I have moments of really missing Perth. Mostly it's my friends that I miss (like crazy, everyday) but I also miss my old local farmers market. We tried so hard to grow veggies in Perth, but found it pretty hard going in the hot and sandy soils of the West. The farmers markets were my saviour and I looked forward to picking up supplies every Saturday morning, knowing that it was all super fresh and locally grown. These feelings are generally short lived though. Thanks to our beautiful fertile soils and wet weather here in NZ, we're back to growing loads of our own food! And it feels good, real good.
I thought it was about time I showed you our little garden here in Raglan. It's nowhere near as big as we would like, but we only live on a small urban property so we make do with what we have. Si built our raised beds when we first bought the house 10 years ago and a ton of vegetables have been grown in there since. We've currently got celery, silverbeet (chard), broccoli, minzuna, tatsoi and kale ready for eating, there's also leeks almost ready to go and our garlic, broad beans and peas are coming along nicely. We also grew purple cauliflower, which is what I've used in today's recipe.
Directly in front of my kitchen window, we have another much smaller garden bed, which is mostly filled with herbs (lemongrass, flat leaf parsley, mint, peppermint + lemon balm), but we've also snuck some more leeks in there, have radishes just popping up and at the very end we also have our rhubarb patch. Oh and my sorrel, which I planted 10 years ago and it's still going strong!
When we moved onto this property there was already a huge, well established grapefruit tree which hangs right next to our deck (for easy picking!), but we've since planted feijoa trees, a persimmon (which Si grew from seed many moons ago), grapevines, lemon and plums. I've just ordered some heirloom tomato seeds, which I'll be sowing in the coming weeks in preparation for mid-October planting. I can't wait. It may not be enough to sustain us completely, but damn it feels good to have my hands in the soil again and to be able to pick and eat directly from the earth.
Just a little heads up to those of you in Auckland, I'm cooking in the Whirlpool Cooking Theatre at The Food Show this coming Friday/Saturday/Sunday. To find out more about my demos + the times, click here. For tickets and venue info, click here. You can listen to a little radio interview I did about the show here.
Lastly, I've finally bit the bullet and am now on Snapchat @mydarlinglt. If you want to see a little more 'behind-the-scenes' stuff, check it out. I'll try and post some cool stuff from backstage at the show too!
Roasted purple cauliflower + sprouted lentil salad with yoghurt lime dressing
I used the last of the purple cauliflower which we had growing in our garden a few weeks back, but regular cauliflower or even broccoli would work in it's place instead. This made enough for one generous serving, however you could easily double the recipe to feed more. Use coconut yoghurt for a vegan/dairy-free version.
Serves 1, or more as a side
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil, fine sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
Handful salad greens (I used tatsoi + minzuna from the garden)
Handful of sprouted lentils*
yoghurt lime dressing
2 tablespoons thick natural yoghurt
the juice 1/2 lime
1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Small handful of coriander/chives/parsley
Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Spread the cauliflower florets out on an oven tray in a single layer. Drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking, until lovely and tender and golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool a little.
Whisk dressing ingredients together to combine.
To serve, arrange roasted cauliflower onto a plate, along with a handful of salad greens and sprouted lentils. Drizzle generously with dressing and serve.
* To sprout lentils, soak overnight in plenty of water. The following day drain the water off and either place into a large glass jar with a piece of muslin cloth secured over the top, or place into a seive set over a large bowl, then top with a glass pot lid. Set aside in a bright spot in the kitchen away from direct sunlight. Rinse 2-3 times a day and eat when the little sprout is the same size as the lentil, or longer, approx 2-4 days. They'll then store in the fridge for 4-5 days.