Ravioli – Bite-size Bliss

The weather was awful last Saturday, too cold and wet to be in the garden. So, I decided to get active in the kitchen with my new toy – a Ravioli press! I’ve been making my own pasta for the past few years though Ravioli always ended up bigger than I intended.  My pasta dough is basic and I use a good pasta flour from The Italian Pantry in North Hobart. It’s a little more expensive than plain flour from the supermarket but the results are wonderful!

Pasta Dough

  • 325g flour (2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 125g milk (1/2 cup)
  • 20g butter or 1 tab olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Stir the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and add the beaten eggs, milk & butter/oil. Knead the dough until it’s smooth. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for at least 10 minutes. You should end up with something like this.

Ravioli Filling

  • 2 mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • 3 small young leaves of Silverbeet
  • small bunch of Italian Parsley
  • 2 rashers of bacon (finely chopped and pan fried) – optional
  • 25g Provolone Valpadana Piccante cheese (grated)
  • 1 egg
  • grated nutmeg

I basically use what’s in season in my garden. Having a constant supply of Italian Parsley and the tender young leaves of autumn Silverbeet helps! If you can’t source Provolone cheese, I suggest a 50/50 mix of Mozzarella and Pecorino Romano for the melt & the sharp bite. Also, my vegetarian friends should note the bacon is optional. Put everything in a bowl and mix well…..

Now for the fun part! Flour a bench lightly, knead the dough and break  into three even-as-possible pieces. I use a hand-cranked pasta machine but you can just roll the dough out as thin as possible. If you use a machine, don’t make the dough too thin, I found 6 was just about perfect.

Cut the sheet of pasta in half and check that it fits the mold with a little extra. Dust the sheet of pasta with a little flour so it doesn’t stick to the mold and lay it carefully in place. Put a scant teaspoon of filling in each – they will burst if overfull! Cover with the other half of the pasta sheet and press down firmly on the edges of each square. (My Ravioli press came with it’s own mini rolling pin for this purpose!) Turn out carefully and cook immediately or put in containers and freeze.

This mold makes 36 pieces – great as a main for two or an entree for four people. The pasta dough & filling recipes makes enough for three rounds – that’s 108 pieces of Ravioli! I divided it into three, put two containers in the freezer and kept 36 for this;

Chicken & Ravioli  

  • 500g chicken pieces
  • 2 tabs Marsala
  • 2 tabs Olive oil
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 or 2 Cayenne chillies (finely chopped)
  • 2 mushrooms (sliced)
  • Pinch of dried Sage
  • Grated Nutmeg
  • 125g (1/2 cup) white wine
  • 36 Ravioli (fresh or frozen) and boiling water for cooking
  • 125g (1/2 cup) Basil Pesto (fresh or frozen)
  • 25g Provolone Valpadana Piccante cheese (grated)
  • 25g Mozzarella (grated)

Slice the chicken into even pieces, place into a non-metallic bowl and pour over the Marsala. Set aside for at least an hour. In a heavy pan, heat the oil gently and add the onion. When the onion is translucent, add the chilli, garlic & mushrooms. Gradually increase the heat but don’t burn.

At this stage, I recommend getting a large pot of water to a rolling boil ready for the pasta.

Add the white wine, Sage and Nutmeg to the onion mix. Once the liquid has cooked off (a matter of minutes) add the chicken and cook for 8-10 mins (or until cooked through). During this phase, put the Ravioli carefully into the boiling water. Once the pieces come to the top of the water they’re cooked al dente – “to the tooth”. As they cook, use a slotted spoon to add them to the chicken.

Fold the Basil Pesto very gently though the chicken & pasta, making sure everything gets a coating of green goodness and serve immediately with the grated cheese. Serves two hungry people as a big main or four sensible souls as a small main with crusty bread and a green salad.

Comfort Food – Fondue

As the weather gets colder, my thoughts turn to comfort food more than usual – if that’s possible! This is a pretty simple fondue that you can dress up with whatever you’ve got on hand.

