August 25th, 2016 § § permalink
And strawberries – they’re very cheap at the moment – just R18.99 per 250g punnet at my local. Beetroot is always cheap at just over R10 a bushel of raw beets. Bless its high carb content* for saving it from going the cauliflower route. Everyone claims to love beetroot but it seldom features as a side or main dish when eating at friends’ homes. Beets are dense so perhaps the cooking or roasting time is a deterrent in our quick-fix society? Or the red-stained fingers from peeling and slicing? It just can’t seem to shake its working class aura, which is fine by me.**
This salad is the perfect embodiment of spring’s current hide-and-seek show. Strawberries and basil bounce off the earthy gravitas of no-nonsense beet.
Beetroot and strawberry salad with berry and basil vinaigrette
I don’t peel beetroot before cooking and I find roasting tends to dry them out. So this is my preferred method:
Wash and scrub the beets with a sponge. Top and tail all, and cut large beets in half to ensure a more or less uniform size. Boil in water until soft, drain and allow to cool. Pop the peel off with your fingers and use a sharp knife to get rid of clingy bits.
5 Beets (standard bushel of mixed sizes), cooked and finely sliced
10 Strawberries, finely sliced
4 Tbsp berry vinegar (or 4 tbsp soft red wine vinegar and 1 tsp honey, blended)
Pinch of salt and generous amount of freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Sprigs fresh basil, stems removed and finely chopped
Splash the vinegar in a flat bowl, add salt and pepper and whisk. Add oil and whisk. Add basil and strawberries and stir through. Allow to rest for 10 minutes for the vinaigrette to infuse the strawberries. Add sliced beetroot and gently mix through. Adjust acidity and seasoning to taste. Garnish with more chopped basil.
Cheese and beetroot pair well and this salad will taste wonderful with goat’s cheese or a creamy feta. But I love the clean freshness of the beet and berry combination and you probably will too. Perfect with roast lamb or pork or on its own, as a jewel-toned bowl of deliciousness.
*It’s also packed with vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants, so chill.
**Reading Tom Robbins’ book Jitterbug Perfume in the early 90s forever elevated beetroot from the mundane to the magical in my mind.
August 15th, 2016 § § permalink
Ek het in die verlede live restaurant reviews op Expresso gedoen en is tans deel van DIS op VIA – ‘n lighartige program wat kykers aan heerlike kos bekendstel – so ek het ‘n bietjie TV ervaring, maar ek was nog nooit so op my senuwees soos met die opname van Jy het ‘n Wenresep! nie. Dis obviously net soveel makliker om ander mense se kos te beoordeel as om self iets te maak. En dan nog in kompetisieformaat, met een van SA se grootste kos ikone as beoordelaar.
Zirkie Schroeder, ek, Christina Jacobs
Dit was ‘n ysige, rëenerige dag op Nooitgedacht landgoed maar die filmspan was fantastiese en my kompetisie, Zirkie Schroeder en Christina Jacobs, was relaxed en lekker geselskap. Deelnemers raak soms bietjie tewerig op Wenresep – een van die redes hoekom die program so entertaining is – en dit was my voorneme om dit te probeer vermy. Maar, » Read the rest of this entry «
July 26th, 2016 § § permalink
We all have our meals, ingredients, cuts and condiments that we gravitate to on a regular basis. But when I cook myself into a lacklustre corner it’s time to shake up the shopping trolley, so to speak, because you’re only as good as the contents of your pantry and fridge. These are the ingredients that keep my meal wheels turning. Most of them are good flavour mates to each other and although some are pricey, they’re good value given their potency and shelf life. I’ve not listed great olive oil, salt, pepper and butter as they’re non-negotiable. So, before the yodeling kicks in, here are A Few Of My Flavourite Things:
O Captain! My Captain Beefheart!
TOMATOES – My great love. Sadly, all tomatoes are picked before they’re properly ripe. Never ever ever refrigerate a tomato unless it’s been really mean to you. Give them at least a few days on the shelf to ripen and for some reason, they last longer if placed bottom up. If you have a really beautiful ripe tomato (like a beefheart, which is scarce in SA), peel it with a sharp knife before slicing and serving with a generous amount of excellent olive oil, Maldon salt and a few drops of vinegar. If you’ve bought a really decent mozzarella or burrata, take the time to peel smaller tomatoes by first immersing in hot water, then cold, and removing the peel with the help of a sharp blade. It does taste better. The Italians and Spanish do it, and they are world leaders in Tomatoism. » Read the rest of this entry «
June 8th, 2016 § § permalink
Talker, actor, writer and joke-machine Melt Sieberhagen talks kitchen melt-downs, flavour fiestas and why bacon should get back to basics. A generous host, he insists any injury-by-artichoke would be unintentional. Also, it is now officially official: Peppadews are not cool.
What is your favourite flavour combination? I’m a total sucker for bold, powerful flavours. And combining them. Strong umami and savoury tastes. The sharp chilli, garlic and ginger in a fresh stir fry, enhanced with a big dash of soy sauce. A feisty vinaigrette, pickles, olives… » Read the rest of this entry «
May 9th, 2016 § § permalink
I thought of Lunchbox Lies as a title for this post because I’m a sucker for sensationalist alliteration. Also because it started out as a mother’s earnest quest to analise the content of her son’s lunchbox – an exploration of the toxic-sounding components of modern food, if you will – that devolved into a whole lot of bitching about how small ‘small print’ has become. Almost like it’s not meant to be read.
