Barley Gratin with Beet Greens and Green Garlic

This is a healthy and delicious meal for a chilly spring day. The earthy flavor of beet greens combine well with the nutty flavor of barley and the green garlic contributes a lovely tang (but you can also use silver beet). Make the dish gluten free by using brown rice instead of barley. Ingredients 1 generous bunch beet greens or silver beet; stemmed and washed 2 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots or an onion 3 cloves green garlic peeled and sliced salt, to taste 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves 3 eggs 1/2 cup milk pepper fresh ground 1 cup barley or brown rice cooked 1/2 cup cheese, type of choice; grated

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish with olive oil. Blanch the beet greens for one minute in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, or steam over 1 inch of boiling water for two to five minutes until wilted and tender. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Set aside. 2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Continue to cook for another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the cooked greens and the thyme, and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. 3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the greens mixture, the barley or rice, and the cheeses. Mix together well. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. 4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned on the top and sides. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from NY Times

Broad Bean and Quinoa Salad

I love quinoa salads.  Quinoa is a high protein seed, more closely related to the spinach and beet root family then other grains.  It contains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also delicious, light and easy to accessorize.

Ingredients 1 cup quinoa 1 lemon 800 grams broad beans, podded 200 grams feta 1/2 cup parsley finely chopped 1 Spring garlic clove finely diced (This is an immature garlic clove with its greens still green) 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsps white balsamic vinegar salt and pepper

Method 1. Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer until water runs clear.  Place in medium saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until almost all of the water has been absorbed.  Remove from heat. 2. Break feta into 1cm*1cm pieces.  Zest the lemon over it and add olive oil, vinegar, juice from 1/2 the lemon, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Allow to marinate. 3. Steam podded broad beans for about two minutes - until the beans are just tender.  Transfer to a bowl of iced water. Pop the beans from their inner pods. 4.  Add the cooled quinoa to the feta and broad beans.  Adjust seasonings to taste. Add extra olive oil if necessary.

Simple Broad Beans

Broad beans this fresh and young are beautiful prepared simply.  When they are young, I cook them in a hot wok. Ingredients 350-400 grams broad beans 1 large knob of butter 2 shallots or 1 small red onion 1-2 large cloves garlic minced salt and pepper

Method 1. Shell broad beans and set aside. 2. Heat the wok on high heat.  Add butter, shallots and garlic and stir while cooking for about a minute. 3. Add broad beans tossing them in the butter.  Keep tossing occasionally and cook for one minute after they sweat (about 3 minutes in total) or until tender and cooked through. 4. Remove from heat and generously salt and coat with freshly ground black or white pepper. 5. Optional - We like to add the broad bean tops for the last minute to make an attractive side dish. Add broad bean tops and toss to coat with the mix. Cook until wilted and the stems are tender.

Braising Mix

Braising MixOur braising mix is a new item at Transition Farm, arriving in your share during the cooler months of spring and autumn when the many varieties of kale, mustard, and Asian chois that make up this mix thrive. You will enjoy green, red  and purple mustards, red choi, tatsoi, white steamed pac choi, mibuna, mizuna, Red Russian kale, green kale and silverbeet in the flavorful mix of "greens".

The greens are harvested at mid-maturity, so they are much milder in taste than the same varieties when full grown, but have more flavor than when harvested as baby greens and eaten raw. They are an unusual taste explosion of peppery, sweet, earthy, bitter and nutty.

Cooking Tips Braising mixes are usually cooked. Named after the cooking technique of searing in hot oil and then simmering in liquid, braising greens can in fact be steamed, sauteed, stir-fried, or mixed into soups or stews. Braising greens are the perfect addition to salads, stir-fries, pizza, pasta, eggs, or casseroles. From Tufts University:

  • Toss a couple handfuls of braising mix (baby chard, kale, spinach, mustard, arugula, or other greens) into a stir fry.
  • Be sure to balance the slight bitterness of baby chard, dandelion or mustard leaves with contrasting or sweet flavors such as persimmon, apple, pear, baby beets, citrus, vinaigrette spiked with honey or a syrupy balsamic vinegar.
  • You can also toss some chopped greens into soup or a frittata, or serve them sauteed with pancetta, pine nuts, and golden raisins and heaped atop crusty toasted or grilled bread rubbed with garlic.

