Salads

Basil Pesto – and the “king of herbs”

I don’t know how I’d cook without herbs. Whether they are being used as a star ingredient, a last minute scattering for freshness or simply as a garnish, these colourful and fragrant wonders of the culinary world have the ability to bring food to life.

If asked which was my favourite herb I’d be pushed to choose one above all others. But at the top of my list are: basil, Italian parsley, thyme, rosemary, mint, tarragon.

I’ll leave it there otherwise I’ll add every herb to the list.

Basil is at the top of the list simply because for me it conjures memories of food I’ve eaten in Italy – scattered over tomatoes, tossed through hot pasta, stirred through a rich meat ragù or simply garnishing a crisp bruschetta.

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Chicken, avocado & watercress wrap – a cold chicken hero

For centuries cooks have been coming up with creative ways to use leftover meat. A couple of months ago I posted a recipe for pulled pork burritos using leftover pulled pork. A fantastic example of how the meat’s second outing need not be inferior to its first.

But perhaps my ultimate favourite in the leftover meat department is chicken. A fabulous meal is never far away when cold chicken awaits me in the fridge. Do I want to keep it cold and make a salad? Perhaps reheat it in a spicy sauce and put together a Mexican feast? Toss it through pasta with garlic and mushrooms?

And it’s not only the evening meal where cold chicken comes into its own. It makes a fantastic lunch or light meal. Earlier this week I made a tray-bake with chicken legs and tomatoes (which incidentally is one of my favourite meals and you can get the recipe here).

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Pulled pork – the slow cook hero (and a delicious pulled pork and mango salad)

I’ve always been a fan of slow cooking. There’s something very comforting about having a delicious meal simmering away in the oven while you potter about with whatever else you need to do. The incredible aromas that waft through your home aren’t too shabby either.

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Homemade coleslaw – to serve with that delicious leftover Christmas ham

Yes, Christmas has come and gone for another year.

It’s a funny old time, Christmas. Although things are always on the move and changing in our society a few constants remain, especially around this time of the year. The shopping will always be chaotic, finding a park at the mall nigh on impossible and many fridges will be groaning with leftovers come Boxing Day.

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Salade niçoise – a welcome to summer

Yesterday was the first of December, which also happens to be the first day of summer down here in the Southern Hemisphere. Well, in technical terms. In reality, summer comes a little later than it used to in New Zealand. The upside is that we are often still having wonderfully warm days as late as April. The downside is that summer takes a little time to get going.

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The Brave Eater

When I was growing up I was one of four children. That meant every evening my mother cooked for six people. She didn’t cook three slightly different versions of the meal depending on who liked what. There was no room for fussiness or pushing food around the plate hoping to skip straight to dessert. No. Mum cooked a meal and we ate it. Simple.

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Cruising the Greek Islands Part 1 – A day in Mykonos (and a classic Greek salad with spiced lamb loins)

Last week I took you to Italy where our Mediterranean cruise began and ended. After beginning with the end I thought it was timely to wind the clock back to our first excursion.

After thirty-six hours at sea sailing from the south of Italy to the Greek Islands we were looking forward to disembarking for a day in the Greek sunshine.

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