Before I take you down the preservative-lined rabbit hole, let me say that I am not a health food fanatic. My life has been characterised by pervasive hunger and what I like to think of as discerning taste buds (my mom called it ‘being full of shit’). I’ve always punched above my financial weight when it comes to food shopping. I’ve eaten little organic fruit and veg (limited availability and just too expensive) but I buy the cleanest meat, eggs and dairy on the shelf. I stay away from artificial sweeteners, fruit “juice”, pre-cooked sauces, long-life anything and carbonated cold drinks, unless heavily diluted with hard tack. In short, I think I’m quite balanced.
Sometimes I play with my son’s food
But the food industry is full of horror stories. Good old MSG was the first scary blip on my radar, then tartrazine, followed by growth hormones causing young boys to grow breasts and girls to menstruate at 9, carbon dioxide-ripened tunnel tomatoes, pesticides, a plethora of preservatives, carcinogenic colourants, mad cow’s disease, BPA-seepage from plastic packaging, the alluminium free radicals in tinned food and let’s not forget those GMO-peddling mofos over at Monsanto. I can’t even begin with the cruelty at the heart of the meat industry. There is a certain poetic justice in humanity being eradicated by a cloud of cow fart. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 12th, 2016 § § permalink
Die tyd om te bak is sommer nóú nóú! Koekedoor is terug en hierdie keer draai hulle nie vatdoekies om nie. Koekedoor Een was vir my ‘n meditasie in pastelskakerings met sagte skadus wat deur meelwolkies filter, ‘n spel van soet en sout wat hom nooit verstout het nie. Tot die saggeaarde en perfeksionistiese Martjie Malan die f-bom sommer drie keer in ‘n ry gedrop het. Maar bak kán dit mos aan ‘n mens doen.
Ek was onlangs bevoorreg om die eerste 90-minute episode van Koekedoor Twee saam met beoordelaars tannie Elizabeth, Tiaan Langenegger en Mari-Louis Guy te kyk terwyl ons aan soet- en southappies uit die einste episode gesmul het.
So reg uit Riaan Cruywagen se kinderdae uit…
En glo my, hierdie is ‘n Koekedoor van ‘n ander kleur. Die Barbie-pienk en Sound of Music saligheid van die eerste reeks het ‘n gravitas bygekry wat jou laat regop sit. Koekedoor Twee se intro is so belaai met hartsnaarbeelde en dramatiese musiek, ek het skoon tranerig geraak. Goeie hel, dog ek, dis soos een van daai epiese, opswepende bankadvertensies. Of het ek straks PMS, moes ek myself vra. Any which way, dames, moenie julle pêrels stukkend druk nie! » Read the rest of this entry «
April 8th, 2016 § § permalink
Pop artist, exhibition curator and creator of the word Hoepelpoep, Alex Hamilton also owns what may well be the world’s largest collection of vintage wall sconces. He talks about his fear of 1000-year-old eggs and middle-aged mozzarella sticks in New Mexico.
Fascinating with fascinator
What is your favourite flavour combination? Quince jelly and Gruyère cheese. » Read the rest of this entry «
March 29th, 2016 § § permalink
She whirled from baking on boats to churning out cookbooks and judging the popular Koekedoor baking program. Mari-Louis Guy takes a short break from preparing an Easter feast for thirty family members to have a stern word with bacon and ponder the prevalence of all things sugary in her life.
What is your favourite flavour combination? The royal combo of peaches and cream.
What is your most cherished food memory? My husband Chris and I travelled the American South on a pie-eating trip – we even visited Graceland. Deep dish apple pie, Shoofly pie, peaches and cream pie, cherry cobbler pie… » Read the rest of this entry «
February 18th, 2016 § § permalink
I’m back in the Helshoogte mountains, surrounded by an undulating carpet of vine leaves. Just before Christmas, I was moved to express my gratitude for once again living in this verdant valley that produces such outstanding
gossip wines. In a way that required a little more effort than simply raising a glass to the lights of Paarl twinkling across the valley at sunset.
Stuff them, I figured. With rice or pork, Greek or Middle-Eastern style. Undeterred by the fact that spring was a good few months past and the leaves were somewhat mature (thick and inflexible) for this exercise, I set off into the vineyard with a plastic shopping bag, clippers and a large hat. I was a straw hamper and wavy blonde hair short of a bucolic cliché. Or a shampoo ad.
Pick shiraz leaves, the winemaker yelled as he drove past. » Read the rest of this entry «
September 23rd, 2014 § § permalink
Yes, hello darlings! I am back in the shadow of old Table Mountain. We’ve been back for all of ten weeks now. I wish I could regale you with glamorous tales of dipping into the culinary delights of Cape Town, or basking in it’s low-slung wintry sunsets on an expensive lounger taking selfies of my sunglassed self chugging MCC.
But alas, the Vixen is now a mother and life is a Clockword Orange of trying to make ends meet. Nappy ends. Dog leash and stroller straps. Baby meals and adult-friendly suppers. Is it just me or do other mothers of really active toddlers also habitually find themselves leaving the house with their belt ends hanging loose, like some limp invitation to a deadbeat disco? » Read the rest of this entry «