Cauliflower soup with nutmeg cream

chopped celeriacCauliflower is king: 70 recipe to prove it, 144pp.
by Leanne Kitchen
Murdoch Books Australia, Sydney, 2018
Cooking on page 32

Cauliflower is a wonderfully flexible vegetable. It’s delicious raw, roasted, covered in cheese, made into soup and much more. This delightful cookbook explains its history and health benefits, how to buy it, how to cook it, and how to love it. There are recipes for soups, snacks, meals, salads and pickles.

I’ve always loved cauliflower and cook with it often. How could I resist grabbing this?

Cauliflower soup with nutmeg cream

Cauliflower soup with nutmeg cream

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, white part only, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 sprigs of thyme
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/about 1/2 medium) cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
350 g (q12 oz/about 1/2 large celeriac, peeled and chopped
560 ml (19 1/4 fl oz/2 1/4 cups), chicken stock approximately
300 ml (10 1/2 fl oz” single (pure/pouring) cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

chopped cauliflower Cooking cauliflower and celeriac Creme fraiche and nutmegNutmeg cream
160 ml (5 1/4 fl oz) crème fraîche
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the nutmeg cream, combine the crème fraîche and grated nutmeg in a bowl, stir well and refrigerate.

Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the leek, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the cauliflower and celeriac. Cover the pan and cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender—add a few tablespoons of water if they start to stick. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

Remove the thyme sprigs then, using an immersion blender or food processor, process to a smooth purée, adding a little extra stock if it is too thick. Return to the heat until nearly simmering. Stir in the cream and lemon juice, season and serve with the nutmeg cream.

How it played out
Yesterday I ventured out to buy a bulb of celeriac (Covid-19 has hampered my shopping expeditions). Luckily I had everything else on hand, including a tub of crème fraîche that was close to its use-by date and my last whole seed of nutmeg (must buy more soon).

I made the recipe exactly as written, adding a couple of tablespoons of water after I added the cauliflower and celeriac. Puréed the soup with my immersion blender.

Cauliflower is king cookbookWas delighted to use the nutmeg grinder given to me by Malou, a friend in Belgium. Twenty years ago in Ghent, I admired her grinder and she made it a mission to find me one too. I cherish it, especially because Malou died last year after losing a battle with breast cancer. We met in Syria 40 years ago, and she is one of only a few friends who knew both Poor John and me before we married. We miss her.

What is there to say? I love cauliflower. This ticked all the boxes. We’re in the midst of winter in Australia and I’ll be making this often. That said, it’s quite nice cold and at room temperature. So try it any time.

No one is travelling these days, but my memories are kicking in. You are most welcome to check out some of my previous trips. I’d head back to India any day to have this wonderful salty drink agin.

Cauliflower, celeriac and leek

Posted in Cheese, Dairy, Light meal, lunch, Stew/soup, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Fennel gratin

fennel gratin to cookRustic Italian food, 292pp.
by Marc Vetri with David Joachim
Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 2011
Cooking on page 232

This looks like the only book on homestyle Italian cooking you will ever need. There are recipes for basics such as a whole range of cured meats and pastas, as well as breads, pickles and preserves, vegetables and sides, dessert and sauces.

Authors Marc Vetri and David Joachim have long histories in the world of food. Vetri trained in Bergamo, Italy. His Italian restaurants in Philadelphia have been closed since March, but are reopening next week (July 3). Joachim has authored, edited or collaborated on more than 35 cookbooks.

I had to flip to page 232 for a recipe.

Fennel roastedFennel gratin

2 fennel bulbs (about 2 pounds), fronds trimmed and reserved
about 2½  cups of olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1¼ teaspoons red pepper flakes
1⁄3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

fennel bulb Grated Parmesan fennel gratinMethod
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Trim the base of the fennel and remove all dark and light green parts down to the white bulb. Slice each bulb in half lengthwise.

Cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges and remove the cores. Lay the wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and add olive oil to a depth of ¼ inch.

