Green Goddess…

IMG_6991Caro’s Green Goddess sauce

Legend says this sauce was first made by Chef Philip Roemer at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1923.  He wanted to pay tribute to the actor George Arliss and his hit play, The Green Goddess.   However, it is simply a variation of Sauce Au Vert (Green Sauce) which initially appeared at the court of Louis XIII.  Then, apparently, the sauce was served with green eel. Wherever it originated, it is simply the most delicious sauce or dressing.  It goes with just about everything and is dead easy to make. At this time of the year, it is perfect with leftover ham. Do have a go at making it. You may well find it becomes a staple in your cooking armoury ~ makes about 3 jars ~


You will need:

  • 2 cups of a combination of green herbs such as parsley, tarragon, chervil, coriander or basil, chopped roughly**
  • 3 eschallots, peeled
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeledIMG_7067
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 piece lemon rind ~ no pith
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp. sea salt (kosher salt)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quality egg mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 cup quality soured cream or creme fraiche

If  you have a Thermomix, place all ingredients into the bowl and blend, speed 7, for 20 seconds. Add the sour cream and blend, speed 7, for a further 15 seconds until smooth. Adjust to taste. Refrigerate. Will last in the fridge for up to a week.  The original recipe doesn’t use lemon zest or chilli but I think they add further zing.

If you don’t have a Thermomix, chop all the ingredients as best you can and then whiz, blend, bamix ~ use your weapon of choice ~ to get it to a fine, creamy texture.

When choosing your herbs, simply select those that you most prefer.  A more traditional IMG_7023green sauce? Chervril, Tarragon and Parsley are best.  A bit of an asian twist? Coriander, Basil and Garlic Chives could be used.  Just experiment and have fun!

Thanks go to my mate Susan Stewart for inspiring me to write this recipe down.

Until next time….


Rainbow Chard, Quinoa and Cranberry salad

DSC_1035 With a glut of Swiss (or Rainbow) Chard in our patch, I devised this quick salad for lunch last week. DSC_1039 It took little time to prepare and was a hit with my kids who are fast becoming quite the little critics. I served it with left-over roast pork and a glass of Pinot Noir.


You will need:

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • Large handful of Snow Peas (Mangetout), finely sliced
  • 4/5 large Swiss Chard leaves, washed, sliced or shredded (use stems for colour)
  • Large handful of good quality Persian Feta, crumbled
  • 1 handful of dried cranberries
  • 2 eschallots, sliced finely
  • 1 handful of walnuts


For the dressing:

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 Tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup of macadamia nut oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • Tsp Brown sugar (optional)
  • S&P

Put the Quinoa into a small saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until quinoa is cooked and majority of water absorbed.  Drain and set to one side and allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients for the dressing into a jar with a lid. Shake to combine.  You’ll probably find you have leftover dressing.

Combine the salad ingredients into a large, shallow salad bowl and toss gently with your hands.  Serves four generously.

IMG_6665 DSC_1027

Simple Seafood Pie

DSC_0510Last night my son announced that he wanted ‘pink fish’ for dinner. Trouble is, we only had two salmon fillets in the fridge.  How to stretch that out to feed four? Seafood Pie of course. It soon became a “fishes and loaves” experience as we rattled around looking for things to bolster out the meal. This is how we did it. I didn’t follow a recipe, however, I suspect I had Jamie Oliver’s version in my head, as they are very similar. Thanks Jamie.

Seafood Pie ~ Serves 4-6

You will need:

  • 1.5kg potatoes, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 200g green prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 2 salmon fillets chopped into mouth-sized chunks (remove skin if you prefer)
  • 100g smoked salmon, chopped roughly
  • 1 large handful parsley (either kind), finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot peeled and grated
  • 1 large zucchini grated (squeeze out as much ‘juice’ as you can)
  • 3 sticks of celery (including tops), chopped finely
  • 200g quality cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
  • A couple of cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Zest and juice of one large lemon
  • Drizzle of good quality EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper


Preheat your oven to 200 celsius.  Put the potatoes into a large pot of water and cook until soft.

