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Mike McEn­ear­ney de­liv­ers whole­food recipes big on health.


SERVES 4 AS A SIDE 500g as­para­gus (about 3 bunches),

trimmed 2 tbs olive oil 200g pod­ded peas (sub­sti­tute

frozen peas) 2 cups loosely packed snow pea

ten­drils 200g baked ri­cotta (from good

delis – sub­sti­tute fresh ri­cotta) CHAMOMILE DRESS­ING 200ml grape­seed oil 11/ 2 tbs loose-leaf chamomile tea 2 tsp honey Juice of 1 lemon

For the dress­ing, place oil, tea and honey in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gen­tle sim­mer. Trans­fer to a tall jug and, us­ing a stick blender, whiz for 1 minute or un­til well com­bined. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Whisk in lemon juice and 1/2 tsp each salt flakes and freshly ground black pep­per. Set aside.

Heat a char­grill pan or bar­be­cue to high heat. Driz­zle one-third as­para­gus with oil and grill for 3- 4 min­utes or un­til start­ing to blis­ter. Trans­fer to a large bowl and set aside.

Mean­while, bring a saucepan of wa­ter to the boil. Add peas and half the re­main­ing as­para­gus, and cook for 1-2 min­utes or un­til as­para­gus is ten­der. Drain, re­fresh un­der cold wa­ter and add to bowl with grilled as­para­gus. Peel re­main­ing as­para­gus length­ways into rib­bons and add to cooked as­para­gus mix­ture. Add snow pea ten­drils and toss to com­bine.

Trans­fer to a serv­ing plat­ter, crum­ble over ri­cotta and driz­zle with chamomile dress­ing. Serve im­me­di­ately. AR­TI­CHOKES WITH WALNUT VINAIGRETTE SERVES 4 AS A STARTER Juice of 2 lemons 4 globe ar­ti­chokes 1 cup (250ml) white wine 1/4

cup (60ml) ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 tsp white pep­per­corns 1 bay leaf 2 flat-leaf pars­ley stalks 1 small leek, chopped 2 thyme sprigs WALNUT VINAIGRETTE 2 tsp white wine vine­gar Juice of 1/4 lemon 1 tsp Di­jon mus­tard Pinch of ground white pep­per 2 tbs each walnut and olive oil (sub­sti­tute walnut oil with ex­tra olive oil)

For the vinaigrette, whisk vine­gar, lemon, mus­tard and pep­per with a pinch of salt flakes un­til smooth. Whisk­ing con­stantly, add oils in a slow, steady stream and whisk un­til well com­bined. Set aside.

Fill a large bowl with cold wa­ter and add 2 tbs lemon juice. Work­ing with 1 ar­ti­choke at a time, peel stem us­ing a veg­etable peeler, then re­move tough outer leaves. Once you reach the softer leaves, use a ser­rated knife to trim one-third from the top. Scrape out the hairy choke with a tea­spoon and dis­card. Place in lemon wa­ter and re­peat with re­main­ing ar­ti­chokes.

Com­bine re­main­ing lemon juice, wine, oil, pep­per­corns, bay leaf, pars­ley, leek, thyme and 2L (8 cups) wa­ter in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Add ar­ti­chokes, cover sur­face di­rectly with a round of bak­ing pa­per and top with a plate. Re­duce heat to low and cook for 20 min­utes or un­til ar­ti­choke bases are ten­der when pierced with a sharp knife.

Drain ar­ti­chokes and trans­fer to a serv­ing plat­ter. Serve warm with walnut vinaigrette. BAKED LEATHERJACKETS WITH MAR­JO­RAM AND CAPERS SERVES 4 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour 4 whole leatherjackets (skin on – leatherjackets are al­ways sold with­out heads), cleaned Olive oil, to shal­low-fry

50g un­salted but­ter, chopped 2 tbs baby capers in vine­gar, drained,

pat­ted dry with pa­per towel 1 bunch mar­jo­ram (sub­sti­tute oregano),

leaves picked Juice of 1/ 2 a lemon Lemon cheeks, to serve

Pre­heat the oven to 250°C. Grease a shal­low roast­ing pan and line with bak­ing pa­per.

Place flour in a bowl. Add fish and dust in flour, pat­ting away ex­cess. Sea­son.

Heat oil in a large fry­pan over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook, with­out turn­ing, for 4 min­utes. Re­move from pan and trans­fer, cooked-side up, to the pre­pared pan.

Re­turn fry­pan to medium-high heat and add but­ter, capers, half the mar­jo­ram and lemon juice. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 2 min­utes or un­til but­ter is foam­ing. Pour but­ter mix­ture over fish, trans­fer to the oven and bake for 6 min­utes or un­til fish is just cooked through.

Re­move from oven and set aside in the pan for 5 min­utes to rest. Scat­ter fish with re­main­ing mar­jo­ram and serve im­me­di­ately with lemon cheeks.


SERVES 6 Be­gin this recipe at least 5 hours ahead.