Sprinkle each wedge with a pinch each of salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Top each with about 1 teaspoon of Parmesan.

Bake until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the oil until just warm. 

Using a slotted metal spatula, transfer the fennel to plates and garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.

Note: You can make this 1 hour ahead because it needs to cool until just warm. It tastes great cold, too.

How it played out
I had two small fennel bulbs, weighing 250 grams (about 8 ounces) in all, so I made a quarter of the recipe for the two of us. I didn’t measure the chilli flakes and parmesan, but sprinkled both generously over the wedges. I also went very easy on the olive oil. No need to have a depth of 1/4 inch.

Because the bulbs were on the small side, the wedges were tender within about 25 minutes. First time, served with crustless quiche and roasted baby carrots.

Rustic Italian food cookbookVerdict
Oh yum, oh yum! I was first introduced to fennel about 15 years ago. Back then, one of our German exchange students and her dad, Laura and Lütz, came for a visit. They cooked dinner for us and Lütz braised his signature fennel recipe as a side dish. I’ve been cooking it fairly regularly ever since and I reckon this is the nicest recipe of all.

I love the simplicity of this dish. If you like fennel or if you’ve never tried it, this is the recipe to use. I now make it regularly as a side dish for almost any meal. The pics are from two different makings.

I regularly cook Italian food (taught by a neighbour in my childhood), but I haven’t been to Italy for more than 20 years. This recipe is an amazing introduction to Italian cuisine. Another cuisine showstopper is the Vety from Finland. I wrote about it here.


Fennel gratin with quiche and spinach

Posted in Side dish, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Herb cheese pâté

Three cheesesEntertaining with Cranks: creating sensational meals the vegetarian way, 256pp.
by Kay Canter and Daphne Swann
Grafton Books, London, 1987
Cooking on page 32–33

Kay Canter and Daphne Swann, along with Kay’s husband David, opened the first Cranks restaurant in London in 1961. It was among the first vegetarian restaurants in the England, serving mainly salads in the beginning. The restaurant filled a niche and soon spread across the country. The menu expanded too.

Between them, the Canters and Swann wrote eight cookbooks. Two years ago, I shared a recipe—raspberry yoghurt ice cream—from their book on puddings and desserts.

Since Cranks was sold in 1987, the business has passed to several owners.

Herb cheese pâté with biscuitsHerb cheese pâté

4 oz (100 g) low fat skimmed milk cheese
6 oz (175 g) cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz (50 g) blue-veined cheese, crumbled
2 tsp (10 ml) sherry
1 tsp (5 ml) French mustard
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
2 tbsp (30 ml) parsley, chopped
1 tbsp (15 ml) chives, chopped
2 oz (50 g) walnuts, toasted and chopped
lettuce leaves, olives, parsley and shelled walnut halves to garnish

Walnuts and herbs Mashed cheeses ad herbs Herb cheese logMethod
Beat all the ingredients together, except the walnut, until smooth. Shape into a log and wrap in a piece of foil or greaseproof paper. Chill well. Then unwrap and coat with the chopped walnuts. Serve, cut in slices, on a bed of lettuce and garnish with olives, parsley and walnut halves. Serve with melba toast or wholemeal toast.

How it played out
I made this to take to morning tea at the gym. This was just before the coronavirus appeared and caused the gym to close. That means we’ve been missing our twice-a-week seniors gym classes as well as our once-a-month morning teas. 

The gym is supposed to reopen soon and I wonder if we’ll be able to resume the morning teas. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, and sometimes a gym class attracts as many as 16.

But back to the recipe. I made half a batch a day in advance (giving it plenty of time to chill). Used all the ingredients—surely a bit of sherry in a dip wouldn’t bring the gym class undone? I didn’t need to beat the cheeses. I just let them soften and then mashed well with a fork.

Entertaining with CranksI didn’t cut the log into slices or add the garnishes. Presentation at the gym isn’t all that elegant and we serve ourselves. Besides everyone brings a plate of food (some homemade and some store bought) and we end up with way too much. The pictures of the offerings show most of the day’s spread.

