What’s happening

Spring menu: new shoots

The perennials are starting to shoot in the garden


The first artichokes are a sure sign of spring!

Along with blossom on the trees and a general stirring in the garden, the growing season is happening!


Gratin of artichokes with anchovies

Stuffed artichokes are almost a meal on their own. And great as a dish as part of a buffet table.


Salad of grilled lamb

This recipe uses one of the best lamb cuts – the boned middle loin of lamb, sometimes known as the rib-eye or backstrap.


Rhubarb and cinnamon cake

This well-known dessert is somewhere between a pudding and a cake. Serve with rich vanilla custard and a spoonful of stewed rhubarb.

Fathe's Day Menu

Father’s Day menu


This Father’s Day menu is deliberately a bit retro. Many Dads I know love classic combinations. Here they are, with enough special extra bits to please the whole family.


Spanish-style roasted almonds

A deliciously addictive way of serving almonds which will of necessity be last season’s. This year’s crop is just forming on the trees now.


Stephanie’s twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflés

These marvellous soufflés have made many friends over the years. The first cooking could be completed hours before dinner, even the day before.

Parmesan wafers

The fragile Parmesan wafers need to be made using freshly grated cheese. Pre-grated cheese is too dry to melt and hold the structure together.


Roasted fillet of Beef for a party with Fast red wine sauce

If you eat meat you will love a roasted fillet. The sauce can be made a day ahead using trimmings from the fillet or a couple of thin slices from the skinny tail end.

Potatoes baked in their jackets

Halve large potatoes lengthwise and bake on the oven rack for one and one-quarter hours until puffed and crunchy.

Gratin of silver beet

The gratin can be finished ahead of time and reheated alongside the potatoes, about 20 minutes before serving time.


Chocolate self-saucing pudding

An oldtimer but always enjoyed. I like runny cream with this. The pudding can be assembled and will just need boiling water and about twenty minutes in the oven.

Spring menu: broad beans

Spring is the best time for veal


Andalusian broad beans

Broad beans are one of the few crops that are still truly seasonal. They are at their very best when very young.


Osso buco

Ideally, osso buco is made with slices of veal shin from the hindleg, which is meatier than the foreleg. This recipe could also be made with veal forequarter chops, but the cooking time will probably be a little less.


Sticky toffee pudding

This dessert has everything going for it: it is delicious, easy to make, requires no fancy equipment
and everyone loves it.

Picnic basket

Spring racing picnic


Hopefully the sun will shine and you will enjoy your picnic food outdoors on a table or the grass. But the dishes selected are suitable for all weather. I promise that nothing will drip! There are options to please vegetarian picnickers.

Essentials include large cloth napkins, two per person, non-bending picnic plates, and a Thermos of boiling water for tea.


On arrival

The pasties must be just one bite size.

Tiny mushroom pasties

Marinated olives – with fennel and preserved lemon


Pass the sandwiches

Perfect chicken sandwiches seem to be irresistible.

Chicken sandwiches (with tarragon and proper mayonnaise)

Cucumber sandwiches

Hummus and roasted pepper sandwiches


Everyone loves a pie or a tart

If possible bake them that morning so the pies are still faintly warm. Chilled pies are not so nice. Transport them wrapped in a clean dry tea towel. Remember a serrated knife.

Egg and bacon pie

Silverbeet and potato torte

Mary’s rabbit pie


Interesting Salads

Pack the blue cheese dressing and the rose-petals separately from the rest of the salads for last-minute assembly.

Blue cheese dressing drizzled on witlof spears or iceberg wedges

Pumpkin, silverbeet and fetta salad with quinoa

Thai rose-petal and cucumber salad


Sweet finish

This month is the best time for local strawberries so serve lots of them. Leave the green calyx on for easy nibbling.


Double chocolate brownies

Pink jelly lamingtons

spring menu: dinner party

A great dinner party menu

Three very popular springtime ingredients are highlighted in this menu – plump scallops from Tasmania, chicken with new season’s French tarragon, and tangy lemons.


Scallops with crisp crust, parsley and lemon

British food writer Nigel Slater calls this recipe ‘the rich person’s answer to fish fingers’.


Chicken in the pot with tarragon cream sauce

This much-loved French dish includes a classic velouté sauce.


Lemon delicious pudding

For many, this is the ultimate pudding – the golden sponge topping hiding a creamy lemon sauce.