Pumpkin, Pear and Walnut Soup with Pork Sausage and Parsley


This warming winter soup is a delight to taste and super easy to make. The walnuts work well really well to balance the sweetness of the pears and to thicken the soup. Makes about 2 litres.

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, cut into chunks
1 kg pears, peeled, cored, cut into cubes
250g freshly hulled walnuts
Murray River Salt Flakes to taste
freshly ground black pepper
the rind of Parmigiano Reggiano
sufficient chicken stock to cover

Garnish: for 8 serves
200g of freshly hulled chopped walnuts
4 pork sausages
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch parsley
1 pear, cored, finely diced
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

Sauté garlic in olive oil and add diced pumpkin. Put a lid on the pot and sweat down a little. Stir and add pear pieces and sweat further. Add Parmigiano Reggiano rind, hulled walnuts, salt and pepper then add just enough chicken stock to cover.

Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for at least 45 minutes.

Puree and return to the heat and taste. Adjust the seasoning as required.

To make the garnish – In a separate pan, fry off the Italian sausage in garlic and olive oil. Turn off and throw in the walnuts and pear and stir through. Add the parsley and grind some black pepper on top.

Serve the soup and top with the sausage and parsley mixture. Place shaved Parmigiano Reggiano on top and drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil.

July 26th, 2017|Food|0 Comments

Honey and Tamarind Beef Short Ribs


The tamarind adds a lovely sour note to the ribs while the honey provides a delicately rich sweetness. Always choose great ingredients, and you’re halfway to awesomeness!! You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. Serves 6-8

2kg beef short ribs – I bought these from Feast! Fine Foods
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup honey, plus extra – I used raw unfiltered Blue Gum from DoBee Honey
120g tamarind pulp, softened in 1/2 hot water for 30 minutes, then pressed through a fine sieve (solids discarded) – available from
Beech Organics @ Plant 4 Bowden
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup tamari sauce (or alternatively use soy sauce)
To Serve – coriander, mint, Thai basil, thinly sliced long red chilli and shallots, and steamed rice

8cm piece ginger, coarsely chopped
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 brown onion. peeled & chopped
3 coriander roots, chopped
zest of 1 large lemon

Preheat oven to 150C. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add ribs, turn occasionally until browned (3-5 minutes). Transfer to a deep cast iron pot (with lid) to fit snugly.

For paste, pound to make a paste in a mortar and pestle.

Heat honey, stock, tamarind, fish sauce, tamari sauce and paste in a pot, pour over the ribs, cover with lid then roast until ribs are very tender (2½-3 hours).

Separate stock and ribs and refrigerate each, covered, until chilled (4 hours-overnight).

Skim fat from stock (discard), then add 1-2 tlb extra honey, reduce stock in a saucepan over medium heat by 1/3; stock should be thickened and very fragrant).

Add ribs to the sauce and turn occasionally until warmed through (about 4 minutes). Serve hot topped with, herbs, chilli and fresh shallots, with steamed rice.

July 25th, 2017|Food|0 Comments

Flourless Orange & Almond Cake with Honey, Star Anise and Gin Syrup

This dreamy, light, aromatic, sugar-free and flourless cake, drenched in a honey-orange-gin syrup is so easy to make. Remember, buy the best ingredients and get  the best results! Serve with whipped cream or natural yoghurt, slices of fresh oranges and espresso – perfecto! Serves 10.

4 medium oranges
1.5 cups mild honey – I used raw, unfiltered Blue Gum honey from DoBee Honey
375g almond meal
4 eggs
3tsp baking powder

For the syrup-
1 orange, juice and zest
2tlb honey
2-3tlb gin
1/2tsp ground star anise

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 20cm cake tin then line with baking paper.

Boil oranges in a saucepan of water for about 1 – 1 ½ hours or until they are very soft. Allow oranges to cool a little then puree in a food processor until smooth.

Warm honey a little. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and honey together. Add oranges and mix well. Fold in sifted baking powder and almond meal and mix well.