For years, my gym buddies have counted on me to contribute brownies, as well as cheese and crackers, for morning tea. This cheese log was a popular addition and I will definitely make it again.  I especially liked that it could be made ahead.

Our travel wings have been clipped during this pandemic. Nevertheless, I plan to start writing again about past travels (my most recent post was in March). In the meantime, you can check out a post I did on a couple of delightful meals in Peru.

Posted in Appetiser, Cheese, Snack, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Barbecued peaches

Barbecued peachesThe Ignatian table: a celebration of food for family and friends, 233pp.
by St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Parents and Friends
St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Parents and Friends, Lane Cove NSW, 2008
Cooking on page 32

I bought this cookbook at one of our regular Lifeline Book Fairs, but the forewords says that profits from the original sale went to the Bursary Fund of St Ignatius’ College, Riverview.

The book is beautifully written, photographed and produced, a real testament to the skill and recipes of the current and past parents and students, teachers, and cookbook team.

I bought this cookbook specifically to make the page-32 recipe, contributed by a Michelle Jamieson. She says she has also cooked it on the stove top and used nectarines instead of peaches.

Barbecued peachesBarbecued peaches

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 container crème fraîche or premium vanilla ice cream
6 firm, ripe peaches, peeled, halved and pitted

Peaches and honey Baked peaches

Mix honey, vinegar and vanilla in a small bowl.

Prepare barbecue on medium to high heat. Place the peaches onto the barbecue plate and brush them generously with half of the glaze. Grill them until heated through, turning occasionally, for about 4 minutes.

Arrange 2 peaches, cut side up, on each plate. Drizzle with remaining glaze. Spoon crème fraîche or ice cream into centre of peach and serve. Serves 6.

How it played out
We have a magnificent peach tree growing between our house and the neighbour’s. Neither of us planted it, so it must have grown from seed. We first harvested from it about six years ago. The fruit is sensational. So sweet, so tender.

Ignatius cookbookI made half a batch, using three plump peaches. I cooked them for about 3 minutes, turning regularly, on a pancake griddle on the stovetop. I wasn’t sure what size container of  crème fraîche was referred to, but I put about a heaped teaspoon on each half. Also drizzled over more of the glaze.

This is dinner-party worthy. So easy to make and so delicious and impressive on the plate. I served the third peach to my friend, Robyn. She was so impressed that I gave her the cookbook. Hey, I already have too many cookbooks.

If you love honey, check out the post I did nine years ago about honey and a market in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

Barbecued peaches

Posted in Dessert, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Hot-sour prawn (shrimp) salad

cucumber, fish sauce, red onionWinter food: seasonal recipes for the colder months, 192pp.
by Jill Norman
Kyle Cathie Limited, London, 2005
Cooking on page 32

Jill Norman’s career as an editor dates back to the 1960s when she worked with Elizabeth David, the food writer credited with changing how an English-speaking, postwar generation viewed and cooked food. For years, Norman researched the spice trade and in 1990 was encouraged to write her first book, The Complete Book of Spices. It won prizes in London (the Andre Simon award and the Glenfiddich Trophy) and in the United States (International Association of Culinary Professionals reference work).

Norman went on to update the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s entries on herbs and spices. Other works include The new Penguin cookery book, The cook’s book and South wind through the kitchen. While this book focuses of recipes for winter, the salad on page 32 is certainly a year-round option.

Hot-sour prawn salad

Hot-sour prawn (shrimp) salad

3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
500g medium or large cooked prawns (shrimp), shelled
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
lower part of 1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
2 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro)
2–3 handfuls lamb’s lettuce, watercress or rocket
mint leaves, to garnish

Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce and sunflower oil and dress the prawns. Add the shallot, chilli, lemongrass and coriander and toss through. Arrange the salad leaves in a shallow bowl, top with the prawns and dressing, and garnish with mint leaves. Serves 4–6.