Storage Tips These greens are a bit hardier, so they should store relatively well in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for at least a week. Still, they should generally be used sooner if possible.

Nutrition Because braising mix contains many different varieties of greens, each harvest may be nutritionally different. But because it contains many types of brassicas, braising greens are always rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, folacin and beta carotene.

Field Notes The plants that make up our braising mix, although different looking and tasting, are almost all from the wonderfully diverse Brassica Rapa species. These plants thrive in the cool weather of the Peninsula in Spring and late Autumn. Each component is seeded separately in the field and mixed at harvest time. We try and harvest the braising mix when it is in it's "teenage" stage so that the leaves are still tender.

Recipes There are recipes on our website recipe page.


Broad Bean Shoots

Just like broad beans, these tops are good simply - with butter, salt and pepper.  You can add the shallot and garlic to make it spicy.  You could also first cook some bacon and then make this recipe in the bacon fat.  They are also delicious with butter placed over the top of them when you serve them (what isn't delicious with that much butter!).  They are filled with nutrients and vitamins. Ingredients 1 large knob of butter 8 Broad Bean tops 2 shallots 1 large clove garlic salt and pepper

Method 1. Heat the butter in a pan that will hold the broad bean tops. 2. Add shallots and garlic and gently brown. 3. Add broad bean tops and toss to coat with the mix. Cook until wilted and the stems are tender. 4. Serve as a side dish or with feta cheese on a toasted piece of sourdough.

Pea Shoot and Bok Choy Salad

Early Spring...I start craving raw greens and getting a bit sick of silverbeet.  This is just about the time when our green manure crops take off and we have a field of pea shoots! Pea Shoots are a delicious, nutritious leaf with high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid.  They contain 7 times more vitamin C then blueberries!!  Here is a foraged salad... Ingredients 1 bok choy, cleaned and sliced 1 bunch pea shoots, chopped bite size 1 cup mung bean shoots edible flowers like borage, johnny jump ups, nasturtiums and calendula

Dressing 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup white vinegar 1/3 cup white sugar 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Method 1. Combine the greens, top with mung beans. 2.  Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to blend. 3.  Dress salad just before serving and top with flowers.


Snow Peas with Sesame Dressing

Ingredients200 grams snow peas, washed and ends trimmed 1/4 cup olive oil oil 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 teaspoons caster sugar 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon ground ginger powder 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper 1 teaspoon white and black sesame seeds 1 tablespoon chopped green onion or chives

Method 1. To blanch the snow peas, bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add the snow peas to the pot and cook until they turn bright green, approximately 30 seconds. Lift from the water and submerge in a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking and preserve the green colour. 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together both oils, the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger powder, and crushed red pepper until thoroughly combined. 3. In a serving bowl, toss the snow peas with the dressing.  Sprinkle the sesame seeds and green onion over the snow peas and toss to combine. 4. Let chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Pea and broad bean salad with nasturtium leaves and bagna cauda

Peter's mother found this recipe in the good food section of The Age on Tuesday 17 September. While not essential, the nasturtium leaves add a delicious accent to this Spring salad with their distinctive peppery notes. 

Ingredients 1kg broad beans (to yield 150g double podded beans, plus a handful to garnish) 3 handfuls fresh peas 200g sugar snap peas 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped Salt flakes Freshly ground pepper Extra virgin olive oil 150g frozen peas, refreshes in boiling water 1/2 bunch mint, picked and roughly chopped 5 small radishes 100g soft goats cheese 2 handfuls nasturtium leaves lemon, to serve

Method 1. Blanch the broad beans for three minutes in simmering water.  Lift out and immediately refresh in a bowl of ice water.  Follow by blanching peas then sugar snaps, refreshing in iced water each time - this stops the cooking and helps to keep them bright green. 2. Split the sugar snap peas. Double pod the broad beans, leaving a handful or so of the smaller ones whole to garnish. 3. In a mortar, add garlic, some salt and pepper and a splash of oil and grind to a paste.  Add the podded broad beans, the refreshed frozen peas and mint and pound to a rough paste - you can add a little oil if necessary but it should be a quite stiff. Check and adjust seasoning. 4. Put the remainder handful of broad beans, fresh peas, whole radishes and split sugar snap peas in a bowl, season, drizzle with oil and toss through. 5. Spread the bean paste across a large platter and arrange the pea and broad bean mix on top.  Finish with the goat's cheese, nasturtium leaves and a squeeze of lemon.  Spoon over some bagna couda and serve.

note - I had to google bagna couda and found several recipes. I tried this one.  Jamie Oliver also has a recipe which includes many of the vegetables you are receiving in the box over the next few weeks.

