Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Salad season is here!

Last day of Spring and I was lucky enough to 'hire a hubby' tonight to help me get things in order around the house before Summer sets in tomorrow.
After a quick stroll along Brownhill Creek to work up an appetite, my surrogate hubby and his 'other woman' (ie. his wife!) came home with me to cook up a feast.
We set Pete to work on the BBQ - I've never seen it look so clean!

Then we girls got to work in the kitchen, frying up some chorizo with chilli, blanched almonds and kalamata olives for nibbles - aided by a lovely cold glass of wine.
On to the salad - a newbie I was desperate to try after a vox pop at work to determine which would be the most popular with male guests.
Warm salad of lamb, zucchini, asparagus and feta won.
Thank you Masterchef Magazine!

The gorgeous little patties were coated in sesame seeds and were just the perfect size.

To keep the boy happy, we also (by 'we' I mean Michelle) put together a tasty cous cous salad.

Ainsley Harriet's citrus tang as a base (yes, we cheated) but then we added craisins, pistacchios and coriander.

Job well done (if I do say so myself!)

We finished off with Eton Mess - completely unnecessary for a casual Tuesday night dinner but it was amazing. We soaked the strawberries in pomegranate juice and topped the layers of meringue with ruby red pomegranate beads for a bit of crunch and tartness to break through all that cream.

We're now resting our fat bellies on the couch, watching The Blind Side. Life is grand!

Warm Salad of Lamb, Zucchini, Asparagus & Feta
Serves 6
Preparation: 30 mins
Cookings: 20 mins
400g minced lamb
150g feta, crumbled
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbs fresh or dried breadcrumbs
2 Tbs finely chopped mint, plus extra leaves to serve
35g (1/4 cup) sesame seeds
150g peas (I used frozen)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
80mL (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
4 zucchinis, thickly sliced
1 wedge preserved lemon, flesh discarded, skin sliced (I just used normal lemon zest)
1 1/2 cups wild rocket
1 lemon, juiced
  1. Combine mince, 100g feta, garlic, breadcrumbs and mint in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place sesame seeds on a plate. Form mince mixture into 24 x 4cm patties, then place on plate and turn to coat in seeds. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Cook peas in a pan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then add asparagus and cook for a further 30 seconds. Drain vegetables and refresh in iced water. Drain again and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add zucchinis and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes until golden but still crisp. Add to bowl with pea mixture. Reserve the pan.
  4. Heat remaining 2 Tbs oil in reserved pan over medium heat. Cook patties in 2 batches, for 2 mins on each side or until browned and cooked through.
  5. Add patties, preserved lemon, rocket and lemon juice to vegetables and toss gently to combine.
  6. Divide salad among plates. Top wiht extra mint leaves and scatter with the remaining 50g feta to serve.
NB. We cooked the zucchini and patties on the BBQ - essential for Summer entertaining!

Recipe from Masterchef Magazine, Issue 8, p 106


Kimberlee said...

A perfect weeknight feast - that is what summer is all about (pity the weather doesn't seem to be able to come to the party!) - you are seriously a genius in the kitchen, it absolute puts me to absolute shame that I serve you up butcher bought stroganoff when you come for dinner at mine - i'm going to start pouring over the receipe books now before your next visit xxx

Kate said...

I go weak at the knees when someone cooks me up something as simple as baked beans on toast - such a joy to have someone else cook for me (as much as I love being in the kitchen myself). Your stroganoff put Masterchef to shame, love supporting the local butcher (it put me through private school, after all!)