Category Archives: Savoury recipes

Vegetable terrine

Got a vegetarian coming over? They will love this. You could also use some semi dried tomatoes chopped through it. Slices of baked salted ricotta instead of bocconcini would work well, or no cheeses at all if you prefer dairy free. Prepare the day before serving.

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Ingredients
2 large eggplants
3 zucchini
3 red capsicum
Olive oil
Caramalised balsamic
Bunch of basil
5 large bocconcini thinly sliced
Salt

Making it
1. Slice the eggplants lengthways in 7mm slices, brush liberally with olive oil and chargrill (a mandolin and George Foreman makes short work of this!). Season the slices as you take them off the grill.

2. Similarly slice the zucchini, brush with olive oil, and chargrill. Season.

3. Meanwhile, char the capsicum under the grill, turning gradually so all blackened. Remove from grill and once cool enough, peel off the skin, remove seeds and tear into strips. Season.

4. Spray a loaf pan with olive oil and line with glad wrap. Line with eggplant such that there is some eggplant hanging over the sides. (Set aside one slice of eggplant for the end, any remaining slices can be used throughout). Gradually layer the zucchini, capsicum, basil, bocconcini, and any remaining eggplant, with dots of caramelised balsamic as you go. Once all the layers are done, fold the eggplant over and place the last slice of eggplant on top. Seal with the glad wrap, place a plastic lid or tray that fits snugly inside the pan, and weigh down with some canned tomatoes or fruit and place in the refrigerator overnight. You may need to strain excess juices a couple of times.

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5. Once ready to serve, turn out onto a platter and garnish with basil and slice.

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Sicilian Baked Eggplant

There are a few people somewhat partial to eggplant in the Napoli household, so I’m often on the lookout for new things to do with it.  I first saw this recipe on Please Pass the Recipe, who in turn saw it on the Dish Magazine website.  I thought it sounded delicious, but I put my own spin on it and did it slightly differently (other versions used honey, capers and yoghurt), so perhaps I should name it Calabrese Baked Eggplant.  This one’s a keeper.

Ingredients
2 large eggplants
12 cherry tomatoes, halved and lightly seasoned
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
30g pine nuts
175g ricotta

To serve
1 cup roughly torn basil
Zest of one lemon

Making it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C fan forced. Line a baking dish with baking paper

Cut the eggplants in half, keeping the stem. Then cut each half into 4-5 slices (will depend on the size of your eggplant), once again keeping the stem intact, and fan out the slices. Lay them on your baking tray.

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Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar and whisk until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Spoon or brush it onto the eggplant, ensuring it gets between the layers. Scatter over the cherry tomoatoes.

Bake for one hour, basting with juices every 15 minutes. I found a pastry brush was the easiest way to do this (there won’t be much juice at the first 15 minute mark). After you do the 30 minute basting, sprinkle over the pine nuts and dot the ricotta over the eggplant and return to the oven.

After an hour, switch off the oven and allow to sit in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the basil and lemon zest. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad. Buonissimo.

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Tuna patties

These meaty-but-not-meat patties are a favourite of the vegacquarian in my life. The patties can be prepared ahead and kept in the fridge until cooking.

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Ingredients
500g potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
480g tinned tuna in olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Olive oil for frying
To coat
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbes

Making them
1. Peel the potatoes, boil until tender, transfer to a bowl and mash
2. Meanwhile, place the oil, onion, capsicum and a pinch of salt in a fry pan and saute on low to medium heat until softened. Add to the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and combine.  Allow to cool slightly.
3. Drain tuna well then flake and add to bowl along with egg and parsley. Combine well.
4. Divide the mixture into eight equal portions and then shape into patties. To coat, set up three bowls, one with flour, one with egg, one with breadcrumb. Coat each patty in flour, then with egg, then with bread crumbs, patting firmly after the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate for at least half an hour, then fry in oil and combine with your favourite burger ingredients!

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Whole roasted cauliflower

This is one of Neil Perry’s recipes that originally appeared in the weekend paper. It is great to serve as a side dish and very easy to prepare.  The first time I made it I thought it could do with more dressing, so I upped the quantities the second time, my quantities are below.  The next time I’ll also throw some lightly toasted pine nuts in for a little texture.

cauliflower

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 220°C.
Lightly oil a baking dish that will fit the cauliflower and trim off the leaves. Trim the base of the stalk so it is flat and cauliflower can stand upright, then cut a cross into its base (this apparently helps it cook evenly).

Drizzle the olive oil over the top of cauliflower and sprinkle with the salt. Bake cauliflower until tender, about one hour. Check by piercing the cauliflower with a paring knife, which should go through easily.

While the cauliflower is roasting prepare the dressing.