Pour into cake tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

While cake is cooking, make the syrup. In a small saucepan combine orange juice and zest, honey and gin and bring to a frothy boil. Strain syrup and set aside.

Remove from oven and while hot poke a few little holes over top of cake using a skewer. Spoon syrup over cake. Let cake cool in tin then remove.


July 25th, 2017|Food|0 Comments

Ricotta & Broccoli Gnudi with Sage & Butter

Gnudi are gnocchi-like dumplings made with ricotta cheese instead of potato. The result is often a lighter, “pillowy” dish, unlike the often denser, chewier gnocchi.

500g broccoli, chopped
1kg fresh ricotta
2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, whisked
pinch of dried chilli flakes
2/3 cup plain flour
pinch of finely grated nutmeg
200g butter
1 bunch sage

Cook broccoli in salted boiling water until tender, then drain, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Set aside to cool.

Place broccoli in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, eggs, chilli, flour and season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine ingredients.

Shape the mixture into smallish balls, place on a plate covered with baking paper then refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add gnudi, in batches, and remove with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface. Drain on paper towel then place the gnudi on a warm serving dish.

Melt butter in a large fry pan, add sage and nutmeg then cook for a few minutes until brown. Pour the butter over the gnudi and scatter with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serves 6-8.


July 25th, 2017|Food|0 Comments

Sunshine Ice Blocks

Version 2

Recently, I visited the Bull Creek property of Willunga Farmers Market stallholders Brendan Lineage & Courtney Stephen.

As I step out of my car, the natural beauty and the steep, steep hills are the first things I notice. It is also serenely silent. From my comfortable vantage point I hear cheerful voices as I stare out, up towards the magnificent, hill peaks.  Two figures, barely recognisable because of the distance to the top, let go of a huge roll of fallen pine needles from the pine tree forest, and I watch with amusement as it bumps and rolls its way to the bottom.

A pretty, trickling creek runs between the hills and winds its way along the new garden beds that are being prepared by Brendan and Courtney’s three young children. They’re busy laying newspaper for weed suppression, chatting with their Oma about how best to make a scarecrow, whose destiny it is to guard this garden.

Nearby is the shed that houses the impressive, purpose built kitchen and meticulous production facility for their business Sunshine Ice Blocks. “It was the people and the region that inspired us to buy the farm and to live here, and to trade and sell locally” Courtney explains.

Sunshine Ice Blocks produce a range of small batch, hand crafted ice blocks, gelati, sorbet and shaved ice, using all natural, fresh and seasonal produce direct from the farmer.  “We source all of our ingredients from the Willunga Farmers Market, even the milk, and only go further afield when necessary.” explains Brendan. “The local enthusiasm and passion for food is infectious. It really is important to us that we connect with the growers, know what’s in season, develop relationships and trial new products for instant feedback.”

“We both get very excited about every new product we bring out and we love experimenting.” Products are created to meet customer demand and offer an abundance of flavour combinations to suit any palate. Ice block flavours include lavender lemonade, blood orange and honey, rhubarb and pear, rhubarb and cream, chocolate and avocado. What’s comes next for summer? “Strawberry, peaches, nectarines, plums, the list explodes but the challenge, is to keep the flavour range manageable.” explains Brendan with a grin.

“A perfectly healthy summer treat that children love, is our shaved ice. It goes straight into a cup, then we pour our own, all natural syrup over the ice. Right now the flavour is strawberry.  There’s no crazy colours or chemicals and it’s dairy free.” Brendan says. “We also have blood orange, lemon and strawberry sorbet flavours on offer, all made from local produce.”

The new gelati is not to be missed either. Brendan is very pleased with his latest flavour combinations of dark Belgian chocolate, vanilla bean and cold brew coffee which has been through an eighteen-hour extraction technique, in collaboration with local barista Rebecca Moore (From Humble Grounds), who knows how “to get the coffee flavour perfect.”  The sample pots are delicious; smooth, wickedly creamy and full of flavour!