Basic Fondue 

  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped & crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 3 cups fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 cup maasdam cheese, grated
  • 1 tab cornflour
  • 1 tab lemon juice
  • nutmeg, smoked paprika & pepper to taste

In a heavy pan (I use an enamel saucepan I keep just for fondue) heat the wine. Before it starts to steam, add the garlic. This should be so fine it’s almost a paste. Add the cheese very carefully, stirring all the while. Once it’s all incorporated and the fondue is starting to bubble, add the cornflour that’s been mixed with the lemon juice. Cook it a further 5 mins and add fresh grated nutmeg, a little smoked paprika (ordinary will do) and pepper if you want it.

Serve at the table on a spirit burner fondue platform. (I got mine from an op-shop for about AU$5) Traditionally, this is served with just crusty bread, but it’s an ideal supper for vegetarians with a variety of things to dip in the cheese. Celery, carrot and cooked potato are great!  For variety, I served mine with carrot sticks, a Spanish Chorizo sausage cut in half lengthways and sliced as well as a crusty baguette. So yummy, so filling!

Note: If you can’t find Fontina (a beautiful Italian melting cheese) or Maasdam (a Dutch take on traditional Swiss cheese) substitue with Emmental, Gruyere, Edam or Gouda.

 

Some Like It Hot – Chillies

This summer & autumn have been wonderful for my chillies. The crop has been abundant and as I write, is still ripening, flowering and setting new fruit! I grow all my chillies in pots in my little greenhouse, as the Tasmanian summer is notoriously fickle and colder overnight temperatures can cause flower and immature fruit drop.

This year I grew a good mixture of plants, varying types and heat ratings, some from seed and some from purchased seedlings. Tasmanian home gardeners are unable to buy seed or live plants from interstate due to government restrictions. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to source and grow the following varieties this last summer.

  • Jalapeno – a medium heat chilli, with thick flesh
  • Tepin – a wild chilli from Mexico, very small & quite hot
  • Thai – not the birdseye but larger, fruit bears upright on stems
  • Big Jim – a mild, very large cultivar, specifically for stuffing
  • Cayenne – long, slender fruit, hot and tasty
  • Pasilla Bajo – a milder chilli, starts green and turns brown, used for mole sauce
  • Habanero – the hottest one I grow, heavy cropping and dries well

This year I grew my seeds in a light, well-drained potting mix with a little dolomite added and coffee grounds – a trick I picked up from an online forum to make the mix more alkaline. It seemed to work well – I had a great strike rate with all my seeds! Potted up, they’ve taken up a lot of floor and bench space in the greenhouse but the results have been well worth it!

Jalapenos, Cayenne & Tepins hanging to dry with the last of the tomatoes

Here’s a simple sauce/relish recipe that I really like. It was a great way to use up the glut of tomatoes & chillies I had this year!

Chilli Relish

  • 1.5 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 kg onions, finely diced
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 2 cups malt vinegar
  • 2 tabs salt
  • Habanero & Cayenne chillies, very finely chopped
  • 2 tabs cornflour to thicken, mixed in a little water

Put the chopped tomatoes, onions & vinegar  in a heavy saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and gradually stir in the sugar & salt, making sure it doesn’t stick. Add the chillies – as many or few as you wish. I used one very large Habanero for heat & apricot/fruit overtones and a huge Cayenne to add the zingy flavour that’s unique to this variety. This makes a relish that’s hot but not unbearable.

Tomatoes, onions & vinegar ready to make relish

Continue simmering and stirring until it’s reduced a little. Then make up the cornflour with a little water and stir this in thoroughly. Continue cooking for a few minutes more and bottle up into sterilised jars, cover and allow to cool before labeling and storing. Leave this for a month or two for the flavours to deepen. This made eight jars that I can’t wait to taste with cheese & crusty bread….. will just have to try and be patient!!!!

Chilli Relish ready for thickening & bottling

 

Grilled Chilli Chicken & Pesto Pasta

Following on from my last post I thought I’d pass on a simple recipe that satisfies two of my passions – chillies & basil!

