Sunday, 16 March 2008

Radish & Basil Salad

Okay, just because we are growing radishes & basil at the moment, here is a fabulous salad that hints at south east Asian salads without the fish sauce. You will need a bunch of fresh basil leaves, 3 or 4 large radishes, 2 small Lebanese cucumbers, 1/2 cup of pepitas toasted and drizzled with shoyu sauce, salt & pepper and olive oil & white wine vinegar. Method: Thinly slice the radishes into almost translucent orbs, dice the cucumber finely and briefly chop the basil leaves. The pepitas are pumpkin seeds but if you prefer you can use sunflower seeds (yum) or sesame seeds, regardless, they need to be toasted in a pan over the oven or if you're clever, in the grill, but I always forget them in the grill. At least they stand a chance of not blackening to a mere husk of their former selves if I can see them. Once toasted, remove and put them in a bowl and drizzle a teaspoon of shoyu over them. They should make a sizzling noise as you add the shoyu, and shake them around to cover all the little seeds. Terikayi or soy sauce can be used instead of shoyu. Once cooled, they can be sprinkled over the top of the salad. Oh, and for the post below, I forgot to mention to dice all the ingredients quite small, so it can be eaten daintily with a fork, should you invite the Queen for tea..

Feta and Walnut Salad

This salad is good for any time of year, but perhaps not in the extreme of winter. Works best without lettuce, otherwise you have a mess. 1/2 stick of Danish Feta 1 Lebanese cucumber 1 handful walnuts 2 sticks of celery 1 fennel bulb (no leaves) 1 small apple, peeled.
olive oil
white wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup grape tomatoes finely diced capsicum Please note, I use the Danish feta because it's soft texture melts into the olive oil & vinegar and enhances the dressing. It is alsways a little cheaper than the beautiful Greek varieties too and that always helps.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Radishes and rabbits & Black Cockatoos

The weather is beginning to get cool in the late evening and this Autumn afternoon I saw a flock of black cockatoos, calling as they flew southwest, lazily. The call is sort of like "AAH-EEeee", and commandingly loud. They are absolutely impressive birds to see up close. I will venture they are a bit magical. The rabbit Oscar spent his dusk out in the front garden digging up dandelion roots, and imagining Farmer Mac Gregor coming over the hedge. At the moment we are harvesting radishes, eggplants (at least the ones the wasps haven got to) and beans. Well we didn't quite get enough green french string less beans the last time we planted them, so just to make sure the kids and I are really sick of eating them, Dougie thoughtfully planted a lot more. Thankfully the guinea pig family and the fussy rabbit have become allies and eat as many as I do. So Radishes, beans, eggplants, and the naval oranges are all coming on nice and thick hanging in juicy gaggles on the spindly little tree. We desperately need to make up a batch of pesto with the mountains of basil dominating the veggie patch. Doug has just planted out the lettuces for Autumn and mulched the yard with lucerne. Doug also found time to bake a chocolate marble cream cheese slice, which is noice. I'm nursing injuries from washing too many cars.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Oscar arrives.

The rumours are all true. We have another rodent in the back yard called Oscar, the white and silver bunny rabbit, just in time for Easter it seems. Oscar belonged to friends moving overseas, and he prefers to remain local. We have set up a run in the front yard that he goes to every evening on dusk. He's developing his bunny hop. We welcome Oscar into Dougies Backyard.