Kabac mucveri

Kabak mucveri

These deep fried balls of zucchini goodness have been a favourite restaurant menu item for longer than we’ve been married. Their kabac mucveris are bigger, fluffier and deeper-fried than ours, but you can’t expect miracles from a small home kitchen that doesn’t do deep frying at all. We do shallow frying and baking with an unhealthy amount of oil, and they’re all good.

Spinach curry

Spinach (silverbeet) curry

There’s spinach, and then there’s silverbeet, which is also called chard. Our Indian cookbook has this delightfully named dish called saag (spinach) bhaji, which we use alongside our favourite lentils and rice. We use silverbeet instead of spinach, but does it really matter?

Georgianesq walnut sauce

A Georgianesq walnut and coriander sauce

This walnut and coriander sauce is something we’ve used it for all sorts of things—as a filler for celery sticks, a sauce for those Turkish aubergine meatballs, or even a dip with these biscuits for something different. Just once, we used it for its purpose as a dressing for a chilled green-been salad.

Dukkah: coarsely ground mix of coriander, cumin, sesame seeds and almond or hazelnuts

Dukkah

Dukkah is a wonderful mix of coarsely ground spices. The idea is to have crunchy bits in there rather than a smooth powder, or even worse, a paste. It’s used as a dip for olive-oil covered bread, or a light seasoning.

Guacamole, served with some extras to make a tasty little appetiser

Guacamole

Avocado is a bit of a luxury here, and guacamole is an absolute delicacy. Because of its specialness, our guacamole is really just mashed avocado with seasonings added: lemon juice, salt and pepper, and sometimes onion. That’s about it. If we have a few people, then it becomes a full-blown appetiser with some celery and tomato to…

Easy cheesy cauliflower ... and broccoli

An easy cheesy cauliflower

Why would anyone need a recipe for cauliflower cheese I hear you ask. Well, why not? This site is a bit of a family notebook for our favourite recipes, and this certainly is one of those. It’s also not quite a normal cauliflower cheese. It’s not just the broccoli, but it’s also the lack of a white sauce. We just use a sprinkle of Parmesan and mozzarella, and everyone’s happy.

A jar of chilli beetroot chutney

Chilli beetroot chutney

Chutney is one of life’s little pleasures. This recipe for beetroot and chilli chutney has become a real winner in the chutney-loving side of the extended family. It’s surprisingly not-too-hot given the amount of chilli, and even my chilli-averse sister loves it.

Coleslaw an Asian style of dressing with coriander

Coleslaw two-ways (vegan)

It’s time for coleslaw. And not just any old coleslaw. This one comes with two options for dressing: one option is a recipe we’ve been using for years, uses a deliciously creamy, yet vegan mayonnaise, and everyone prefers it; the second one is now a new favourite and uses some much-loved ‘Asian’ flavours. Our new favourite is pictured here.

Preserved zucchini

How to preserve zucchini

We’ve preserved zucchini by drying it (sun drying and in the dehydrator), ready for use in winter stews, and by this wonderful pickling method I found on an Italian vegan website: zucchini, salt, vinegar and oil. The Italian author says this dish will make the winter ‘lick his moustache’: what an excellent way to describe…

Quick and crispy chickpea and cauliflower

Quick roasted chickpeas and cauliflower

Roasted garlic, baked chickpeas, crispy cauliflower, sweet roasted capsicum: what a combination. Best of all, if you have chickpeas ready to go, it’s a good quick dish to bake; and it’s perfect for someone dining alone. I guess it could be a side dish in a main meal, but I think it’s far too good for that. So we make it for lunch or even brunch.

Lemons preserved in salt

How to preserve lemons

Preserved lemons are super easy to make and ridiculously overpriced in the shops. All you need is lemons and salt and, if you want, some cloves and cinnamon. Selma makes it even easier and says you just need olive oil and lemons. We’ve made both this year, thanks to a very generous neighbour with a lemon tree and an agenda of wanting more salted lemons from us.

Hot grated beetroot

Hot grated beetroot

Beetroot as a side dish for chops? Or mushrooms if you’re vegan? We’d usually bake them if we were having a roast, but for something you grill or fry, like chops, an ideal side dish is to grate the beetroot then lightly fry it in olive oil and stir in a few capers just as you serve the meal. It is really satisfying, and the deep red colour really livens up your plate!

Tabouleh

Tabouleh

I first met tabouleh when it appeared in a local bistro many years ago. Served as part of a chicken and tabouleh sandwich, it quickly became my favourite bought lunch. I’ve since learned how to make it, and it appears a few times over summer, especially at barbecues and parties.

A tasty way to serve rice: spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

Spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

This rice and spinach based slice is an excellent way of serving up these two ingredients as a tasty side supporting act for ratatouille or a casserole. There are no eggs, so the pumpkin adds a layer of flavour and colour, and it holds this slice together long enough to transfer it from baking dish to plate, just.

Spicy cauliflower with green peas

Our tasty rice: spicy cauliflower with peas

Cauliflower is a serious substitute for rice and even mashed potato for some people in our family. But this Indian-derived dish is not only a substitute, it is delicious in its own right. We’ve moved from it being a pragmatic and lesser replacement for rice, to a side dish worthy of its own place at the table.