Grilled Chilli Chicken (Serves 4)

  • 8 chicken thighs (skinned & boned)
  • 1/2 cup good white wine
  • 1 tab marsala or sherry
  • 1 teas good quality soy sauce
  • 2 tabs Basil Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and fine chopped
  • 2 thai chillies, halved and fine sliced
  • a sprig of fresh Lebanese Oregano (or Marjoram or Oregano will do) Thyme, Sage & Rosemary all crushed

In a non-metallic dish, mix the wine, marsala, soy, Basil Oil. Add the garlic, chillies and herbs. Note: the size of my sprig might be different to yours. Don’t overuse herbs, you want them to enhance the flavours – not to dominate! I crush my fresh herbs in a mortar & pestle to release the oils. Remember, if you’re using dried herbs be cautious and use a little less!

Mix the marinade well, add the chicken thighs, coating each piece carefully. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning the thighs a couple of times.

Remove from refrigerator 30 mins before cooking and cook under a hot grill, turning once and spooning a little of the marinade over. Garnish with chopped Coriander leaves or Italian Parsley and serve with Pesto Pasta.

Pesto Pasta

  •  500g dried pasta (tubes are great for collecting the pesto)
  • 2 tabs Basil Oil
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 or 4 fresh silverbeet leaves or 4 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed and sliced fine
  • a small bunch of Italian Parsley, finely chopped
  • a small bunch of Garlic Chives, finely chopped
  • 4 cubes of frozen Basil Pesto or 4 tabs of fresh pesto
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cook the pasta in a large pot as per the packet directions. When it’s cooked, strain in a colander and put aside. In the same pot, heat the Basil Oil and add the mushrooms and salt & pepper. Return the pasta to the pan, stirring constantly. Add the silverbeet/spinach and pesto, continue stirring. Finish with the parsley & chives and serve.

Thoughts of Summer – Basil

Hello! Now that southern hemisphere summer is finally over, I’ve got some time to commit to my garden blog again.

The garden is looking a little careworn at present, leaves are starting to fall and late summer and autumn vegetables are making way for winter plantings of kale, broccoli and cauliflower.  Also, despite the unseasonal warm weather we’ve been having in south eastern Australia, it’s pruning time! The apricot and nectarine are almost done as soon as the crop’s picked but this year I’m tackling the immense (and unproductive) cherry trees.

Meanwhile, the table groans with delicious salads, luscious silverbeet and savoy cabbage, fresh herbs, a glut of potatoes, chillies galore, stewed rhubarb and stone fruit from mid summer and above all things – Basil!

"Mammoth'"aka "Lettuce Leaf Basil"


Having the greenhouse up and running meant greater quantity and quality this summer and my main crop was Genovese and Mammoth (aka as Lettuce Leaf Basil)

I always try and make oil first and pesto from the remains.  This means I get the most out of every crop – and it couldn’t be easier!

Basil Oil

Quantities are very difficult with this – I tend to go by eye/taste and encourage everyone to do similar! Cut basil stems in the mid morning, when it’s warm and aromatic. Make sure it’s clean and dry. Remove the leaves from the stems and put in a large, dry  glass container. In the picture below, you can see my old pickle jar – it’s perfect for this. (By the way, don’t throw the tough Basil stems away! Once the leaves have been stripped, let them dry and use them as aromatic skewers for chicken or veggie kebabs.) Cover the leaves with a good quality olive oil and use a wooden spoon handle to macerate the leaves in the oil. Cover with a clean, dry square of cheesecloth and a rubber band to keep any insects out. Leave it in a warm spot (not in direct sunlight) for a few days. I usually leave mine for two or three days in my kitchen.

When it smells and tastes right, strain into clean glass bottles, cap and label. This oil is wonderful for shallow fried vegetables that take up flavour – potatoes and mushrooms are divine! – and for dressing salads. Just a few drops over a salad of endive, rocket, italian parsley & fetta cheese brings back the warmth of summer.

Pesto

Take the remains of the basil and oil and place in a blender jar. Add peeled garlic (I averaged two heads per batch – but we had a bumper crop of garlic too!) Process until it’s all smooth. I found I didn’t need any extra oil. Also,  I don’t add nuts to my pesto at this stage. Pine nuts go rancid very quickly and  sometimes I don’t want the texture of nuts in some dishes.

To keep the pesto into the winter, fill  ice cube trays with the mixture and freeze it overnight. The next day, remove the cubes and put them in a sealed plastic bag. One or two cubes is a perfect finish to a casserole, pasta dish or winter soup.

