s buzz leaves you with. Ridiculous levels of knowledge with an imp-like demeanour. Intoxicating combination in a man.

The theme gets a bit wonky when it comes to the Spanikopita though because it wasn’t raw. It was half a garden’s worth of chlorophyll though, so points there. And the feta wasn’t really. It was tofu. A sheep in wolf’s clothing so to speak. It’s been on high rotation at our table this week. It’s not tricky to do, more of a time thing, but worth the forethought for sure.

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Spanikopita

serves 4-6

 

1 packet organic firm tofu

3 tsp Himalayan salt

2 cups water

3 -4 tbsp organic herbs (rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, bay)

juice of 1/2 organic lemon

 

organic raw coconut oil, for sauteing

1 giant bunch organic greens (spinach, silverbeet, cavalo nero)

2 organic leeks

2 tbsp fresh organic marjoram

1 1/2 tsp organic smoky paprika

8 – 10 phyllo pastry sheets 

extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground pepper

Himalayan salt

 

To make the tofu-turned-feta, cut the tofu into 1cm cubes and place into a saucepan with the water, salt, herbs and lemon juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer, liquid and all, to marinate in the fridge overnight.

The next day, thaw the phyllo sheets and pre heat the oven to 180C.

In a large saucepan, melt a little coconut oil and fry the sliced leeks and roughly chopped greens until soft, but not mushy. Add the marjoram, remove from heat and season to taste, stirring through with the paprika. 

Brush a pie dish or enamel pan with olive oil and place 2 sheets of phyllo across the base and up the sides. Oil those sheets and place another 2 on top at a right angle. Oil those and place the final 2 on top, again at a right angle.

Fill the pastry with the cooled greens and leek mixture and add the drained tofu. 

Wrap the pastry over the mixture, like an envelope, sealing with a little more oil. The last 2 sheets of phyllo, I scrunched up to make the top of the spanikopita a little fancier, but that’s absolutely optional. Brush the top of the pastry with more oil and grind some pepper over the top with a sprinkle of salt before placing into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

When nicely browned, remove from the oven and serve while the pastry is still lovely and crisp.

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all season garden pass

Cavolo Nero, Potato, Leek & Tarragon Soup

At this time of year, we’re pretty much living on the bounty between our garden and the Farmer’s Market, which when I think about it is in essence the same as our garden. Isn’t that the brilliant thing about Farmer’s Markets? They’re essentially like having an AAA pass to lots of different veggie patches beyond your own; patches that grow produce as you would, and provide produce that tastes like you’ve just picked it yourself. I really love that, because not all of us can grow everything at the same time in our own gardens, but all together we can grow everything at the same time. Oh God, someone save me sounding like a tourism ad!

It’s just that I never want to fall into the trap of comparing the Farmer’s Market to a supermarket. It’s an entirely different creature, made up of gardeners who are willing to share a portion of the 6-8 organic broccoli they may have in their garden, some of the season’s first pick of tarragon, or olive oil that has been pressed only 1 day ago –  pack it in their car, drive it to a shed somewhere, unpack it, put a beautiful handwritten sign with it and stand behind a trestle waiting to tell you about it should you ask. If I think about it too deeply it makes me want to pay $45 per head of broccoli and even then I’d feel like I came out the victor in the exchange.

My brain’s been fairly firmly entrenched in market-land of late, with our ongoing Saturday morning ‘shop’ at the Barossa Farmer’s Market being joined by a stint at the very first Full Moon Farm Gate last Saturday night. Just when you think your appreciation for those masters of the handmade and homegrown couldn’t be any greater, a hot mug of locally wildcrafted saffron soup is being placed into your hands, and you’re well aware your belly’s not the only thing feeling full from the offer. It’s an incredible thing to be able to give thanks in person to those who sustain the community you live in. Full hearted thanks.

This soup is a combination of Syd’s potatoes, Thatch’s tarragon, Al’s leeks, Amelie’s limes and our cavalo nero. And there you have another reason to love Farmer’s Markets – first name basis with those who are busy growing food for you. Love it.

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Cavolo Nero, Potato, Leek & Tarragon Soup

serves 4

 

1 bunch organic cavalo nero, roughly chopped

4-5 russet potatoes, cut into 1.5cm cubes

3-4 organic pencil leeks, chopped into 1cm rounds

1 generous handful organic tarragon, chopped

1 litre organic vegetable stock

2 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil

Squeeze of fresh organic lime

Himalayan salt

Freshly ground white pepper

 

Super simple. Heat a large saucepan, add the coconut oil, leeks and potatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the leeks are golden, add the cavalo nero, stir for a further 2 minutes and then cover with the vegetable stock. Let the soup come to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat, season to taste and add the tarragon and lime juice just before serving.

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time for the good stuff

Green House Salad

Life’s been a tad nuts out here on the hill over the last month. Well actually not much of it has been on the hill if I think about it because we haven’t been here much. All good stuff but just lots of it. At once. And then we decided to adopt a piglet. You know it goes. So it was really great to get back into the garden and literally ground things a bit after so much running around.

We had a whole afternoon following the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, just to spend any way we wished. Given the preciousness of such a notion it was an easy choice to pull on my old jeans and walk into the greenhouse without any plan but to hang out and see what needed attention first. I love days like that. Sidetracked from one thing to another in a circle of planting red kale seeds, drinking tea, making gravel paths, shovelling cow pats, patting cows, playing with pigs and picking roses for our bedroom.

Lunch was part of things too. Of course. And the greenhouse has become more like a private supermarket now, so sitting at my little potting up table became a chance to put a salad together in my head from what I could see. It might not be the world’s most incredible creation as just a salad, but somehow adding that elusive quality of just picked and hand tended made this salad seem way fancier than it might have seemed to anyone just passing by our kitchen table. Good stuff.

 

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Green House Salad

serves 4

 

1 large handful organic purple beans

1 large handful organic snowpeas

1 small handful organic pea tendrils

1 organic lebanese cucumber

8-10 fresh organic borage flowers

1 organic white witlof

1 cup organic raw walnuts

2 tbsp organic honey

1 tsp Himalayan salt

2 tbsp organic Dijon mustard

4 tbsp lemon juice

1/3 cup lemon extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp honey

salt and pepper to taste

 

For the honey salted walnuts, massage the honey into the walnuts and sprinkle with salt. Spread onto a baking paper lined tray and toast under the grill until caramelised, about 4-5 minutes. Cool.

Blanch the snowpeas in boiling water for no more than 1 minute and then plunge them into an ice bath to immediately cool them. Top and tail the purple beans but leave these raw to preserve their beautiful purple colour.

Cut rounds of cucumber and separate the leaves of the witlof.

Toss together with the pea tendrils.

To make the vinaigrette, mix the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and honey together and season to taste.

Put all the salad ingredients into a pretty bowl and gently mix through the vinaigrette. Top with the borage flowers and cooled walnuts and serve.

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