For a more substantial salad, add 80–100g cellophane noodles. Soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, drain, rinse in col water and cut into short lengths using scissors. Stir in the noodles when you add the shallot and other flavourings. If necessary, make a little more dressing.

Winter food cookbookHow it played out
I’ve made this recipe three times since I got the cookbook earlier this year. Each time I’ve used a small red onion in place of a shallot (none on hand) and bottled lemongrass slices,.

Served over iceberg lettuce and rocket leaves. Lamb’s lettuce isn’t routinely available in Australia.

This makes a scrumptious salad that works in any season of the year. It comes together in minutes and I’ve never felt the need to add the noodles.

I’m way behind adding posts to my travel blog. I’m cooking a lot during the pandemic, but have not being inspired in many other ways. Hope to get going this week. Still I’d love it if you check out the shrimp lunch we had in the south of France.

Hot-sour prawn salad

Posted in Fish and seafood, Main dish, Salad, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Quinoa, eggplant and chickpea salad

quinoa and spicesGluten free and easy, 180pp.
by Robyn Russell
Murdoch Books, Miller Point NSW, 2004
Cooking on page 32

I’ve known about the need for gluten-free food since the mid-1980s. Back then a friend had four daughters who were all diagnosed as coeliacs. Later our daughter, Libby, had a good friend who was also a coeliac.

As a result, I have a fairly good repertoire of gluten-free recipes. Nevertheless I bought this cookbook to give to a friend whose husband has been recently diagnosed.

Robyn Russell, who is also a coeliac, was inspired to write this book when she became bored with the gluten-free foods available in health food stores.

Quinoa, eggplant and chickpea saladQuinoa, eggplant and chickpea salad

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water
100 g (3½ oz/½ cup quinoa
olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 large eggplant (aubergine), chopped
400 g (14 oz) tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
25 g (1 oz/½ cup) chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
15 g (1/2 oz/½ cup) chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
salt, to taste

eggplant, onion, chickpeas yoghurt and herbs sautéing eggplantDressing
125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) plain Greek style yoghurt
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Place the quinoa in a sieve and wash well under running water then drain. Toast the quinoa in a hot dry frying pan until fragrant.

Pour the water into a saucepan, bring to the boil and stir in the quinoa. Simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and leave covered in the pan for another 10 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion gently until very soft then add the garlic and ground spices and cook for a few more minutes. Add the eggplant to the pan and cook, stirring, until golden, adding extra oil if necessary. Add the chickpeas and stir until heated through.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the coriander, parsley and quinoa. Season with salt.

To make the dressing, in a bowl combine the yoghurt, mint and cumin.

Serve the salad warm at room temperature drizzled with dressing. Serves 4.

Gluten-free cookbookHow it played out
This is a straightforward recipe and I followed the ingredient list and instructions. Served with steak and corn. Yummo!

In these days of coronavirus, we’re aren’t catching up with friends for a meal. But you can bet I’ll keep this on my list of great gluten-free dishes to share. The flavours are excellent and preparation is super easy. Highly recommended.

The coronavirus is keeping us all close to home. Darn. I’ve been a bit slack on updating my travel blog (feeling rather flat), but I plan to get going again tomorrow. So I hope you will stop by soon to see where to next.

Quinoa, eggplant and chickpea salad

Posted in Salad, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Strawberry and kiwifruit Romanoff

grated orange rindEasy entertaining, 98pp.
by Suzanne Gibbs
Southdown Press, Melbourne, 1987
Cooking on page 32

This cookbook covers recipes for almost every occasion—from brunch to lunch, barbecues to cocktail parties, Mother’s Day to birthday parties, and much more.

Page 32 is in the chapter on dishes to entertain slimmers. Hey, why can’t slimmers lash out and celebrate too?

Strawberry and kiwi Romanoff

Strawberry and kiwifruit Romanoff

3 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved
1 orange
1 tablespoon Cointreau or Kirsch

Mix together all ingredients, grating the orange rind and squeezing the juice to add flavour. Place in a serving bowl, cover and chill. A bowl of low-fat sour cream flavoured with a few teaspoon of the fruit juices may be served on the side.