What’s next? “Growth!” says Courtney. “We were awarded a manufacturing and innovation grant by the SA Department of State Development which is great recognition of us as a viable business. We are being assisted with ways to improve production costs and efficiency. We’ve also recently received accreditation to the South Australian Dairy Board which has enabled us to expand our range to include gelati.”

Brendan and Courtney credit their success to the Fleurieu Peninsula, to which gives their family a better sense of community and a healthy combination of work and lifestyle. It’s no wonder they chose this stunning location.



November 24th, 2016|Food|0 Comments

Strawberry and Almond Meringue

Version 2

This beautiful French dessert, made with layers of meringue, cream and seasonal strawberries is gloriously easy to make and seriously easy to enjoy! The components can all be made ahead, ready to assemble just before serving. As elegant as this looks, there’s no elegant way to cut into it – just smash it up and serve.

strawberries, 4 punnets
orange, juice of 1
rum, 150ml
pure icing sugar, 50gm sieved
egg yolks, 4
thickened cream, 1L
raw almonds, a small handful roughly chopped

Almond meringue
egg whites, 5 (700g eggs)
caster sugar, 150g
icing sugar 150g, sieved
almond meal, 150g
½ orange and ½ lemon, zest finely grated

For the almond meringue, preheat oven to 100C and line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Whisk egg white, caster sugar and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until firm peaks form (6-7 minutes), fold in icing sugar, almond meal and zest, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe meringue mixture in concentric circles to form three 20cm diameter rounds on prepared trays and bake, swapping trays part way through cooking, until crisp but not coloured (1 ½ – 2 hours). Turn off heat and cool completely in oven.

Combine strawberries in a bowl with orange juice, 50ml rum and 2tlb icing sugar, and set aside to steep (20 minutes).

Meanwhile, whisk yolks and remaining rum in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and pale (3-4 minutes), then place in an electric mixer and whisk until cooled completely (6-8 minutes). Whisk cream in a bowl until very thick, fold in icing sugar and egg yolk mixture then refrigerate until required.

To assemble, place a meringue disc on a serving plate, spoon 1/3 of the cream mixture over evenly, scatter with a third of the strawberries, then top with another meringue disc. Repeat step, then finish with remaining meringue disc on top, spread remaining cream then strawberries, and chopped almonds. This is best served within 20 minutes of assembling.

November 24th, 2016|Food|0 Comments

Asparagus antipasto


The saying less is more is apt, when you have the opportunity to cook with seasonal, freshly harvested asparagus. Be it barbecued or pan-fried then adorned with a scatter of salt and pepper, some extra virgin olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice, it’s hard to find a food that means spring more to me than asparagus.

Antipasto is more about amazing ingredients and method than precise ingredient quantities. You will need a couple of adequate fry pans, platters for serving and a bottle of good wine. I’ve also listed a few producers from whom to source the ingredients from.

cherry tomatoes
slices of prosciutto
extra virgin olive oil
thick slices of your favourite crusty bread
wedges of lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim the asparagus by cutting off the hard ends. Heat a little olive oil in a fry pan and when hot, cook for about 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently. Season with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice.Cut the mushrooms into thick slices.  In a separate pan, add a tablespoon butter and place on medium/high heat to melt then place the mushrooms in the pan in a single layer, turning them over as they brown. Once brown on both sides, add thick slices of shallots and the tomatoes then stir the pan occasionally until the mushrooms are cooked through and the tomato skins begin to wrinkle. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange all ingredients on platters, drizzled with a little olive oil. Enjoy!

October 5th, 2016|Food, Food we love, Recipes by Lyndall|0 Comments

Najobe…Rise above the Ordinary


It was the mantra “rise above the ordinary”, recounted to Ben Heath by his father Bob throughout his upbringing, and a genuine interest in farming that inspired Ben to join the family business Najobe, a registered Red Angus cattle stud.