Dressing
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, capers, parsley and salt in a small bowl, then whisk in the olive oil.

Drizzle cauliflower with dressing and serve whole with a large serving spoon.

Good Friday Fish Pie

When we went to Mollymook a couple of months ago, we had dinner one night at Rick Stein’s restaurant.  While overall the restaurant didn’t blow me away (particularly for the price), I did love the fish pie.  A bit of googling and I found the recipe had been published in a UK newspaper some years ago.  Since it was Good Friday, and I had some leisurely time in the kitchen, I thought I would have a go at making it.  It is a very rich, but very delicious, dish.  Serves 4.  A very simple green salad would go well to contrast the richness.

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A few notes on the recipe
– I found the veloute – though decadent and tasty – to be a little thicker than what we had at the restaurant. I would next time reduce the amount of roux (flour/butter) a little, rather than add more stock as the quantity of veloute you end up with is more than plenty.
– Next time I’d also put some finely chopped parsley through the base of the pie, some green would be nice and add that touch of freshness.
– Also the original amount of crust was 30g of butter and 50g of Panko, but this ended up being a rather thin crust so I doubled it.
– I used unsalted butter, otherwise if your stock is salty the overall dish might end up being too salty.
– while this was made in one large dish, it would also be lovely in individual ramekins

For the velouté
600ml fish stock
300ml milk
50g butter
50g plain flour
2 bay leaves
1 crushed clove
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Place the stock and milk in a pot and bring to the boil then take off the heat. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly. When it starts to smell nutty, add a third of the stock and milk mixture, and keep stirring until it thickens and is completely smooth. Add another third and stir, then add the final third and, when smooth, stir in the bay leaves, clove and nutmeg and leave to simmer gently for about half an hour. Pour the velouté through a sieve and set aside.

For the pie
200g finely chopped onion
60g butter
30g parmesan cheese, grated
50ml double cream
Juice of ½ lemon
400g fish fillet (I used monkfish, snapper would also work well)
200g shellfish or crustaceans (I used prawns and scallops, a bit of crab would be lovely as well)
50g flour
30ml vegetable oil
10g butter, extra
100g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tsp French mustard
1 tsp truffle oil
Preheat oven to 180C

Slow-cook the onion in the butter in a saucepan for 10 minutes or until softened. Pour the strained veloute into the sautéed onions and add the parmesan, double cream and lemon juice. Set aside.

Cut the fish fillet into bite-size pieces. Season with a little salt and turn over in the flour. Fry for 2-3 minutes in a frying-pan over a medium heat using the vegetable oil and butter (the fish does not need to be fully cooked). Remove the fish to your pie dish. Fry the mushrooms in the same pan, adding a little salt; stir in the mustard and add to the pie dish. Now add the shellfish or crustaceans to the pie dish. They can be put in raw, but if large, slice. Drizzle the truffle oil over. Pour the sauce over the fish.

For the crust
100g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
60g melted butter
Mix the breadcrumbs with the melted butter, and spread over the top. Bake for 20 minutes so that crust is lightly golden.

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Fig, prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella salad

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Recipe inspiration can be found everywhere these days. This one was inspired by a recipe I saw on an inflight magazine, and takes simple ingredients that work nicely together. Serves 6-8

250g rocket leaves
250g sliced prosciutto
250g buffalo mozzarella
8 figs cut in quarters

Dressing
100ml honey
100ml white wine vinegar
150ml water
handful of thyme sprigs
100ml extra virgin olive oil

To make the dressing, place the honey, vinegar and water in a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 or so minutes until it has reduced by a third. Add the thyme, remove from heat and allow to steep until cool. Remove the thyme then add the olive oil and whisk.

Lay the rocket leaves on a platter and pour over dressing. Layer on prosciutto, torn buffalo mozzarella and figs. I bought my buffalo mozzarella at Salt Meats Cheese, but you can also buy it at Italian delis.

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Cauliflower & ricotta fritters

Good old fashioned cauliflower started to make a bit of a come back in 2015, with kale slowly fading away.  Cauliflower started appearing on big name chefs restaurant menus, roasted whole, served in salads, purees.  Neil Perry gave it a blessing with this nice looking recipe in Good Food. Me, I decided it would work well in a fritter, hearty for the vegacquarian Marito – he loved them. Do try and buy fresh ricotta when you can, rather than the pre-packaged supermarket stuff – it makes such a difference to any recipe.