10 gar­lic cloves, peeled 2kg lamb shoul­der (bone in) 4 cups (1L) but­ter­milk 1/2 bunch thyme, leaves picked, plus ex­tra to serve 2 bay leaves 1.5kg de­siree pota­toes, peeled,

halved length­ways


4 small pears 1 tbs ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1/2 cup (125ml) ver­juice 2 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped 1 bay leaf 4 thyme sprigs 1 tsp caster sugar

Pre­heat the oven to 220°C. Place gar­lic in a large, heavy-based casse­role with a tight-fit­ting lid. Sea­son lamb and place on top of gar­lic. Roast, un­cov­ered, for 15 min­utes, then turn lamb and roast for a fur­ther 10 min­utes or un­til browned.

Mean­while, place but­ter­milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil (the but­ter­milk will sep­a­rate). Add thyme and bay leaves, then pour but­ter­milk mix­ture over lamb. Cover.

Re­duce oven to 140°C. Re­turn lamb to oven and roast, bast­ing ev­ery 45 min­utes with cook­ing liq­uid, for 4 hours or un­til meat is very ten­der.

To pre­pare potato, 30 min­utes into the lamb cook­ing time, place 1 potato, cut-side down, on a chop­ping board and in­sert a metal skewer length­ways one-third of the way up from the base (this will pre­vent you cut­ting com­pletely

through the potato). Thinly slice down through the potato at 3mm in­ter­vals un­til the knife hits the skewer. Re­peat with re­main­ing potato.

One hour into the lamb cook­ing time, add potato to casse­role. The potato will be­come ten­der in the re­main­ing cook­ing time, but not golden.

Mean­while, for the roast pears, place pears in an oven­proof fry­pan. Brush with oil, then add ver­juice, vanilla pods and seeds, bay leaf and thyme. Sprin­kle with sugar and 1/2 tsp salt flakes. Set aside.

Af­ter 4 hours of cook­ing has elapsed, re­move casse­role lid and in­crease oven to 220°C. Baste potato with cook­ing liq­uid and spoon but­ter­milk curds onto lamb to caramelise. Re­turn lamb to oven, un­cov­ered. At the same time, place pears on the low­est shelf of the oven. Roast for 30 min­utes or un­til the but­ter­milk curds and pears are golden.

Set pears aside, loosely cov­ered with foil, to keep warm. Trans­fer lamb to a large tray and set aside, loosely cov­ered with foil, to rest.

Trans­fer three-quar­ters of the cook­ing liq­uid to a saucepan and place, cov­ered, over a low heat to keep warm. Re­turn potato and re­main­ing cook­ing liq­uid to the oven and roast for 30 min­utes or un­til potato is golden.

Us­ing two forks, coarsely shred lamb. Serve with potato and pears, driz­zled with cook­ing liq­uid and sprin­kled with ex­tra thyme.



Be­gin this recipe 1 day ahead.

1/2 cup (125ml) milk 2 eggs, lightly beaten 40g un­salted but­ter, melted 2 tsp co­conut sugar 65g sprouted buckwheat flour (we used Rude Health brand from doorstepor­gan­ics.com.au – sub­sti­tute reg­u­lar buckwheat flour) 2 tbs sorghum flour (from health

food shops) Creme fraiche, to serve


2/ 3 cup (100g) hazel­nuts 1 cup (100g) ca­cao pow­der 100g firm ex­tra vir­gin co­conut oil 100ml maple syrup

For the spread, soak hazel­nuts in wa­ter overnight. The next day, drain and rinse well. Place in a food pro­ces­sor and whiz un­til fine. Add 1/4 tsp salt flakes and pulse to com­bine. Add 1/4 cup (25g) ca­cao and whiz to com­bine, then add 25g co­conut oil and whiz un­til com­bined. Re­peat process 3 more times, scrap­ing down sides of bowl each time, un­til all ca­cao and co­conut oil have been added and mix­ture is well com­bined.

With the mo­tor run­ning, add maple syrup in a thin, steady stream to form a paste. If the mix­ture splits, add warm wa­ter, 1-2 tbs at a time, with the mo­tor run­ning, to bring back to­gether. ( You can store the spread, cov­ered, in an air­tight con­tainer at room tem­per­a­ture for up to 1 week.)

To make the crepe bat­ter, whisk milk and egg in a bowl un­til smooth, then whisk in 3 tsp melted but­ter. Grad­u­ally add sugar and flours, and whisk well to com­bine. Set aside for 30 min­utes to rest.

Heat a large non-stick fry­pan over medium heat. Wipe pan with pa­per towel dipped in re­main­ing 25g melted but­ter. Spoon 2 tbs bat­ter into pan, tilt­ing the pan to thinly coat the base. Gently tap the pan once onto the stove­top to knock out any air bub­bles and cre­ate an even spread of bat­ter.

Cook the crepe for 1 minute or un­til bub­bles rise to the sur­face. Flip and cook for a fur­ther 10 sec­onds or un­til firm. Trans­fer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Re­peat with re­main­ing but­ter and crepe mix­ture.

Spread a lit­tle raw choco­late-hazelnut spread onto each crepe, add a spoon­ful of creme fraiche, then fold crepes into quar­ters and serve im­me­di­ately.

Baked leatherjackets with mar­jo­ram and capers

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