We are happy to include some nasturtium leaves into your box if you request them.

Artichoke Hearts and Fennel

This is a wonderful base for a risotto and great as a side dish.  You can use other herbs, such as fresh thyme or tarragon – to taste, in place of the parsley. There are many internet sites explaining with pictures how to expose the heart of the artichoke.  I have described it below but pictures are helpful. Ingredients 3 to 4 prepared artichoke hearts 1 lemon bowl of cold water 1 to 2 baby fennel sliced about 2 tablespoons butter 3 green garlic "cloves" and stems, sliced like green onions freshly ground black pepper and salt 60 ml dry white wine 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice zest from one lemon 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Method 1. Trim the tops and stems from the fennel. You can save some of the fronds for garnish. Cut fennel bulbs into 1cm-thick slices, cutting lengthwise through the root end to keep slices intact. 2. Preparing Artichokes - Pour the water into a deep bowl. Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice into the water, then add the lemon half to the water. 3. Cut most of the stem off an artichoke, leaving about 3/4-inch (2 cm.).  Cut off most of the crown or leaves of the artichoke, about an inch (3 cm) from where the stem meets the base of the artichoke. 4. Pull off the tough leaves. Run a paring knife around the edge of the artichoke to remove any tough bits of skin and leaves. 5. Take a spoon and scoop out the fuzzy “choke” of the artichoke, inside. 6. Then use the paring knife to trim any last bits of skin on the stem. (If you’re not sure if something should be trimmed away or not – it will likely be tough, so get rid of it.) 7. Slide the trimmed artichoke into the lemon water, then repeat with the remaining artichokes. Artichokes turn brown immediately so do put them into the lemon water. 8. To cook - Put butter into an unheated sauté pan that has a cover. Heat the olive oil slowly. 9. At the same time, working relatively quickly, drain the artichokes, towel dry them, and slice them about 1 cm thick. 10. Add the artichoke and fennel slices to the heated butter, tossing them a few times to coat. Season with salt and  freshly ground black pepper. 11.Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add wine and lemon juice, and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 12 minutes or so, removing the lid and stirring a few times, until the artichokes are tender. They’re done when you can poke a paring knife into one and it meets no resistance. 12. Remove lid, turn up the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Cook for another minute or so to get rid of any excess liquid and allow the fennel and artichoke to brown.  You may need to add a bit more butter or olive oil.  When just about done, add the green garlic and cook for one minute more. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Chlorophyll Paste

Thank you to Ceila Lairba, one of our CSA members and a Thermomix consultant for sending through this recipe Taken from "in the mix - Great Thermomix Recipes" by Dani Valent

 Chlorophyll Paste

Time: 25minutes, plus overnight draining. Makes about 1/2cup.

500g ice cubes
250g baby spinach leaves (any green leaves - kale, bok choy, braising greens, perpetual gator etc)
80-150g soft herbs (parsley, coriander, mint, dill or chives) leaves only, amount depends on how much flavour you want
Method 1. Weigh the ice into the TM Bowl. Set to Closed Lid position, press Turbo serval times. Tip the crushed ice into a large mixing bowl. 2. Weigh 750g of water and heat for 6mins/70 degrees/speed 1, bringing it to exactly 70 degrees. While that's happening, prepare a large sieve or colander lined with muslin or a clean kitchen cloth. 3. Add the baby spinach (or any other greens as above) and herbs into TM Bowl. Blitz for 6 mins/70 degrees/speed 10, then immediately pour the green mush into the bowl of crushed ice. NOTE if the lid is leaking STOP. You need a new seal. Otherwise you will make a huge mess. Be careful opening the lid - allow a 2-3 second delay before opening to allow for the green mixture to settle. I learnt the hard way and immediately opened the lid and had green everywhere on white walls and me. 4. Pour the contents of the bowl into the lined sieve. Leave to drain for 4 hours, ideally overnight. 5. The resulting paste left in the muslin is the chlorophyll. Scrape it into a container. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Discard the remaining green juice into a smoothie, on the garden - don't let it go to waste.
Ways to use it
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of paste to scrambled eggs to create bright green eggs
  • Mix it into pasta dough for green noodles
  • Add a tablespoon to a fresh juice or smoothie