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Ingredients
750g cauliflower florets
250g ricotta, well drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper for seasoning
oil for frying

Making them
1. Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water until tender. Drain and allow to cool, then process in a food processor until broken down but not completely smooth (you could also just mash with a fork or potato masher).
2. Place cauliflower in a bowl with ricotta, season well with salt and pepper and combine with a wooden spoon. Add the egg, herbs and parmesan and combine. Finally add the breadcrumbs and flour and combine.
3. Shape into patties. I used a large ice cream scoop to divide the mixture first before shaping so that the patties are consistent in size, and got about 18 patties. Refrigerate the patties for an hour or so.
4. Heat the oil in a fry pan, and fry the patties on medium heat for a few minutes each side until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Potato and Mozzarella croquettes

These simple croquettes make great finger food for a crowd.

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Ingredients
1kg peeled potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
100g breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper for seasoning
1/2cm cubes of mozzarella

For coating
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs

Olive oil, for frying

Making them
1. Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil; cook the potatoes until tender. Remove from the heat once cooked, drain, and pass the potatoes through a potato ricer into a bowl. Allow to cool.
2. Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and combine. Add the egg and combine, and finally add the breadcrumbs and combine
3. Divide the mixture into balls. An ice-cream scoop is great for this. A large scoop will give you about 18 larger croquettes, a medium one 30-ish smaller ones. I didn’t cut my mozzarella till I figured out what size I was going to do.
4. After the balls are formed, indent each one in the centre with your thumb, place a cube of mozzarella in the dent, and form into an oval croquette.
5. In a bowl, place beaten eggs and in a separate bowl place the breadcrumbs. Roll each croquette in the eggs then in the breadcrumbs to coat. You can prepare the croquettes ahead up to this point and then put them in the fridge until ready to fry.
6. Heat a heavy based pan with a generous amount of oil and fry the croquettes for 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Finocchio e patate al forno (fennel and potato bake)

This simple side dish, from the lovely book Sharing Puglia, goes very well with a nice piece of fish.  Serves 6 and very easy to make.

fennelpotato

Ingredients
60ml olive oil
Olive oil, extra, for drizzling
1/2 cup rosemary leaves
1/2 cup fennel fronds
4 large all purpose potatoes, peeled
4 large bulbs fennel, sliced 1cm thick
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated pecorino or parmesan
salt and freshly ground pepper

Making it
1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer and cook till potatoes are par boiled. Drain, allow to cool, then cut into 1cm thick slices
2. Meanwhile, bring a separate saucepan of water to the simmer, add the fennel slices and simmer for 5-6 minutes, strain into a colander and allow to cool slightly
3. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees fan forced. Put the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a roasting dish, add the rosemary, and allow to heat a little so that the rosemary flavours the oil. Remove from oven and take out about three quarters of the rosemary leaves, put them in a bowl and combine with the fennel fronds
4. Layer the potatoes and fennel in alternating rows in the roasting dish, seasoning well with salt and pepper as you go, drizzling with a little oil, and sprinkling through the rosemary and fennel frond mixture
5. Top with the breadcrumbs and cheese, give a final drizzle of olive oil and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.

Spinach hotcakes and greens with almonds

This is another Good Food recipe that I tried out by Neil Perry.  He originally used feta in it, but I swapped it for ricotta wanting that creaminess of texture to contrast the almonds (and also because I’ll use any excuse to introduce ricotta); there was also originally a mixture of silverbeet and kale (I used all silverbeet), as well as some chopped olives which I skipped.  If you don’t want the hotcakes, the greens mixture itself is great with a fried egg or on a nice chunky piece of sourdough, or as Neil suggested, with some smoked salmon. You’ll get 8-10 hotcakes from the recipe.

hotcakes

Ingredients
Hotcakes

250g baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 whole egg, whisked
50g unsalted butter, melted; plus extra for frying
3/4 cup milk
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 egg white
1/4 cup ricotta, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve

For the greens
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small leek, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 red capsicum, small dice
2 cups shredded silverbeet leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped dill
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped

Making them
1. For the hotcakes, wilt the spinach in a hot pan. Place in a colander to drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. Allow to cool and coarsely chop.

2. Place flour, baking powder, pepper and salt into bowl, then add the whole egg, melted butter and milk. Whisk until smooth. Add spinach and spring onions. Gently stir through.

3. Whisk the egg white until soft peaks form, then fold into the batter with a large metal spoon.

4. For the greens, heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add leek and 1/2 tsp salt, then sweat for about 8 minutes. Add capsicum and cook for 2 minutes, then add greens with remaining salt. Increase heat and sauté for about 4 minutes until greens are starting to wilt. Remove from heat, add pepper, then stir through the dill and almonds. Cover and keep warm.

5. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, brush with remaining oil and melt a small amount of butter. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter to form round hot cakes with a diameter of about 10cm. Cook for 2-3 minutes until coloured underneath and bubbles form on top. Turn and cook for 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

6. Serve hotcakes topped with greens, dollops of ricotta and a wedge of lemon.