Food: fresh pro­duce & sump­tu­ous seafood

Cel­e­brate Na­tional Gar­den Day on ­Sun­day 21 Oc­to­ber with food straight from the earth

DRUM - - Contents - BY CAR­MEN NIEHAUS PIC­TURES: JAC­QUES STANDER

FEW things are as sat­is­fy­ing as grow­ing your own food. You don’t need a large tract of land – ex­per­i­ment with plant­ing veg­eta­bles be­tween the flow­ers in your gar­den or in large pots. Or grow your food ­gar­den in wooden or plas­tic planters.

SIR­LOIN STEAK WITH SMOKED TOMATO AND SPEKBOOM SALSA

SERVES 4 PREPA­RA­TION: 20 MIN SMOK­ING: 5 MIN COOK­ING: STEAK 12 MIN VEG 45 MIN MAR­I­NAT­ING: 1 HOUR REST­ING: 10 MIN

STEAK

15ml (1T) chopped gar­lic 15ml (1T) smoked pa­prika 15ml (1T) dried oregano 30ml (2T) olive oil 15ml (1T) bal­samic vine­gar 500g game or beef sir­loin steak salt

SMOKED TOMATO AND SPEKBOOM SALSA

250ml (1c) loose rooi­bos tea 15ml (1T) sugar 250g ripe baby toma­toes, halved 30ml (2T) chopped leaves of ­spekboom (also known as pork­bush or ­ele­phant’s food) 30ml (2T) chopped fresh basil 30ml (2T) red wine vine­gar 30ml (2T) olive oil 15ml (1T) sugar 15ml (1T) salt 15ml (1T) black pep­per

HERB OIL

250ml (1c) olive oil 20g fresh basil, chopped

ROOT VEG­ETABLE PURÉE

250g each or­ange and ­yel­low sweet potato, peeled and sliced 250g turnips, peeled and roughly chopped 2 large car­rots, peeled and roughly chopped 15ml (1T) olive oil 10ml (2t) salt flakes 10ml (2t) ground pep­per 50g but­ter 30ml (2T) chopped fresh rose­mary 30ml (2T) crushed ­gar­lic 5ml (1t) finely chopped chilli salt and freshly ground pep­per

BLANCHED GREENS

large hand­ful of beet­root, spinach and/or kale leaves olive oil 15ml (1T) each chopped gar­lic, gin­ger and chilli salt and pep­per

TO FIN­ISH

a few spekboom sprigs

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C.

1 Steak Mix the gar­lic, ­pa­prika and oregano with the olive oil and bal­samic vine­gar. Rub the mix­ture all over the meat and let it mar­i­nate in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 2 Smoked tomato and

spekboom salsa ­Line a pan with foil. Mix the tea and ­sugar and sprin­kle over the foil. 3 Put a wire rack over the tea. Switch a stove plate on and heat ­the pan un­til the tea starts smok­ing. 4 Put the toma­toes on the wire rack, cover with a lid and smoke for about 5 min­utes or un­til the ­toma­toes start to soften (not too long or they’ll turn bit­ter). ­Re­move from the heat and switch off the stove plate. 5 Mix the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents to make a dress­ing – the spekboom adds a slightly tart taste – and pour over the ­toma­toes. Set aside to cool.

Herb oil Heat the oil and basil un­til luke­warm. Set aside to cool then pulse in a food pro­ces­sor un­til smooth.

Root veg­etable purée

Put all the veg­eta­bles in an oven­proof dish, add the olive oil, salt and pep­per and roast for 45 min­utes or un­til the veg­eta­bles are soft. Leave to cool a bit, then put in the bowl of a food pro­ces­sor. In a sep­a­rate bowl, melt the but­ter and add the rose­mary, gar­lic and chilli. Add the but­ter mix­ture to the veg­eta­bles in the food pro­ces­sor and blend un­til mixed but still with a few chunks here and there. Sea­son with salt and pep­per.

Steak Re­move the meat from the fridge, sea­son with salt and set aside un­til it reaches room tem­per­a­ture. Fry in a hot grid­dle pan or over hot coals un­til sealed on the out­side and medium to rare in the mid­dle. Wrap the steak in foil and set aside for 10 min­utes or un­til the meat juices have been re­ab­sorbed.

Blanched greens Sub­merge the greens in boil­ing wa­ter then im­me­di­ately in ice-cold wa­ter. Heat a lit­tle olive oil in a pan with the gar­lic, gin­ger and chilli. Add the greens and sauté un­til drenched in the ­aro­matic oil. Sea­son with salt and pep­per.