Parsley, Fennel and Spinach Soup

Ingredients125g parsley 1tbsp olive oil 2 Fennel bulbs, chopped (fronds reserved) 1 onion, chopped sea salt and freshly ground pepper 2 garlic cloves. crushed 3 cups chicken stock 200g spinach leaves grated zest of 1 lemon and a squeeze of its juice 4 tbsp ricotta crushed dried chillies to serve

Method 1. Separate parsley leaves from the stalks.  Chop half the parsley stalks and discard the rest. 2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped fennel, onion and parsley stalks and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. 3. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil then add parsley leaves and spinach.  Stir until wilted. 4. Blend with a hand held blender or bench top food processor. 5.  Return to pan and add the squeeze of lemon juice.  Adjust seasoning to taste. 6.  Ladle into bowls and top each with 1 tbsp ricotta, a grating of the lemon zest, reserved fennel fronds and a little dried chilli.


Carrots and Peas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Inspired by Ottolenghi's recipe written for The Guardian Ingredients bit over 1/4cup orange juice 1/8cup red wine 1/8cup honey 2 cinnamon sticks 4 star anise 1½ tbsp coriander seeds 1 kilo carrots, peeled and cut at an angle 1/4cup olive oil 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 kilo shelled peas, fresh or frozen salt and pepper Garnish: 2 ½ oz pea shoots (optional)

Method 1. To make the sauce, pour orange juice, wine, and honey into a saucepan. Add the cinnamon and star anise and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered 20-40 minutes until reduced to a third. Set aside. 2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. 3. Heat a small frying pan over high heat. Add the coriander seeds and dry toast them for about three minutes. 4. In a bowl, mix the toasted coriander seeds, carrots, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. 5. Spread the carrot mixture out on a large baking tray and bake in oven for about 15 minutes. 6. Remove tray from oven and add the sweet sauce (including cinnamon and star anise). Stir well and return to the oven for seven minutes, until the carrots are cooked through, but still have some crunch. 7. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 8. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the peas. Simmer for one minute, then drain into a colander. Run under cold water, then drain. 9. Gently stir together carrots and peas. 10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta with Yogurt Sauce, Peas, and Chilli

Adapted from Ottolenghi's cookbook JerusalemServes 6-7

Ingredients 2 1/2 cups Greek yogurt 6 tbs olive oil, divided 4 cloves garlic 1/2 kilo shelled peas 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp white pepper 1/2 kilo pasta (shells or orecchiette hold the sauce well) Scant 1/2 cup pine nuts 2 tsp chilli flakes (use less if you are sensitive to heat) 1/8 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Method 1. Combine yogurt, 2 tbs olive oil, garlic, 2/3 cup peas, salt, and white pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a smooth light green sauce. 2. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, then drain, reserving about 1 cup of cooking water. 3. While pasts cooks, heat remaining 4 tbs olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, chilli flakes, and paprika and cook until pine nuts are golden brown. 4. Toss pasta with sauce, remaining peas, feta cheese, and basil. Divide into serving bowls and spoon the pine nuts and chilli oil over the top of each serving. Serve immediately.

Green Beans, Peas, Pink Grapefruit and Coriander

This salad was made for us for dinner by my daughter and her grandmother and then made again the next day for lunch by my daughter by herself!!  She liked it so much she wrote down the recipe and asked to use the last of the bean harvest to make it for Sunday lunch.  Food made by other people does always taste great...delicious food made by a nine year old taste absolutely terrific!!!

She did not write down any amounts...but just mixed and tasted and did everything else by eye.  She left the chilies to me to add to my plate.

Ingredients Green Beans Snow Peas or Sugar Snaps Pink Grapefruit, peeled and sectioned Spring onion, cut or a little bit of red onion, diced small Coriander, ripped coarsley Cashews, toasted Chilies, diced finely - optional Dressing Juice of a whole lime or two couple of spoonfuls of dark brown sugar couple of shakes of fish sauce

Method 1. Steam or blanch the green beans and the peas. Cool in ice water. 2. Add to the grapefruit, onions and coriander. 3. Toss with dressing. 4. Serve alone or on top of mixed greens.