Peri Peri Chicken with BBQ Roast Vegetables

This past weekend was busy – I planted out the first of the corn seedlings and a few sunflowers who help in germination and give me seed to snack on in the winter. I turned compost and planted out another couple of different endive/radicchio/chicory forms from Italy.

It was also time to celebrate the first of the chilli seeds coming up. This year I’ve put five different varieties in and I’ve got nine early Jalapeno seedlings in pots in the greenhouse. First up this year were the Cayenne, but I’m sure the others won’t be far behind. I used a handful of coffee grounds in the seed raising mix this year but I’m not sure if it’s made a discernible difference yet.

In case you hadn’t noticed I love chilli! This recipe isn’t “authentic” Peri Peri, in that I didn’t use African Bird’s Eye or Serrano chillies – like all my recipes it’s really about what’s available to me at the time and very simple.

  • 4 mild chillies, roughly chopped
  • 6 hot chillies, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • zest & juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tab rock salt
  • 1-2 tabs good olive oil
  • 1 free-range whole chicken.

I don’t de-vein chillies and remove the seeds unless I’m using fresh Habanero’s or collecting seeds for next year’s crop – but do so if this is too hot for your palate. Also, I recommend adjusting the amount of garlic and hot chillies, depending on your taste. Don’t go below four mild chillies though, you need them for bulk!

Chillies!

Put the chillies, garlic, lemon zest and rock salt in a mortar and pestle and mash well. Gradually add the lemon juice and oil and make sure it’s well incorporated. Leave it aside while preparing the chicken.

 

Chicken ready for marinating

Split the chicken in half along the breast bone with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Depending on the size of the bird and how many you want to feed, carve the breast from the drumstick. Wash it to remove any little shards of bone and pat dry. Place it skin side up on a chopping board and score the skin. Rub in a little salt and place in a large non-metallic dish.

Marinating Peri Peri Chicken

Pour the Peri Peri over and rub it thoroughly into the chicken – it’s messy but someone’s got to do it! Cover and refrigerate. Leave to marinate for at least eight hours or overnight.

The vegetables are very simple – anything that takes your fancy rinsed, trimmed, thrown in a baking dish with a spice rub of approx 1 tab cumin, a tsp rock salt, a sprinkle of dried oregano and a touch of chilli powder. Grind lightly in a mortar and pestle (“rustic” is the word here!) and toss the spice mix over the vegetables and coat liberally in olive oil. We used Sweet Corn, Dutch Cream Potatoes, halved Mushrooms, Baby Leeks, halved Brown Onion and Carrot pieces. Bake this covered on a closed barbecue for about 15 mins, uncover, toss them around again and cook a further 10 mins or until cooked. Keep warm in a cool oven while the chicken’s cooking.

Barbecue Roast Vegetables

I like to cook the chicken on a charcoal barbecue for a beautiful, smokey flavour but an ordinary grill will do fine! Also, I prefer to cook the half chicken and cut into serving portions after. The meat stays succulent and after all that time marinating, is full of wonderful flavour! This serves 4 easily, or more with extra side dishes, such as a green salad.

Bon appetit!

Peri Peri Chicken with Barbecue Roast Vegetables

Nothing About Gardening – All About Friends!

My neighbour just celebrated another birthday and her 7 year-old daughter and me schemed to do something nice for her.

Knowing we were going out for sushi last Friday, I baked a really simple foundation cake that we could come back and have for dessert. You can use this recipe as a basis for pattypan cakes (cupcakes), 2 loaf cakes with added nuts & dried fruit, grate an apple and add a couple of tabs of natural yoghurt for a delicious muffin batter – it’s really only limited by your imagination! Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 scant cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (375g) butter or shortening
  • 3 cups SR flour, sifted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • a few drops of real vanilla essence

Mix the butter and sugar together thoroughly, add the vanilla. Mix in the eggs one at a time, alternating with the cups of sifted flour. As it starts to get really stiff, add the milk gradually until the batter is silky.

Pour into a prepared cake tin and bake for approx 40mins in a moderate oven (until the cake starts shrinking away from the sides of the pan). Leave for 10mins in the tin and then turn out onto a cake rack and cool thoroughly.

