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                              Sauces, dressings and pesto


Chickweed Pesto 

1 cup fresh chickweed : 1 cup fresh basil 100g hard cheese 2 cloves garlic 100g pine nuts ½ cup olive oil 

Put all the ingredients into your blender or food processor add more oil if necessary.

Broad Bean Pesto

Works just as well with frozen beans.


Makes:2 cups

1½-2 cups shelled broad beans / fava beans (about 900g in their pods)

2 garlic cloves, minced

12 mint leaves, finely chopped

4 anchovy fillets

4 heaped tbsp finely grated parmesan

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

If beans are fresh, boil them for 2 minutes then drain. If using frozen beans, cover with boiling water and leave until cool enough to handle. Slip off greyish outer skins by grasping each bean by its grooved end and squeezing gently. Discard skins.

Place beans and all other ingredients in a food processor and purée to a paste. Pesto will keep for about 1 week in the fridge.

Roasted Pepper Pesto

Prep time:20 minsCook time:25 mins + 20 mins cooling

Makes:2 cups

6 red peppers

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp paprika (plain)

1 tsp smoked paprika

¼ cup almonds, roasted

¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped

salt and ground black pepper

Rinse the peppers and pat dry. Place them on a baking tray and roast at 240˚C for about 15-20 minutes until the skin is blistered and blackened. Remove from the oven and cover with a teatowel or put in a plastic bag to sweat. This will make it much easier to remove the skins later. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.

While the peppers cool, heat the oil in a small pan and sizzle the garlic and paprika for a few seconds. This helps bring out their flavour. Place this mixture in a food processor or blender.

Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers, saving the juices if you can. Place the flesh and any reserved juices in the food processor or blender with the garlic and paprika mixture. Add the almonds and coriander. Season with salt and pepper and purée until smooth. Pesto will keep in a covered container in the fridge for a week.


Asparagus pâté






3 bunches of asparagus

3 tablespoons clotted cream


Snap the woody ends off the asparagus.

Blanch the asparagus spears in boiling salted water until tender, then drain.

Blend the asparagus and clotted cream together and mix thoroughly.

Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste, and whiz one last time.


Chunky Guacamole

Make this delicious dip when avocados are plentiful and cheap. Serve with Fresh Flour Tortillas or as a snack with tortilla chips or raw vegetable crudités.

Prep time:5 mins

Makes:about 2 cups

3 just-ripe avocados, peeled and destoned

1 large tomato, finely diced

1 spring onion / green onion, finely sliced

1 large clove garlic, crushed

salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup lemon juice

½ tsp finely chopped red chilli, or more to taste

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves / cilantro leaves

To serve (optional)

1 recipe Fresh Flour Tortilla or tortilla chips

Place avocado flesh in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until semi-smooth. Add all other ingredients (reserving a little of the green part of the spring onion / green onion, a little coriander / cilantro and a little of the chilli for garnish) and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with spring onion / green onion greens, chilli and coriander / cilantro. Serve with Fresh Flour Tortillas or tortilla chips, if desired. Use within 3-4 hours of making.



Spicy Mango Sauce

Prep time:10 minsCook time:5 mins

Makes:About 3 cups

2 x 425g cans mangoes in light syrup, drained (reserve liquid for cocktails)

1-2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp lime juice

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp fine white pepper

flesh of 1 roasted red pepper, deseeded and skinned

Place everything in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Sauce can be prepared a day or two ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Serve hot or at room temperature, as preferred.

Red Pepper Sauce

Prep time:15 minsCook time:1¼ hours

Makes:6 medium jars

16-20 red or yellow peppers

2 cups cider or rice vinegar

2 cups white wine vinegar

6 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

Remove seeds and roughly chop peppers. Put in a large heavy saucepan with cider or rice vinegar and white wine vinegar. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Transfer to food processor and process until smooth. Return juice to washed saucepan, add sugar and salt and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Gradually bring to the boil and simmer very gently for a further 15-20 minutes until lightly thickened. Ladle into warm, sterilised glass containers or jars and seal while hot.

Lemon Gravy

This tangy gravy is particularly good with roast chicken or turkey.

Prep time:5 mins

roasting juices

¼ cup cornflour

½ cup lemon juice

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

To make Lemon Gravy, transfer roasted meat and vegetables to serving dishes, allow meat to rest and keep vegetables warm in the oven. Place the roasting dish and its juices over a low heat on the stovetop.

Combine cornflour and lemon juice and add to the pan a little at a time, stirring constantly, until gravy starts to thicken. Add any extra cooking juices that have been released by your roast while it rests or during carving. Simmer 5 minutes.

Adjust seasoning to taste and thin with vegetable cooking water if desired. Serve hot with your roast.

Wild and creamy pasta sauce.

knob of butter or a spash of oil.

2 large onoins, peeled and grated or chopped finely

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 cup wne

1-2 handfulls of foreged greens

1 cup cream

salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oil in a frying pan and over a low -medium heat. Add onions and or garlic and saute untill clear and beginning to brown. Add the garlic just before the onions are ready and cook untill tender.

Add wine and simmer untill just evoupourated.

Add greens and simmer for a minute or two.

Add cream and simmer for another minute or two then season to taste and serve with your delicius pasta of your choosing.