Easy entertaining cookbookHow it played out
Geez, I hate to segment an orange, but I did it for this recipe. I also grated the orange rind and squeezed out the remaining juice. Easy enough to slice the strawberries and kiwifruit. I’d loaned my bottle of Cointreau to a friend, so used Triple Sec, which is a slightly less elegant version of Cointreau.

Served the fruit over a thick Greek yogurt, along with the squeezed orange juice.

Slimmers unite. This is a great dessert recipe whether it’s for slimmers or anyone else. Great flavours, great colours and so healthy (never mind the Cointreau).

Sadly, we’re all locked down from travelling. That doesn’t keep my memory from soaring. Strawberries bring to mind some of the wonderful meals we had in France about three years ago. This post features one of my most memorable desserts ever—white cheese with strawberries.

Mixed fruits

Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Snack | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Scallops with herb butter

sea scallopsThe daily cook book: 365 recipes +1 for a leap year, 320pp.
by Love Food kitchens
Parragon Books, Bath UK, 2007
Cooking on page 32

This is the fifth recipe I’ve shared from a Love Food cookbook. The previous ones featured brownies, chicken wings, pumpkin soup and scones (made with assistance from Georgie, one of my amazing grandnephews).

I bought this book because the page-32 recipe called for scallops. We love scallops and I’ve experimented with a few recipes that have never quite hit the mark. I’m trying to recreate the divine scallops we had at a restaurant in New Zealand. They were so good we ordered them two nights in a row.

Scallops with herb butterScallops with herb butter

12 large shelled scallops, cleaned
salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
crusty bread, to serve

Herb butter
25g/1 oz unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Garlic, parsley, butter Method
Cut away any discoloured parts from the scallops. Dry well and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan or griddle and brush with the oil. When the oil is smoking, add the scallops and cook for 1 minute, then turn and cook on the other side for 1 minute. It is a good idea to cook the scallops in 2 batches as, if you try to cook them all at once, you might end up with them stewing rather than frying. The scallops should have a good golden colour and a slight crust at the edges. Transfer to a warm plate and keep warm.

To make the herb butter, melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the garlic for a few seconds. Add the parsley and, while still foaming, pour over the scallops.

Serve at once with plenty of bread to mop up the juices. Serves 3–4.

ScallopsHow it played out
I’ve been hanging out to make this recipe. Today I got lucky and managed to buy 300 grams of plump scallops on special ($16) at the farmers’ market.

These 12 scallops were going to get the best treatment possible and I followed the recipe to the letter. Imagine cooking for 1 minute each side!

Two things I especially liked about this recipe—the tip to dry the scallops and the tip to cook in batches so they don’t stew. I’ve made about five different scallop recipes over the last 18 months and this is the first time I’ve read such advice. Some of those earlier outcomes were disappointing because of excess oil and stewing. I also liked the fact that the scallops cooked in just a little bit of oil, and the butter sauce came later.

The daily cookbookServed with a green salad and baked potatoes (rather than bread) to soak up the buttery juices.

A complete success. This is a keeper and darn close to the version we enjoyed in New Zealand. Now to wait for scallops to be on special again.

In these days of coronavirus, we are all reduced to armchair travelling. We’ve been staying home (four planned trips have been abandoned). If you have a sense of wanderlust, feel free to check out my travel blog for some inspiration and variety.

Scallops with herbs

Posted in Fish and seafood, Main dish, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Butternut squash (pumpkin) and smokey bacon soup

bell pepper(capsicum), onion, thymeSoup: 100 inspired ideas for everyday cooking, 208pp.
by Love Food kitchens
Parragon Books, Bath UK, 2015
Cooking on page 32

Australia is in throes of a chilly autumn. While it isn’t as challenging as it is for our friends in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s still the perfect time for warming soups.

This book is devoted entirely to soups. The four chapters showcase recipes with main ingredients of vegetables, fish and seafood, meat and poultry. The introduction includes a quick recipe for vegetable stock (which I’ve included below).

