I’m pretty adventurous in the kitchen, at least when I have the time and space to be! With two young children and a growing market garden you’ll usually find me throwing together a one-pot-wonder for an easy meal, in the slow cooker or baked in the oven (I do not have time to be standing over a stove most days!). But when it comes to special events and family coming over I like to explore new recipes and try different ways to prepare things. What I have found is there are several recipes that get requested over and over, and since I think they are delicious too, I’m more than happy to recreate them! Below I’ve shared some of my favorite recipes and tips for making any special event a decadent experience without having to spend a lot of time or money.
Using fresh vegetables is a sure-fire way to ensure maximum flavour (obviously) so often you don’t even need to do much (yay for simple!). I find the easiest and quickest way to turn a nice meal into something extra special is the condiments! I like to have a green dressing (See the Goldbush Green dressing video here) and a homemade garlic mayo (I like Annabel Langbein’s Speedy Mayo as it doesn’t require the slow pour of oil), I use our own eggs and garlic in this. My favorite salad (and one that always disappears) has its own delicious balsamic dressing but is very easy to make. I've included the recipe below.
Roast Carrot and Beetroot Salad
Carrots scrubbed and sliced lengthwise
Beetroot peeled and cut into 5cm cubes
Salt + Pepper
Toss root veges in oil and seasonings and bake in a hot oven for 45 min or until soft and starting to caramelise, in the last 15-20 minutes add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Once cooked, leave to cool.
In a large bowl put 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon runny honey (warm the oil slightly to melt honey if you need to), a generous amount of salt and freshly cracked black pepper and 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (1 teaspoon dried), mix together.
Chop 100g spinach and add to bowl with roasted veges. This tastes amazing with toasted almonds and for those that want, crumbled feta.
Use that mayo for a green salad or it's a great one to use for a potato salad! Adding flowers to a salad makes it look fantastic and adds a lovely touch that also tastes great. Violas and calendula petals are easy ones many people already have in their gardens this time of year.
Do you stick to family favorites? Maybe ones that you only serve at Christmas or New Year? Or are you adventurous and like new recipes all the time? I’d love for you to share your favorites!