Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Basil & Parmesan

Ingredients2 medium-large zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1 cm thick slices 1 medium-large yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, cut into 1 cm thick slices 5 tablespoons olive oil 4 garlic cloves 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce) 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 150grms mixed greens (lettuce, baby perpetual gator, baby ruby red, mesclun, english spinach) Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, semi dried tomatoes (optional...for colour and taste)

Method 1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place zucchini and crookneck squash on large baking sheet; brush all over with 3 tablespoons oil infused with four smashed garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool. 2. Prepare greens (wash, spin cut) and place into open salad bowl. 3. Cut zucchini diagonally into 2 cm wide pieces. Place onto greens. 4. Slice basil. Sprinkle on top. 5. Shave parmesan cheese on top. 6. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add sliced cherry tomatoes, semi-dried tomatoes. 7. Toss at the last minute to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Quinoa, Roasted Veggies, Marinated Chickpeas and Feta Salad

Ingredients1 cup raw chickpeas 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash 3 carrots 2 beetroot 1 cup red quinoa balsamic vinegar extra virgin olive oil 100g feta lemon thyme salt and pepper

Method 1. Night Before: Soak 1 cup of chick peas over night. 2. 1 1/2 hours before serving: Drain the chick peas and refill with water.  Add a 3 cm piece of Kombu.  Boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour or until tender. 3. Vegetables: While the chick peas are boiling, peel 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash and cut into 1 1/2cm cubes.  (I prefer these squashes because they remain whole even when roasted.) Peel carrots and cut into match sticks. Peel beetroot and cut into 1cm cubes. Place all on a roasting tray. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil, salt and fresh thyme. 4. Roast in a 180 oven for about an hour, turning occasionally so that all sides brown. 5. Quinoa: Rinse and drain 1 cup red quinoa.  Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock.  Cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa seed has split, a little white "tail" comes away from the kernel. This is the sign that the quinoa is soft.  Place in a bowl to cool. 6. Marinade: 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dessert Spoon fresh lemon thyme 1/2tsp salt and generous grind of cracked pepper 7. Greens: Use seasonal greens.  Mixed lettuce, spinach, rocket, beetroot greens, mizuna.  Rinse and spin dry.  This salad is delicious with as few or as many as you have. 8. Remove vegetables from the oven and allow to cool. 9. Assembling: Once chickpeas are tender, drain and mix immediately with the marinade.  As they cool, they soak up the marinade.  If there is no marinade left in the bowl with them, make a bit more.

Once cool, add about 100grams of feta cheese cut into 1 cm cubes. Stir to coat with marinade and let sit for ten minutes.

Place greens in bowl.  Top with quinoa, then roasted vegetables then chickpeas and feta.

Watermelon, Feta and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salad

It may sound strange to pair watermelon with balsamic vinegar in a salad.  But the combination is a wonderful delight! Ingredients 1/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 8 (roughly 4 by 2-inch) pieces seedless watermelon 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled Mixed baby lettuce leaves, mesclun mix or rocket 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 2 tbsp tamari

Method 1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook over medium heat until reduced by half and syrupy, about 4 minutes. 2. Put a heavy based fry pan, on high heat.  Add pumpkin seeds and tamari.  Continually stir until the pumpkin seeds begin to roast and the tamari roasts on the outside of the seeds. 3. Wash and spin mixed greens. Sprinkle feta, watermelon and toasted pumpkin seeds over the top.  Drizzle the balsamic reduction across the top.

Cleansing Green Drink

This week we have a recipe donation from Baxter at Palate EarthYoga in the Park has begun all over the Mornington Peninsula...and has spread to Silver Sands, SA as well!  Baxter will be leading yoga classes in the Sorrento park, behind the Hotham Police station each morning from 8-9 and then starting 27 December 7.30-8.30 + 9-10am.  Yoga in the Park is also happening in Mt Martha, Somers, Flinders, and Mornington.  Free range, organic yoga for all ages and stages! For an achievable cleanse when you don't want to commit to days of 'deprivation', or simply have too many christmas parties that would interfere with your programme...