Split the cake in half and trim the top if you want a flat-top cake to decorate! With a broad spatula spread a good quality creme fraiche sparingly over the bottom half of the cake. (I used low-fat but you could use spreadable low or no-fat cream cheese). Sprinkle with fruit of your choice. I know Karen loves raspberries so I used approx half a frozen pack (about 150g). Then place the top half on and cover sides and top with creme fraiche.

Finally, Georgia stepped up and did the finishing – which included half a can of low-fat whipped cream! – the rest of the raspberries and some cute little mini pink & white marshmallows. The result was an incredibly messy kitchen, but a happy kid, happy  mum and a memorable cake!

Karen's cake as decorated by Georgia!

Chicken Kebabs with Radicchio, Onion & Mushrooms

Radicchio fresh from the garden

A young friend came round yesterday who has an interest in cooking . I wanted to make a meal featuring produce he’d seen in the garden and was simple enough for him to replicate and share with others.

Being spring, I chose to feature the lush, fresh herbs that are putting on masses of new growth at present and Radicchio, one of my favourite vegetables and one of the bitter greens – a very adult flavour!

The most important thing with the kebabs of course was the marinade, which needs to be prepared at least 8 hours in advance to allow the flavours to develop. Using a good spanish smoked Paprika will make the chicken slighty pink. This disappears with cooking.

  • 1kg chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tabs lime juice
  • 2-3 tabs olive oil
  • 1 tab marsala
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • small bunch Lemon Balm, finely chopped
  • sprigs of fresh Sage, Lemon Thyme & Oregano, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teas smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 teas hot Paprika
  • 2 cayenne chillies, chopped fine

(A quick note on the fresh herbs….. I have a lot of Lemon Balm in my garden this time of year but if you don’t, try Garden Mint. Likewise, Lemon Thyme can be substituted with Garden Thyme. I use Zaatar Leaf (Origanum syriacum) but Oregano is just as good.

The marinated chicken, ready to cover and leave for 8 hours

Mix the marinade ingredients thoroughly in a non-metal container and add the cubed chicken, making sure each piece is coated. Cover and refridgerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to cook put the chicken on soaked bamboo skewers and put the remaining marinade in a saucepan with a tablespoon of brown sugar. Heat the sauce gently (don’t allow the sugar to burn), while grilling the chicken for a few minutes on each side til cooked. Brush with a little more olive oil if necessary. Serve on a bed of steamed long-grain rice with a little sauce and with Radicchio, Onion & Mushrooms, recipe below. Garnish with fresh chopped Italian Parsley & Spring Onions.

Radicchio is a leaf chicory from the daisy family (Asteracea) that has been used in the kitchen since Roman times. Pliny the Elder extolled it’s medicinal virtues in his Naturalis Historia but neglected to say that (if treated properly) this is one of the most delicious vegetables and incredibly hardy and easy to grow. I have 2 varieties in my garden, Radicchio Palla Rossa (a round, grapefruit-sized variety) and the tall Radicchio di Treviso, which I used for this dish. They are both forms of Cichorium intybus but there are many more, mostly attached to the Vento region in north eastern Italy. The Italian Gardener (Australian company) & Seeds From Italy (US supplier) have an excellent selection for those inspired!

I picked a large bunch of leaves, cleaned them well and removed the hardest part of the  rib from each leaf. As these plants are in a cool temperate garden and the weather’s warming up, they haven’t taken on the dramatic bright red & white colouring, triggered by colder conditions, but are a beautiful, mottled green & red.

The traditional bitterness of this plant can be reduced by blanching or grilling but a lot of my leaves weren’t awfully bitter, probably because of the amount of rain we’ve had the last few weeks. Still, I recommend testing by tasting a piece of the raw leaf.

  • large bunch of Radicchio, cleaned, de-ribbed, chopped and pre-cooked if necessary
  • 1-2 tabs olive oil
  • 1 med onion, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4-5 mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • a grate of nutmeg

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan and sweat the onion for a few minutes, add the garlic and white wine, stirring well. Add the mushrooms and a grate or two of nutmeg. Add the Radicchio and continue stirring for about 5 mins (til the leaves are limp and tender). Add a little more liquid if needed but don”t drown the dish!