Butternut squash (pumpkin) and smokey bacon soupButternut squash (pumpkin) and smokey bacon soup

2 tbsp olive oil
5 streaky bacon rashers, chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
650 g/1 lb 7 oz butternut squash (pumpkin), peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
600 ml/1 pint vegetable stock (2 1/4 cups in the USA)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
crispy grilled bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish

bacon, celery, pumpkin pumpkin, capsicum, stock, paprika soup cookingMethod
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat from the bacon starts to run. Stir in the onion, celery and thyme. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until the onion looks translucent.

Stir in the squash, red pepper, stock and smoked paprika.. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return to the rinsed-out pan and heat through. Ladle into warmed bowls or mugs, garnish with crispy grilled bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.

Vegetable stock from the introduction
You can make an easy vegetable stock by softening a diced onion, carrot and celery stick, plus any trimmings from such vegetables as fennel, mushrooms, leeks, broccoli and asparagus, in 55 g/2 oz butter for 10 minutes. Add some fresh herb sprigs, pour in 850 ml/1 1/2 pints (3 1/4 cups in the USA) and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, then strain.

Serves 4.

Soup cookbookHow it played out
Streaky bacon isn’t commonly available in Australia, so I used our normal, thicker bacon. I followed the rest of the ingredients, but did add an extra 100–150 ml of stock so that the squash (we call it pumpkin in Australia) was almost covered.

To be honest, I didn’t notice the recipe for vegetable stock until I went to type out this recipe, so I used store-bought. You can be sure I’ll do the homemade version in future.

A very nice soup but the smokey flavour didn’t come through for me. In future I’d double or even triple the amount of smoked paprika. Might also add a small red chilli along with the onion, celery and thyme, but that’s just my love of heat and spice. It also needs a bit of salt and pepper.

While I made this as a winter soup, I thought it was just as delicious at room temperature and even cold.

pumpkin soup cooking

Posted in Light meal, Stew/soup | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Apple, celery and nut salad

celery and appleThe garden grows cookbook, 234pp.
by Eva and Tony Lambert
Wildwood House, London, 1978
Cooking on page 132

The book starts out with a story about a teacher who asked her class where eggs come from. A young boy was quick to answer ‘from an egg carton’. When asked for more detail, he said the carton came from ‘back of the shop’ somewhere.

It’s sad to think how remote our food supply has become to us (and this book was published in the 1970s). Eva and Tony Lambert have written about seasonal foods, how they are grown and their nutritional values. There are recipes for each season, as well as a chapter on items such as dressings, breads and pastries.

Page 32 was a chapter divider so I moved on to 132 and a recipe that is similar to a simple and classic dish—the Waldorf salad.

apple, celery and walnut salad

Apple, celery and nut salad

Ingredients and method
Combine equal amounts of diced apple and chopped celery with half the amount of crumbled walnuts or hazelnuts. Pour over a mayonnaise dressing. Delicious served as a salad or as a topping for open toasted sandwiches.

The garden grows cookbookHow it played out
I used a cup each of diced Granny Smith apples and celery, along with half a cup of broken walnuts.

Dressed it with 3–4 tablespoons of my homemade mayonnaise (recipe at the bottom of this post), which made it just moist enough. I’m sure any mayo would be fine, but mine is sugar-free.

What a wonderfully refreshing recipe. Great crunch too. Over the years, I’ve made plenty of different Waldorf salads. This is as good as and much easier to make than all of them.

I served this as part of a summer-y lunch. As an aside, I’ve given this book to my friend and neighbour, Lyn. She’s going to pass it on to one of her brothers. The recipe on page 37 caught her eye on his behalf.

P.S. During the times of coronavirus, I plan to post recipes that call for economical and easy-to-source ingredients (at least in Australia) that might help you to cook healthy dishes at home. Would love to hear from you if you want to contribute a guest page-32 post that will help others.

apple, celery and nuts

Posted in Fruit, Nuts, Salad, Vegetable, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments