1. 500 g natural yogurt
  2. 1 continental cucumber, seeds removed and grated
  3. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  4. juice of ½ lemon
  5. 1 teaspoon shredded mint
  6. salt
  • Place the yoghurt in a bowl and beat with a whisk to thicken slightly.Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or store in a container, refrigerated. it will keep for 1–2 days but will then become watery.

Tomato Jam

  1. 1 kg ripe tomatoes, peeled
  2. 1 kg white sugar
  3. juice of 1 lemon
  • Cut the tomatoes in half, thinly slice and place in a heavy-based saucepan.
  • Gently bring the tomatoes to the boil.
  • Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir until dissolved.
  • Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches setting point.
  • Pour into hot, sterilised jars or if using 
  • Immediately into a container to cool, before refrigeration.

Tomato Relish

  1. 1 kg ripe tomatoes
  2. 500 g (about 4 medium) onions, diced
  3. 1 tablespoon salt
  4. 300 g brown sugar
  5. 1–2 cups malt vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  7. 1 bay leaf
  8. 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  9. ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  11. ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Peel the tomatoes and roughly chop. Place the tomatoes and onion in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and refrigerate overnight. This draws out the liquid and intensifies the flavour.
  • The following day, pour off the excess liquid and put the mixture in a heavy-based saucepan. add the sugar and enough vinegar to only just cover.
  • Bring the relish to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. While the tomatoes are simmering, dry fry the spices over medium heat in a frying pan or wok, stirring constantly to avoid burning. This will take about 30 seconds. remove the pan from the heat and add a few tablespoons of the tomato cooking liquid and mix to form a paste. add this spice paste to the tomato relish and simmer, stirring often because as it thickens it will tend to stick and burn, for another 30 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
  • Ladle into hot, sterilised jars with plastic lids. relish needs to be stored for 3 months or more to allow the flavours to mature. eating this relish within weeks is fine but the flavour is overpowered by vinegar.

Tomato Chutney

  1. 1 kg ripe tomatoes, peeled
  2. 500 g brown onions, peeled and cut into 1-cm dice
  3. 1 tablespoon salt
  4. 250 g sultanas or raisins, chopped
  5. 250 ml white vinegar
  6. 300 g brown sugar
  7. 2 bay leaves
  8. 1 teaspoon curry powder
  9. ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  10. ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  11. ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  12. ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Dice the tomatoes and place in a glass or plastic bowl with the onion. sprinkle with salt, cover and refrigerate overnight. The following day pour off excess liquid.
  • Place the tomato and onion mixture in a pot and bring to the boil.
  • Add the sultanas or raisins, vinegar, sugar and bay leaves, and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  • In a small pan or wok, toast the curry powder and spices for 30 seconds. remove the pan from the heat, and add some liquid from the tomato mixture to form a paste. Then add the spice paste to the chutney.
  • Simmer for 1½–2 hours or until the mixture resembles a soft jam consistency. remember to stir occasionally to prevent it from burning.
  • Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal with a lid. cool before storing in the pantry. keep refrigerated 


  1. 500 g kalamata olives, pitted (see Hints and tips)
  2. 100 g capers, rinsed
  3. 100 g anchovy fillets
  4. 200 ml olive oil
  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. or chop and then pound in a mortar and pestle, leaving the oil until last.
  • Store, covered with a thin layer of oil, in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Salsa Verde

  1. 1½ tablespoons salted capers
  2. 1 cup flat-leaf or curly parsley leaves
  3. 1 cup mint leaves
  4. 1 cup basil leaves
  5. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 6 anchovy fillets
  7. 1 cup olive oil
  8. lemon juice
  9. salt and pepper
  • Wash the capers and soak in fresh water for an hour. Drain and squeeze dry in a tea towel.
  • In a food processor, blend the capers, herbs, garlic and anchovies until combined. alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle and pound the ingredients into a paste.
  • With the machine still running, gradually add the olive oil.
  • When a thick paste forms, turn the machine off and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Season to taste, transfer to a jar or bowl and cover with a layer of oil to seal; keep, covered, for up to 7 days.

Quince Paste

  1. 3 kg quinces
  2. white sugar
  3. 150 ml lemon juice, strained
  4. 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Choose quince which are yellow with a slight green tinge to them. this indicates that the quince is still a little under-ripe which in turn means the pectin levels are higher. Wash any ‘down’ from the surface of the quinces and chop roughly at this point there is no need to peel or core the fruit. place the chopped quinces in a saucepan with 750 ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until soft.
  • Drain off the excess water and pass the softened fruit through a sieve. Weigh the quince puree then place in a deep, heavy-based pot with an equal weight of sugar. add the lemon juice and cinnamon sticks.
  • Use a long-handled wooden spoon to stir over low heat, then increase the heat and boil until the mixture turns pink and begins to thicken. as it thickens, it is important to stir constantly so the paste doesn’t catch on the base of the pot and burn.
  • Once thick, pour the paste into sterilised jars or containers. Leave to cool before covering. if properly sealed in sterilised containers, quince paste will last at least 1 year in a cool, dry area. once opened, keep refrigerated.


  1. 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  2. 2 cups loosely packed 
  3. fresh basil leaves (1 bunch)
  4. ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. about ¼ teaspoon salt 
  6. flakes
  • Puree the ingredients in a small food processor until a smooth paste is formed. (or, pound the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle, then start adding the basil, pounding until pasty, and blend in the olive oil.)
  • Serve immediately or, like pesto, cover with a thin layer of olive oil and refrigerate for up to 5 days. it will freeze successfully if done in small amounts.


  1. 4 cups well packed basil leaves
  2. 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  3. 1 cup pine nuts or walnuts (or a combination of the two)
  4. 1½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  5. salt and pepper
  6. 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese (or a combination of the two)
  • Place the basil leaves and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until the basil is finely chopped.
  • Add the nuts and process until the nuts are also finely chopped.
  • With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. after the oil is incorporated, turn off the machine and add the salt and pepper to taste. add the cheese and process until combined.
  • If not using immediately, store in an airtight container with a thin coating of olive oil on top to keep the pesto from going dark. Pesto covered with oil will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Onion Jam

  1. 200 g white sugar
  2. 50 ml water
  3. 2 large onions, finely diced
  4. 100 ml port
  5. salt
  • Place the sugar in a pan and add just enough water to soften. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer until it is quite dark in colour this is the caramel.
  • Add the onion immediately, followed by the port (being careful not to have it splatter on you), then stir to combine the ingredients. at this stage, the caramel may form clumps; do not panic as these will dissolve.
  • Season with the salt.
  • Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the onion is thoroughly cooked and takes on a dark brown colour. have water by the pan as the jam tends to lose all of its liquid before it is ready, so add a little more to keep it moist.
  • Once thick and fragrant, remove from the heat. onion jam can be served warm or chilled and will store, covered, in the refrigerator for 4–6 weeks.

Mint Jelly

  1. 1 kg Granny smith apples
  2. 500 ml water
  3. ½ bunch mint, washed and chopped with the stalks
  4. 1 cup cider vinegar
  5. white sugar
  • Roughly chop the apples; leave the skin on and do not core.
  • Place the apples, water and mint in a saucepan over medium heat and cook gently until the apples are soft and pulpy, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar, remove the pan from the heat and mash the apples with a potato masher.
  • Set up a pot with a colander or large strainer lined with muslin cloth sitting on top. Pour the apple mixture into the cloth-lined strainer and leave to drain overnight do not squeeze the mixture unless a cloudy jelly doesn’t worry you.
  • Measure the strained juice and pour into a saucepan then add an equal quantity of sugar. Place the pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and use a spoon to remove any scum forming on the surface. simmer for 15 minutes or until the temperature reaches 103–105ºc on a sugar thermometer.
  • Pour into 4 x 300-ml hot sterilised jars, and allow to cool before sealing. The jelly will continue to set over a few days. keeps in a cool dry place for 1 year. once opened, refrigerate.


  1. 250 g dried chickpeas
  2. 1 litre cold water
  3. 6 tablespoons tahini
  4. 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. juice of 4 lemons
  6. salt
  • Place the chickpeas in a large container and cover with the water. soak overnight.
  • Drain the chickpeas, place in a large pot, and add enough fresh cold water to cover by 10 cm. simmer until tender, about 1 hour.
  • Remove from the heat and drain, keeping some of the cooking water.
  • Process the chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor, adding just enough of the cooking liquid to bring the mixture to a creamy consistency. season with salt to taste.


  1. 2 ripe avocados
  2. ½ cup lemon juice
  3. salt
  • Carefully cut each avocado down to the seed using a sharp knife. Turn the avocado around the blade of the knife to cut it in half lengthways. Twist the halves in opposite directions, lifting as you twist to reveal two halves, one with the seed still attached. To remove the seed, give it a short, sharp chop with the knife; this will bury the blade a few millimetres into the seed’s woody surface. Twist the knife and the seed is free.
  • Scoop the flesh from the skin using a spoon. Place in a bowl and mash with a fork, keeping it quite chunky.
  • Add the lemon juice and salt to taste.

Chilli Jam

  1. 4 red capsicums
  2. 6 tomatoes
  3. 100 ml olive oil
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 8 long red chillies, sliced in half lengthways, seeds 
  6. removed and chopped
  7. 100 ml malt vinegar
  8. 300 g brown sugar
  9. 2 teaspoons salt
  • Place capsicums on a roasting tray lined with baking paper and bake at 250ºc, turning every  5 minutes until the capsicums are blackened on all sides. remove from the oven and place in a bowl to cool before peeling. 
  • Peel the tomatoes while the capsicums are roasting. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. With a small kitchen knife or paring knife, remove the tomato stem area. score the opposite end of the tomato with a criss-cross pattern. cook the tomatoes in the boiling water for 20 seconds. remove, cool slightly and peel off the skins. slice the tomatoes in half (between the top and bottom) then, using a teaspoon, remove the seeds. chop roughly and set aside.
  • Peel the capsicums and discard any seeds and stem chop into small pieces.
  • Heat a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  • Add the garlic and chilli and fry gently for 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped capsicum and tomato and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar, sugar and salt, cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat slightly and cook until the jam has thickened.
  • Pour into a sterilised jar (if storing), cool, cover and refrigerate. if using immediately and often, store in a jar or plastic container with a lid and keep refrigerated.

Caramelised Onions

  1. 100 ml olive oil
  2. 3 red or brown onions, 
  3. peeled and sliced
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until beginning to wilt. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid the onions sticking to the base of the pan.
  • Once golden in colour, remove from the pan and cool. store in a sealed container or jar in the refrigerator. caramelised onions will last 5–7 days covered and refrigerated.

Baba Ghanouj

  1. 2 medium eggplants
  2. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  3. juice of 1 lemon
  4. 100 g tahini
  5. 300 g natural yoghurt
  6. ¼ teaspoon allspice
  7. salt flakes and freshly 
  8. ground pepper, to taste
  • Prick the eggplants all over with a fork.
  • Place each over a naked gas flame, set to medium. cook for 5–7 minutes, turning constantly until blistered and blackened. alternatively, this can be done on the barbecue grill but will take much longer. 
  • Eggplants are cooked when very soft to press. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • When cool enough to handle, drain excess liquid and gently remove skin with a small knife. allow the skin to come away from the flesh without force (any flesh coming off with the skin will have a bitter flavour).
  • In a bowl, mash the eggplant pulp with a fork or place in a food processor and mash using the pulse button. Drain well, discarding any juice from the eggplant.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl, add the eggplant and mix well.