Meantime prepare and then place all the other ingredients into a deep baking dish, drizzle with the oil and a good crack of salt and pepper and mix well.

Drain and mash your potatoes, making them as creamy as you can with plenty of butter and milk (or cream).  Layer the mash on top of the other ingredients (you can add a sprinkle of parmesan if you wish) and bake in the oven for around 40-50 minutes or until potato is golden and starting to crisp.


Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly or you’ll take the roof of your mouth off.


Eat as a stand alone meal or serve with steamed green beans or a crisp green salad. Don’t forget a glass of chilled Fume Blanc.


Truly delicious. Enjoy!

Kid-friendly Lentil Salad

IMG_6070-290x290Do your kids like pulses?  Mine aren’t mad about them but last night ate their fill after devising and making this easy and tasty dish (with a little help). That’s their fibre intake taken care of for a day or so!  I encourage you to give it a go with or without kids…

Kid-friendly Lentil Salad

Serves 4-6

You will need:

  • 1 cup good quality lentils (Puy, black or blue)
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 small Lebanese cucumbers, finely chopped
  • 1 small Meyer lemon, finely chopped (including skin)
  • Juice of the lemon
  • Good swish of quality EVOO
  • Good swish of quality red wine vinegar
  • 150g of good quality feta cheese
  • 1 large roasted beetroot (but still firm), grated
  • Large handful of sultanas
  • Large handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Large handful of mint, finely chopped

Place the lentils in water in a fine sieve/colander to remove any dust or impurities.  Put into a saucepan with the water and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until soft.  Drain, rinse under cold water and place into a large salad bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients ~ except the beetroot ~ and toss with your hands until well combined (your children will enjoy this bit).  Taste and adjust. For example, if it’s a little too tart, add a sprinkle of raw sugar.

Arrange the grated beetroot on top and serve immediately.

We served the salad with a roasted beef fillet, creamy mashed potatoes and a glass of Pinot Noir (water for the kids of course!)


Gooey goodness – kids, jam and onions

DSC_0196We arrived back from the farm last night with a bucket of onions, three very dirty dogs and some milk which was on the turn. The cupboard in Sydney was well and truly bare, so come 5.00pm it was hard to find any inspiration on what to cook let alone muster the enthusiasm to stand over the stove.  After ratting around in the pantry and freezer I found some slightly squished hamburger mince, a few wilted snow peas, some rubbery old potatoes, three eggs, one carrot and a jar of fig jam from my local providore. Sigh, what to do?

Inexplicably, at that very moment, my son announced that he wanted to make dinner.  After checking his temperature, and ascertaining that he was, indeed, in fine health, this is what he decided upon.

Hamburgers sitting on top of raw grated carrot and sliced snow peas, mashed potatoes on the side, all covered in onion gravy. Super thinking my son! He made it with little interference from me. Here’s his clever twist on a simple and delicious onion gravy. I guarantee your kids will love it and might even want to have a go at making it themselves…


Serves 4. Prep time 10 minutes. Cooking time 20-30 minutes

You will need:

  • 2 large red onions
  • 2 large white onions
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 jar of fig jam (apricot jam would be just as delicious)
  • Good glug of EVOO
  • S&P to taste


Peel and cut the onions in half, then slice as finely as your child’s proficiency will allow.  Put the oil in a heavy based pan, add the onions and swirl to coat. Cook on a medium heat until just softened then add a good pinch of pepper and salt, the stock and the jam.  Turn down to simmer, stirring occasionally.  The mixture will eventually reduce to a gloopy, sweet mass of goodness.  Serve warm alongside any kind of cooked red meat.  Or let it cool and serve with some stinky blue cheese. Or create a little nest with some puff pastry, pile on the oniony goodness sprinkle with feta and sliced black olives and bake for 10-15 minutes until pasty is golden.  Or layer under your potato topping if making Shepherds Pie for a surprise hit of sweetness…..

How do you inspire your kids to get into the kitchen?  Does bribery work?  Or did they form an early love of creating with food? Do they actually have any clue where the kitchen is?  I’d love to hear your experiences on encouraging kids to get active in the kitchen.

Until next time.