Slav­ing over a hot stove is so last sea­son... treat the fam­ily to these quick, easy recipes burst­ing with the good­ness of spring pro­duce

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Sichuan chicken salad

500ml (2 cups) chicken stock

6 spring onions, white parts thinly sliced, green tops re­served

3 gar­lic cloves, crushed

1 long red chilli, split

2 thin slices gin­ger

2 chicken breasts (about

160g each)

180g soba noo­dles

1½ tsp sesame oil

150g pod­ded frozen edamame 1 Tbsp each roasted black sesame seeds and white sesame seeds

2 Le­banese cu­cum­bers, seeds re­moved, cut into long, thin juli­enne

1 cup co­rian­der, coarsely chopped


2 Tbsp black vine­gar

2 Tbsp soy sauce

½ Tbsp Sichuan pep­per­corns, toasted and crushed

2 tsp caster sugar

1 Com­bine stock, spring onion tops, gar­lic, chilli, gin­ger and 500ml wa­ter in a saucepan just large enough to hold chicken snugly.

Bring to a sim­mer, add chicken, and sim­mer for 5 min­utes, then cover, re­move from heat and leave to con­tinue cook­ing for 15 min­utes. Trans­fer to a plate to cool, then shred meat.

2 Mean­while, cook soba noo­dles in a large saucepan of boil­ing salted wa­ter un­til al dente (2-3 min­utes), stir­ring so noo­dles don’t stick to­gether. Drain, re­fresh in iced wa­ter, drain again and toss with 1 tea­spoon sesame oil and set aside.

3 Blanch edamame in a saucepan of boil­ing salted wa­ter un­til bright green (30 sec­onds to 1 minute). Re­fresh in iced wa­ter, drain and toss with re­main­ing sesame oil.

4 For dress­ing, com­bine in­gre­di­ents in a small bowl.

5 Toss chicken with sesame seeds and a lit­tle of the dress­ing, and com­bine in bowls with noo­dles, edamame, cu­cum­ber, co­rian­der and sliced spring onion, and serve driz­zled with re­main­ing dress­ing. SERVES 4

Chorizo and as­para­gus salad with chimichurri

4 fresh chorizo, halved length­ways

Olive oil, for driz­zling 2 bunches as­para­gus, trimmed

2 thick slices sour­dough

1 gar­lic clove, halved

100g piquillo pep­pers or char-grilled red cap­sicum, torn (see note)

¼ small Span­ish onion, thinly sliced

1 cup (loosely packed) rocket ¼ cup (loosely packed) oregano


½ cup (loosely packed) flatleaf pars­ley, coarsely chopped

¼ cup (loosely packed) co­rian­der, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp (loosely packed) oregano, coarsely chopped

2 gar­lic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 salad onion, coarsely chopped

½ jalapeño pep­per, coarsely chopped

125ml (½ cup) olive oil

2 Tbsp ap­ple cider vine­gar

1 For chimichurri, process herbs, gar­lic, onion and jalapeño in a small food pro­ces­sor un­til blended, then add oil and process un­til smooth. Add vine­gar, sea­son gen­er­ously to taste and process to com­bine.

2 Heat a char-grill or bar­be­cue to medium-high. Driz­zle chorizo with olive oil and grill, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til browned and cooked through (3-4 min­utes). Driz­zle as­para­gus and bread with olive oil and grill, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til as­para­gus is just cooked and bread is toasted (1-2 min­utes). Rub bread with cut side of gar­lic, then tear into pieces. Com­bine chorizo, as­para­gus, bread, piquillo pep­pers and onion in a bowl, driz­zle with a lit­tle chimichurri and toss to com­bine. Ar­range on serv­ing plates, scat­ter with rocket and oregano and serve driz­zled with ex­tra chimichurri. SERVES 4


An even quicker op­tion is to use ready bought roasted red pep­pers in a jar, avail­able in su­per­mar­kets.

Cour­gette, ri­cotta and feta que­sadil­las

This is a really sim­ple veg­e­tar­ian din­ner that will sat­isfy ev­ery­one.

60ml (¼ cup) ap­ple cider vine­gar

2 tsp caster sugar

½ Span­ish onion, thinly sliced

1 long green chilli or jalapeño, thinly sliced

250g full-cream ri­cotta

100g hard moz­zarella, coarsely grated

80g feta, crum­bled

3-4 splashes Tabasco, or to taste

4 cour­gettes (about

80g each), thinly sliced

into rounds

2 Tbsp ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, plus ex­tra for driz­zling

Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

8 medium flour tor­tillas

1 cup (loosely packed) basil

¼ cup (loosely packed) oregano

4 cour­gette flow­ers, torn

1 Stir sugar into vine­gar in a bowl un­til dis­solved. Add onion and chilli, stir to com­bine, sea­son to taste and set aside to soften

(10 min­utes).

2 Com­bine ri­cotta, moz­zarella, feta and Tabasco in a bowl, sea­son to taste and set aside.

3 Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat. Com­bine cour­gette and olive oil in a bowl. Sea­son to taste and grill half the cour­gette, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til golden (1-2 min­utes).