Green drink: 1 garlic clove or ginger (opt) 2 cups lettuce (or silver beet or spinach) 2 cups parsley leaves 1 celery rib 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed 4 cups spring water 1 fresh orange or grapefruit, peeled 1 tablespoon olive oil

Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad with Radishes, Semi-dried Tomatoes, and Capers

"It is essential for every good cook to have a solid lettuce salad up their sleeve, a good in-between course to cleanse the palate and lighten the spirits.  This one should do the trick; it also makes for a good starter." - Ottolenghi Ingredients 400 grams of mixed baby lettuces 3 green onions, thinly sliced on an angle 15 radishes trimmed and cut very thinly 2 cups semi-dried tomatoes, whole or roughly torn 2 tbsp capers Dressing 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 1/2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp grapeseed oil salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Method Dressing 1.  In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients, being quite generous with salt and pepper. Salad 1. Wash the mixed greens and spin dry.  Keep whole or tear into smaller pieces. 2. Place into large mixing bowl and add radishes, semi-dried tomatoes and green onions. 3.  Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. 4. Transfer to a larger serving bowl and sprinkle the capers over the top.

Source: recipe adapted very slightly from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi



Beetroot, Feta and Almond Salad

This recipe is one of those that can be enhanced with seasonal ingredients like fresh oranges at the end of winter when there is tender young English spinach and new beetroot.  It is also wonderful in summer, made with balsamic vinegar,  when there are beetroot and lettuces.

Citrus Vinaigrette (or substitute in Balsamic Vinaigrette replacing basil with lemon basil or dill)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
4 beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salad Bowl of greens (lettuce, arugula, spinach, salad mix, watercress, etc)
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
100 grms Main Ridge Dairy feta or goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Remove beetroot tops and wash beets.  Coat with olive oil and wrap each beet  in foil. Place on a baking pan. Roast beets until tender, about 30 minutes to an 1 1/2 hours depending on size.
2. Cool beets; peel (the peel will just slip off - The red beets do stain) and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
3. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Mix lettuces, nuts, cheese and dressing in large bowl. Toss. Top with beets.

Salad with Flowers and a Light Vinaigrette

Spring Salad

Ingredients Mixture of salad greens Optional Grated beetroot, diced carrot, quartered cucumber, sliced tomato, avocado, etc. Mixture of edible flowers and herbs such as "Purple Opal' basil, lemon basil, borage flowers, calendula flowers, nasturtium, chive flowers, etc.

Dressing Ingredients 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar ½ cup flax seed oil, grape seed oil or extra virgin olive oil Optional 1-2 teaspoons Dijon-type mustard 1 shallot finely diced 1 tsp of one or a combination of fresh lemon thyme, parsley, lemon basil ¼ tsp salt

Method 1. For the dressing, add any of the optional ingredients to the vinegar and gently whisk. 2. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a stream. 3. Clean all salad greens and tear into bite size pieces. 4. Add optional salad vegetables. 5. Remove calendula petals, tear nasturtiums, divide chive blossoms, and slice any fresh herbs and sprinkle over the top. 6. Toss with vinaigerette and serve immediately.

Ceasar Salad Dressing

Ingredients1/4 clove peeled garlic 4 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained 3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan 1 heaped tablespoon creme fraiche 1 lemon, juiced Extra-virgin olive oil

Method 1. Pound the garlic and anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar until you have a pulp. 2. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the Parmesan, creme fraiche, lemon juice and 3 times as much extra-virgin olive oil as lemon juice. 3. Season dressing, to taste, with salt and pepper. 4. Add to cos lettuce, thick-cut croutons, pancetta or bacon thinly sliced, anchovy fillets and shaved parmesan. Source:  Jamie at Home  -  Jamie Oliver