This is a fabulous side dish to any barbecue main course, can be served with rice as a vegetarian main and can be garnished with toasted pine nuts, sesame seeds, spring onions or Italian parsley.

Chicken Kebabs with Radicchio Onion and Mushroom

Planning in Spring for a Bountiful Summer

Spring Sunset

Now it’s well into spring, everything’s busting out and growing at a rate of knots – including the weeds! It’s the busiest time of the year for most of us who grow food crops but careful planning and preparation can help ease the workload.

The Mulch Stack!

In winter I made most of my big decisions with respect to which beds will grow what crops and begged, borrowed and bought the materials needed. This year I was lucky enough to find a friendly farmer with 24 bales of old hay, left out in the paddock all winter. This was incredibly cheap and makes perfect mulch for fruit trees, vegetables and shrubs. It will also help reduce my watering over the warmest months.

The other “collections” I made over winter were:

  • Letters, personal papers & envelopes, put through the shredder and ready to use as mulch and add to the compost bins
  • Cardboard, newspapers, anything too big for the office shredder for laying over ground to supress weeds and reclaim lawn
  • Plastic food trays for using as plant drip trays in the greenhouse – I recycle everything I can!
  • Special seeds & plants from mail-order catalogues
  • Mushroom compost from a local supplier, covered and kept damp in the greenhouse one bag produced another 2kg of fresh mushrooms for the table and sauce!
  • Sheep manure – or cow or chicken. Whatever you can get your hands on! I was also lucky enough to get a few bags of seagrass from friends with a permit to collect it. And finally……..
  • Cardboard toilet rolls for spring & summer seed planting and pricking out.

Recycled Toilet Rolls as Seedraising Pots

This is one of the best things ever for reducing transplant shock, as the seedling roots aren’t disturbed when planting out and the cardboard rots away into the ground in a few weeks.

The method I use is to cut each roll in half, fill with a good seedraising mix, place in plastic trays and plant individual seeds into each. This is particularly good for plants with large, easy to handle seeds – peas, beans, corn, sunflowers etc.

The picture above was taken about 14 days after planting in the greenhouse, the picture below only 7 days after planting out. Plants had doubled in size and suiffered no visible setback or transplant shock.

Seven days after planting out

 

Greek Leeks – Prasorizo

This spring I’ve found myself with an over-abundance of leeks. These beautiful, delicately flavoured members of the onion family are very hardy, easy to grow and extremely versatile in the kitchen.

I grow them all year round here in southern Tasmania and generally have one row that I sow seed in and use as a nursery, pricking out the fingerlings to their final homes as ground becomes available. They thrive in even quite heavy soils and will tolerate even the worst frosts. Some old-timers claim they don’t taste as sweet unless they’ve been subjected to a few good frosts!

I use spring onion-size leeks raw in salads for a subtle onion flavour and of course for Potato & Leek and Chicken Soup. Leeks are wonderful as a baked vegetable and also useful as part of a vegetable stock or trivet for a roast to rest on for slow cooking.

Prasorizo is a beautiful and different way to serve rice. This recipe is adapted from one I found in the current SBS Feast Magazine.

  • 60ml (1/4) cup olive oil
  • 4 med leeks, washed and finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 300g (1 1/2 cups) long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) white wine
  • 600ml water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 40g (1/4 cup) pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Fennel
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat leaf Italian Parsley

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the leeks and garlic and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes or until softened. (Don’t let them burn!) Season with salt & pepper, then add the rice and cook for a further few minutes or until the grains are slightly translucent.

Add the wine and water and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes (until the liquid is absorbed), stirring as neccessary to stop the rice from sticking.

Prasorizo Herb Mix

Finish by stirring in the lemon juice and fennel, parsley & toasted pine nuts. Drizzle with extra olive oil and a little crumbled feta cheese. You can add a couple of spring onions to the herbs if you want a slightly stronger onion presence.

This recipe keeps well and can be frozen. It’s ideal as a vegetarian light lunch or (as I used it) as a different kind of side dish for a Greek-style dinner.

Greek-style baked pork, Prasorizo & garden salad