Together, father and son forged a successful business partnership based on a commitment to providing a pure paddock to plate experience, one that remains true to the source. But, it is Ben’s commitment ‘to do it really, really well’ that truly sets Najobe apart.

It is clear that a great deal of thought has gone into every step of business planning and development. Najobe was originally developed to breed quality seed stock for the beef industry, and a niche market for the grass fed beef was beginning to transpire, then Ben saw an opportunity. He wanted total quality control over Najobe’s meat, so he set about developing a unique genetic registration system, to complement their commitment to sound cattle management.

‘Free range to us is all about ethical animal husbandry. Our cattle are run at a stocking rate of 1 cow per 4 acres, which is appropriate for our area because the cows can eat their natural diet of grass. They follow the ute when we want to move them, encouraged by the bale of hay on the back, and we never forcibly move them.’ Ben explained.

‘We match bulls with herds; we know where they were bred and what they feed on. We have charts to map birth and growth weights.’ explains Ben. ‘All of the meat can be analysed and traced back to Najobe, the source. It’s our guarantee of 100% traceability.’

The main family farm is at Wistow in the Adelaide Hills. In addition, Najobe has commercial agreements covering 16 other properties from Verdun to Port Elliot, which makes 2500 acres of farming land available for cattle and more recently lamb and pork.

‘Our pigs are grown in an open free style barn. There are no sow stalls and the floors are soft. They can wander outside where they are able to forage freely. We also work with a nutritionist who has helped us to develop a premium, portion controlled diet for our pigs.’ explained Ben. ‘Our customers are therefore assured of a full flavoured meat. Each carcass weighs only 55-60kg which means the flavour is so much better and there is less fat content.’

With Ben’s vision and drive, it was inevitable that a shop front and fully accredited butchery was opened in 2015. ‘We are genuinely providing our customers with something that’s true to the source from start to finish.’ said Ben. Long may that vision endure. najobe.com.au


September 19th, 2016|Food|0 Comments

Chicken Baked in a Red Grapefruit Marinade


Pink grapefruits are low in acid and yield a wonderfully sweet and aromatic flavour when slowly cooked. This is a perfect flavour match with this combination of spices and herbs, they transform a chicken to an absolute treat. Serves 4-6.

1 medium whole chicken
1 medium pink grapefruit, juice and zest
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tsp cinnamon, ground
1tsp allspice, ground
1tlb oregano, dried
2tsp paprika
4tlb olive oil
1 small bunch parsley, chopped

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the marinade, along with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Next, spread some of the marinade into the cavity of the chicken and between the skin and breast, then rub the remainder over the skin. Place the chicken into a baking tray, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan forced) then bake the chicken for about 1 ½ hours. To test for doneness, pull the leg away from the body. The flesh not be pink and the juices should be clear. Allow the cooked chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Serve the chicken with the juices spooned over it together with baked potatoes and a fresh salad.

September 19th, 2016|Food|0 Comments

Red D’Anjou Pears poached in Cabernet Sauvignon


Mclaren Vale Orchards produce the fruit, wine and pistachios featured in this divine yet ridiculously simple recipe. Red D’Anjou pears are ideal because they hold their texture and flavour really well throughout cooking. The grapes that make the cabernet sauvignon are pesticide free and and are grown lean so that the vines work harder to produce more skin which gives the wine its ballsy flavour, and the pistachios are harvested from some of the oldest trees in Australia. Try them, they are deliciously sweet. Serve the pears in their juice, scattered with the roughly chopped pistachios and a big dollop of Alexandrina Cheese Company’s pure jersey cream.

6 Red D’Anjou Pears, peeled
150ml McLaren Vale Orchards cabernet sauvignon
150ml water
150g raw sugar
1 star anise
1 vanilla bean, scrapped
1 cinnamon stick

Pour the wine and water into a saucepan then bring to the boil. reduce the heat to medium then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the spices then simmer until the sauce reduces by 1/3.

Gently slide in the pears and cover with baking paper. Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through, 30-40 minutes, depending on the pears. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid.

September 18th, 2016|Food|0 Comments