Set aside. Add lemon rind and juice to re­main­ing cour­gette and driz­zle with ex­tra olive oil.

4 Spread tor­tillas with ri­cotta mix­ture, top 4 with grilled cour­gette, scat­ter with half the basil and oregano and sand­wich with re­main­ing tor­tillas. Grill in batches over medium-high heat, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til charred and cheese is melted

(3-4 min­utes). Serve hot topped with onion mix­ture, re­main­ing cour­gette, basil and oregano, and cour­gette flow­ers.


Grilled prawns with tamarind, coconut rice and wa­ter­melon

Salty, sweet and sour, these prawns make a per­fect match for the juicy wa­ter­melon.

2 Tbsp veg­etable oil

20 un­cooked prawns, cleaned, tails in­tact

4 red shal­lots, thinly sliced

2 gar­lic cloves, thinly sliced

1 lemon­grass stalk (white part only), finely chopped

2 Tbsp finely grated palm sugar 1½ Tbsp fish sauce

1½ Tbsp tamarind paste

1 cup (loosely packed) co­rian­der, plus ex­tra to serve 2 Tbsp chopped gar­lic chives 100g wa­ter­melon, cut into small dice

½ cup (loosely packed)

Thai basil

Fried shal­lots and lime wedges, to serve


400g jas­mine rice, rinsed 400ml coconut milk

200ml wa­ter

1 (10g) pan­dan leaf (op­tional) 2cm piece of gin­ger

1 For coconut rice, com­bine in­gre­di­ents, 200ml wa­ter and ¾ tsp sea salt in a saucepan, bring to a sim­mer, cover, re­duce heat to low and cook for 20 min­utes, then, with­out un­cov­er­ing, leave to steam for 5 min­utes.

2 Mean­while, heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat, add prawns, shal­lot, gar­lic and lemon­grass and stir-fry un­til prawns start to colour (about 1 minute). Com­bine sugar, fish sauce, tamarind paste and 125ml wa­ter. Taste and ad­just so mix­ture is a bal­ance of sweet, sour and salty. Add to wok and stir-fry to re­duce sauce a lit­tle (2-3 min­utes). Stir in co­rian­der and gar­lic chives, serve on coconut rice and top with wa­ter­melon, Thai basil, ex­tra co­rian­der, fried shal­lots and lime wedges.



Pan­dan leaves are avail­able frozen in Asian su­per­mar­kets.

San­torini salad

125ml (½ cup) ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

1 gar­lic clove, crushed

½ tsp dried Greek oregano

6 an­chovy fil­lets

4-6 thin slices brown or rye sour­dough bread

3 vine-ripened or heir­loom toma­toes, thinly sliced

1 Le­banese cu­cum­ber, thinly sliced

½ cup mint, torn

½ cup flat-leaf pars­ley, torn ½ cup dill, torn

1 salad onion, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp baby ca­pers in brine, rinsed

2 Tbsp oregano

40g ke­falo­tyri or pecorino cheese, grated or shaved

1 Pre­heat oven to 200oC. Whisk to­gether 60ml olive oil, lemon rind and juice, gar­lic, oregano and 1 finely chopped an­chovy, and sea­son to taste.

2 Brush bread with re­main­ing olive oil and sea­son well.

Place bread on an oven tray lined with bak­ing pa­per. Bake un­til golden and crisp (6-7 min­utes), then cool.

3 Com­bine re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents ex­cept cheese in a bowl, driz­zle with half the dress­ing, sea­son to taste and toss to com­bine. Ar­range toasted bread on a plat­ter, top with salad, scat­ter with cheese, driz­zle with re­main­ing dress­ing and serve. SERVES 4

Blueberry and lemon yo­ghurt fool

These fruit fools, light­ened up with yo­ghurt and blue­ber­ries, can be made ahead – cover and re­frig­er­ate them for up to six hours be­fore serv­ing.

250g blue­ber­ries

Finely grated rind of 2 lemons and 1 tsp lemon juice

55g (¼ cup) caster sugar

300g thick Greek-style yo­ghurt 80ml (1/3 cup) thick­ened cream 2 Tbsp ic­ing sugar, sieved Scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean

1 Com­bine blue­ber­ries, half the lemon rind and 1 Tbsp caster sugar in a small saucepan, bring to a sim­mer, lightly crush berries with the back of a fork and stir un­til thick

(2-3 min­utes). Trans­fer to a bowl and freeze un­til chilled (5 min­utes).

2 Com­bine re­main­ing lemon rind and caster sugar in a bowl. 3 Whisk yo­ghurt, cream, ic­ing sugar, vanilla seeds and lemon juice un­til soft peaks form. Al­ter­nate lay­ers of yo­ghurt mix­ture and blue­ber­ries in four

200ml glasses, fin­ish­ing with blue­ber­ries.


This dish is great cooked

on the bar­be­cue for a light lunch/


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