Super Fluffy Pancakes

  1. 750 ml milk or buttermilk
  2. 8 eggs, separated
  3. few drops of vanilla essence (optional)
  4. 600 g self-raising flour
  5. 100 g caster sugar
  6. about 125 g unsalted butter, for cooking
  • In one bowl, mix the milk or buttermilk and egg yolks, whisking until the egg yolks are combined. at this point the vanilla essence can be added, if using.
  • Place the egg whites in a second, large bowl, ready for whisking.
  • In a third large bowl, sift the flour and sugar, making a well in the centre. Pour the milk mixture into the centre of the flour/sugar mixture and begin combining with a wooden spoon, slowly drawing in the flour to form a thick batter. Do not worry if the mixture is excessively lumpy. By not whisking the milk mixture into the flour, you ensure that the flour is not overworked thereby tightening the batter also, the lumps NeVer appear in the final pancakes.
  • Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form then fold into the batter.
  • Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hour although i’m unbelievably impatient and usually cook them straightaway.
  • Cooking them requires the use of a large frying pan (or barbecue flat plate if you’re a large family) set on low–medium heat. add a good knob of the butter and melt. spoon in the pancake mixture according to your preferred size. When bubbles begin to appear evenly on the surface, turn over. The second side will only require 1–2 minutes to cook.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

  1. 8 roma or vine-ripened tomatoes
  2. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 tablespoons salt flakes
  4. 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 110ºc.
  • Slice the tomatoes in half and place, cut side up, on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Brush or drizzle with the olive oil. sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  • Roast in the oven for 3 hours.
  • Remove from the oven, cool and keep refrigerated, covered, for up to 5 days.

Scrambled Eggs

  1. 4–6 eggs (depending on size)
  2. 2 tablespoons thick cream (35 per cent fat)
  3. salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  4. 75 g butter
  • chopped chives, to garnish
  • In a bowl, crack the eggs, add the cream and season with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk lightly with a fork the whites and yolks don’t have to be completely mixed and the mixture should contain some air; over-whisking the mixture expels the air and makes for heavier scrambled eggs.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy-based nonstick pan over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the egg mixture and reduce heat to low. as it begins to cook and thicken, fold the thicker bits towards the centre of the pan uncooked egg will moat around the cooked egg. repeat this process until the eggs are close to ready but still a little runny, then remove from the heat and move the mixture once or twice more as the heat of the pan will complete the cooking.
  • Serve immediately scrambled eggs become tough and dry if you attempt to keep them warm. Garnish with the chives or other fresh green herbs.


  1. 3 large eggs
  2. 2 tablespoons warm water
  3. large pinch of salt flakes
  4. pinch of ground white pepper
  5. 2 tablespoons butter
  6. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Combine the egg, water, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until well combined. The water evaporates as the omelette cooks making it light and fluffy.
  • Place a nonstick frying pan over medium–high heat, add the butter and olive oil and heat until the butter begins to bubble without browning.
  • Add the egg mixture to the pan. as the egg begins to set, use a rubber or plastic spatula to move the egg from the outer part of the pan to the middle, to allow the uncooked egg to fill any exposed parts of the pan.
  • When half-cooked and still runny on top, add any flavours you like (some ideas are listed opposite) and continue to cook until set or better still cook the top of the omelette under the grill section of the oven. This will only take 1–2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and shake the pan to loosen the omelette from the base of the pan. shake the omelette to one side, tilting so that the top third can be folded over, and then turn onto a plate.

Hash Brown Potato

  1. 500 g (about 2 large) potatoes
  2. 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  3. 2 tablespoons butter
  4. salt and pepper, to taste
  • Scrub the potatoes they do not need to be peeled then coarsely grate. squeeze the grated potato slightly to remove some of its water (this makes for a crispier end result).
  • Heat a 30-cm frying pan, preferably nonstick, over medium–high heat. add the oil and butter.
  • When hot, add the potatoes and push down with a spatula to spread evenly in the bottom of the pan. sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. cook until the bottom is browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Do not try to flip until it is browned, or the potatoes might stick.
  • Flip the hash brown, cut into sections if necessary, and cook another 10 minutes, or until browned and crispy on the other side.
  • Serve immediately, or cool and simply reheat in the microwave or preferably in a hot oven (210°c) for  5 minutes.

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