I consider our garden an extension of my home. The kitchen overlooks the specially designed vegetable garden. It contains many herbs, 3 olive trees and couple of lime and lemon trees, two fig trees and various vegetables in season.

My inspiration in the kitchen often comes from the garden. I am motivated to start cooking when I harvest a bowl of freshly picked tomatoes or a handful of crisp spinach, herb or kale leaves, but more about that as the seasons progress.

We are managing to handle the water restrictions during the severe drought during the summer of 2016/17 by fitting a hose to the waste water of the washing machine and using a plastic bowl in the sink to catch every drop for the vegetable garden. Buckets in the showers serve some of the flower garden. Hopefully the winter rains will give us some relief. The flower garden also impacts on our meals as I always stroll around the garden to see what is available before I plan my table setting. Other than on the roses, I do not use insecticides, so edible flowers are also used.

I love visiting gardens on my travels. The formal gardens of Europe and the exotic Asian gardens fascinate me. My passion for beautiful gardens and outdoor areas has awakened my interest in another field. During 2017 I will be launching a garden and patio décor business, Rustic Rose, specializing in importing second hand garden and patio furniture and accessories from France.

Middle Eastern Spinach Soup

2021-05-08T11:19:51+02:00May 8th, 2021|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

I am sure that there are many versions of Middle Eastern Spinach soup as there is Minestrone in Italy! I have roughly based mine on a combination of the Persian Ash Reshteh and Ottolenghi’s Spinach Soup and what I had in the pantry and veggie garden on a chilly afternoon. It all started with the [...]

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Pickled Pears

2021-04-05T11:16:27+02:00April 5th, 2021|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

I love the concept of slightly ‘savoury’ fruit flavours with salads or as an accompaniment to cheese. For this recipe you can use any pear variety, but I always prefer the Beurre Bosc for cooking as they never seem to become mealy in texture. They are recognised by more brown than yellow or green skins [...]

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A tale of all the salsas, featuring Salsa Verde

2021-03-26T12:47:28+02:00March 26th, 2021|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

I love salsas…. Not only the dance, but the sauces! A few weeks ago I wrote about a delicious Mango Salsa (recipe here) Mango Salsa Salsa, is simply a sauce originating from Mexico, and adopted in many South American countries. It can be raw, cooked, served hot or at room temperature. Fresh, uncooked [...]

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Mango Salsa

2021-03-04T12:49:26+02:00March 4th, 2021|From the Garden, From the Kitchen, Uncategorized|

Originating in South America (it is said from the Aztecs) this chilled ‘sauce’ is synonymous with Mexican cuisine. In Mexico and other South American countries this cold sauce is served as a ‘dip’ with tacos, or used in tacos or served with grilled meat, poultry and fish dishes. Originally a salsa, Mexican Pico De Gallo, [...]

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Sweet Chilli Jam or Sauce

2021-02-20T13:13:09+02:00February 20th, 2021|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

I am a self-confessed chilli addict! I eat chilli in just about everything, yes, even chocolate and ice cream! At this time of year the plants start flourishing and it’s time to preserve some of these flavours. Chilli jam or sweet chilli sauce always has a use in my home and my friends and family [...]

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Vegetable Frittata

2020-11-07T13:15:41+02:00November 7th, 2020|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

A Frittata is a versatile Italian egg dish that I define as a cross between an omelette and a crust-less quiche. What appeals most is that it is very easy to prepare as a breakfast, brunch or lunch dish and that it is so versatile regards what you can add. It can be really basic [...]

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Grilled Tuna Steak with Sauce Vierge

2020-05-16T13:20:59+02:00May 16th, 2020|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

Light, fresh and healthy! I feel that oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, yellowtail or tuna all deserve a fresh light sauce. As you know my choice of flavour usually veers towards Asian which does also marry well with oily fish, but for a change I chose Sauce Vierge. I think the [...]

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It’s time to harvest your olives!

2020-05-08T16:20:05+02:00May 8th, 2020|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

In April / May we harvest olives in the Southern Hemisphere! When I designed my Mediterranean style garden 20 years ago I enthusiastically planted 3 olive trees. They do look beautiful and with the pencil cypresses, citrus trees and rosemary they do frame my vegetable and herb garden perfectly! Olive trees are slow [...]

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Lemon Curd Cake

2020-05-06T13:22:21+02:00May 6th, 2020|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

It’s citrus season and everyone is looking for lemon recipes! This is one of my favourite cakes as it bridges the boundaries of cake and dessert. It is super moist with a delicious curd-like layer with a light cake layer on top. I also am not crazy about cakes that call for sugary frostings. This [...]

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Chicken Melanzane Parmigiano

2020-04-09T18:15:24+02:00April 9th, 2020|From the Garden, From the Kitchen|

Today our taste buds are travelling back to Italy! Previously I have posted a recipe for the vegetarian dish, Melanzane Parmigiana. This is very similar, just with the addition of a layer of chicken breast. It's super healthy! The recipe consiste of 4 easy components Baked or fried aubergine slices A yummy tomato ragu (stew!) Flash [...]

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