Pasta with Fennel, Rocket and Lemon

This is a recipe adapted from Adapted from River Cottage VEG.  It is lovely the way it is written.  Depending on what pasta you choose, you may just want to add a bit more liquid. Ingredients 1 large fennel bulb, fronds reserved 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil 2 large cloves garlic, minced 6 ounces pasta (papparadelle, linguine, spaghetti etc.) 1/4 cup creme fraiche, to taste zest of one large lemon, juice reserved 3-4 good handfuls of rocket 1/4 cup reserved pasta water sea salt and pepper parmesan or hard goats cheese, to finish

Method 1. Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil. 2. Cut the fennel in half lengthwise. Remove the tough core and slice it into 1/4'' wedges. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the fennel, give it a stir and let it cook, undisturbed (that's how you get the nice brown bits) for 5 minutes. Give it a stir, turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic, a pinch of salt and another splash of oil if the pan looks dry. Start cooking the pasta. 3. To the fennel, add the creme fraiche, lemon zest and stir to coat. Add the arugula and give it another toss. 4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the noodles to the creamy fennel pan and toss to coat, adding a pinch or two of salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon juice and pasta water as needed. 5. Serve each portion with a generous grate of the parmesan and a few fennel fronds.

Hearty Winter Vegetable Stew

Serves 4-6Ingredients 2 Tbs. olive oil 4 shitake mushrooms, cut into quarters 4 small onions, quartered 3 celery stems, roughly chopped into 1cm pieces 4 carrots chopped into 2cm pieces 300 gms potatoes, well scrubbed and cut in to chunks 2 turnips peeled and cut into chunks 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped into chunks 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets 2 cloves garlic, crushed Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 ½ cups rich vegetable stock ½ cup dry red or white wine 1 Tbs. tamari soy sauce a bunch of parsley and thyme, 1 sage leaf, and a 25 cm stem of rosemary…(dry herbs may be substituted)

Method 1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. 2.  Cook onions for three minutes.  Add celery, shitakes and carrots for another two minutes. 3. Add all remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low. Cover pot, and cook, stirring contents occasionally, until all vegetables are tender, 1 hour. 4.  To thicken the sauce, right before vegetables are done, take a large frypan and melt 2 tbsps butter. 5.  Add about ¼ cup of red wine and 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped.  Reduce by half. 6. Add approx 3 tbsps of flour. Gently whisk the flour allowing it to brown slightly. 7.  With a ladle, slowly spoon some of the stock into the fry pan, whisking all the time.  Continue adding stock until you have the desired consistency.  Add this back into your stew. 8.  Season with fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Serve as is or top with mashed potatoes to make a delicious vegetable shepherds pie.


Sweet Corn, Chicken and Pumpkin Soup

I took all the terribly young ears of corn from our experimental late sown crop and made a chicken, pumpkin and sweet corn soup for lunch today.  We have a WWOOFer staying at the farm who is eating lots of bone broths.  I made a chicken stock which slowly simmered through the night so I had a great soup base. Ingredients 1 large red onion, sliced and diced 300 grams pumpkin cut into cubes 150 grams carrot cut into rounds 6 cups of stock 2 garlic cloves, pressed 2 bay leaves tbsp fresh thyme 1/2 tbsp of grated ginger 1 tsp ground cinnamon a sprinkle ground cloves chicken picked from the chicken carcass used for the stock (about 1 cup) 4 corn cobs, corn cut off

Method 1. Fry onion in olive oil with bay leaves and garlic. 2. Added pumpkin, corn, herbs and stock.  Simmer for about 30 minutes. 3. When the pumpkin is soft, blend the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. 4. You can add a dollup of cream.  Delicious, fresh and warm!!

Cavolo Nero and Chilli Chips

Ingredients1 long red chilli 1 bunch Cavolo Nero (or another flat variety of kale such as red Russian), well washed extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Method 1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Toast chilli in a frying pan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until quite dry and just starting to colour. Using a mortar and pestle, pound until quite fine, adding a little sea salt if necessary to help grind it. You want the chilli mixed with 1 tbsp salt (or to taste) by the time it’s made, so you’ll have plenty of this chilli salt for other uses, too. 2. Remove the central spine from cavolo nero, then tear or cut into pieces roughly 5cm wide and 10cm long. Place in a bowl, add a few drops of oil and, using your fingertips, very lightly toss each leaf until lightly coated. Sprinkle with a little chilli salt – not too much – and lay leaves out on oven trays lined with baking paper. 3. Bake cavolo nero for 5 minutes or until it starts to change texture and become crisp. If it goes brown, it is scorched and probably won’t taste so flash, so it is best to check it often. Remove from the oven, cool for a minute, then very gently transfer to a platter. Serve immediately as it won’t keep.

Recipe credit -  SBS website

Pumpkin and Autumn Green Cannelloni

IngredientsOlive oil 750g pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces 1 large red onion, halved, cut into thin wedges 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves 250g spinach, baby silver beet or nettle (I use a combination), lightly wilted 300g fresh low-fat ricotta Sprinkle of nutmeg 1 x 400ml tomato passata 1 tbs chopped fresh basil 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 fresh lasagna sheets

Method 1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a shallow ovenproof baking dish. 2. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin and onion, in a single layer, on the lined tray. Spray lightly with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with thyme and season with pepper. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden and tender. Set aside to cool slightly. 3. Wilt your greens. Place over a strainer and squeeze out any extra water. 4. Place the pumpkin mixture in a bowl and use a fork to coarsely mash. Add the wilted green and 250g of ricotta. Season with nutmeg, pepper and salt. Mix until well combined. 5. Combine the tomato passata, basil and garlic in a medium bowl. 6. Cut each lasagna sheet in half. Spoon 1/3 cup of the pumpkin mixture along the centre of each sheet. Fold the sheet over to enclose filling. Spread 80ml (1/3 cup) of the tomato mixture over the base of the prepared dish. Place the cannelloni in a single layer in the dish. 7. Pour the remaining tomato mixture over the cannelloni. Season with pepper. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling. Set aside for 5 minutes to stand.

Leek and Nettle/Spinach/Silverbeet Tartlets

I adapted this recipe from Linda Woodrow's Leek Tartlets with Olive Oil Pastry  (I used to use a short crust pastry but tried her yogurt, olive oil pastry and much preferred it.)
You can use spinach or 'Perpetual Gator' silverbeet as a replacement for the nettles.
Makes 6 large muffin sized tarts. Recipe doubles fine.
The Pastry:
Into a food processor or a bowl, put 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour and a good pinch of salt.
Put a couple of good dessertspoons of low fat Greek yoghurt in a cup, then top it up to half full with olive oil. You want it about half and half – ¼ cup of each. You don’t need to mix them.
Tip the cup all at once into the processor or bowl and blitz them together.  In a food processor it’s just a couple of seconds, but you can do it just by stirring.  Knead just enough to combine into a dough.  It needs to be quite moist so don’t add any more flour than necessary, and don’t overwork the dough or it will get tough.  Put the dough in a plastic container in the freezer to cool while you make the filling.
The Filling:
Sauté 2 cups of chopped leeks (white and pale green part) in a little butter or olive oil.  Do this over low heat for about twenty minutes which caramelises the leek.  When they are almost done, add 1 cup chopped nettles.
Beat together:
  • eggs
  • ¼ cup white wine or 1/4 cup milk or 1/4 cup cream or 1/4 water with a squeeze of lemon
  • a dessertspoon of lemon thyme
  • a good grating of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Assembling and Baking:The pastry is quite fragile.  The easiest way to roll it out is to put a sheet of greaseproof paper on your bench top, put the ball of dough on it, and cover with another sheet.  Roll the pastry out between the two sheets, turning once or twice to un-wrinkle the paper. You can then peel the top sheet of paper off, cut the dough to fit your muffin tins, flip the lot and peel the other sheet off. Roll the scraps out between the greaseproof paper again.
If you have a round bowl the right size to fit the muffin tins, use it to cut your rounds.  I do not so I cut the dough into squares which then stick up out of the tins.
Grease the baking tins lightly, line with pastry.  You can pre-bake empty for five minutes or just put a few dessert spoons of the leek and nettle mixture into each cup, pour the egg mixture, dividing between the cups and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake in a medium oven for around 20 minutes till the pastry is golden.