To fin­ish Re­move the foil from the steak and carve into thick slices. Spread veg purée on a plate, spoon leafy greens on the purée, then add a slice of steak. Fi­nally, spoon salsa on top, driz­zle herb oil over and gar­nish with a spekboom sprig.

GAR­DEN SALAD WITH ONION PICKLE SERVES 4 PREPA­RA­TION: 20 MIN PICK­LING SAUCE

180ml (¾c) rice vine­gar 80ml (¹⁄3c) warm wa­ter 80ml (¹⁄3c) sugar 1 star anise fresh gin­ger to taste 1 chilli

PICKLE

60g radishes, thinly sliced 2 red onions, thinly sliced

SALAD DRESS­ING

125ml (½c) fresh or­ange juice 30ml (2T) red wine vine­gar 30ml (2T) honey 60ml (¼c) olive oil

SALAD

50g va­ri­ety of salad greens and rocket 60g young green beans, blanched 2-3 oranges, seg­mented

TO FIN­ISH

few slices of ched­dar cheese with net­tle or black salt hand­ful of toasted ­al­monds and onions in a ster­ilised jar and pour the pick­ling sauce over. Seal. 3 SALAD DRESS­ING Mix all the in­gre­di­ents.

4 SALAD Ar­range the salad greens on a plat­ter, then ar­range the green beans and or­ange seg­ments on top and driz­zle salad dress­ing over.

5 TO FIN­ISH Top with the onion pickle and sprin­kle the cheese and ­al­monds over.

PICK­LING SAUCE Mix the vine­gar, wa­ter and sugar un­til the sugar has dis­solved. Add the star ­anise, gin­ger and chilli.

PICKLE Put the radishes

TEAR AND SHARE BREAD

MAKES 36 POR­TIONS PREPA­RA­TION: 30-40MIN RIS­ING: ABOUT 1 HOUR BAK­ING: 50MIN

DOUGH

1,5kg stone-ground white bread flour 10ml (2t) salt 30ml (4t) aniseed or cumin 2 pack­ets (20g) ­in­stant yeast 200g sugar 200g but­ter 500ml (2c) luke­warm ­wa­ter 500ml (2c) luke­warm milk

VEG­GIES

baby brin­jals, onions and car­rots

SUGAR WA­TER

30ml (2T) sugar 30ml (2T) luke­warm wa­ter

HERB OIL

1 packet each (20g) co­rian­der, pars­ley and basil 375ml (1½c) olive oil

SEED SPRIN­KLE

125ml (½c) sun­flower seeds, toasted 180ml (¾c) sesame seeds, toasted 45-60ml (3-4T) chopped pe­can nuts or wal­nuts 30ml (2T) brown sugar 5ml (1t) each co­rian­der and cumin seeds 5ml (1t) sea salt flakes 2-5ml (½-1t) sumac ­( op­tional) Pre­heat the oven to 190°C. Grease a large bak­ing tin (36x13cm) and 1 medium bread tin (20x10,5cm) well with non­stick spray.

1 DOUGH Mix the flour and salt well. Add the aniseed or cumin and in­stant yeast and mix . 2 In a dif­fer­ent bowl mix the sugar, half the but­ter, wa­ter and milk un­til the but­ter has melted. 3 Add the milk mix­ture to the flour mix­ture. Mix and knead for 10 min­utes un­til sup­ple and elas­tic. Knead in the rest of the but­ter. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 15 min­utes. 4 Knock back the dough and di­vide it into equal­sized balls (100g for the large tin and 70g for the smaller tin). Ar­range the dough balls in the tins so they don’t rise side­ways.

5 VEG­GIES “Plant” a whole veg­gie in each ball. Cover and leave to rise un­til dou­bled in vol­ume. 6 Bake for 10 min­utes and then lower the heat to 160°C and bake for ­an­other 30-40 min­utes or un­til a skewer in­serted in the mid­dle of a ball comes out clean.

7 SUGAR WA­TER Mix the sugar and wa­ter and brush over the warm crust of the bread. Set aside for about 5 min­utes, then trans­fer to a wire rack to cool un­til luke­warm.

8 HERB OIL Heat the herbs and oil un­til warm (but not hot). Set aside to cool, then put it in a food pro­ces­sor and pulse un­til smooth. 9 SEED SPRIN­KLE Pulse all the in­gre­di­ents in a food pro­ces­sor un­til the ­tex­ture re­sem­bles bread­crumbs. 10 Break the bread into por­tions, driz­zle a lit­tle herb oil over and dip in the seed sprin­kle.

MERINGUES WITH FRUIT

MAKES ABOUT 20 MERINGUES PREPA­RA­TION: 12 MIN BAK­ING: 2 HOURS COOL­ING: OVERNIGHT corn­flour for sprin­kling

MERINGUES

10 egg whites 500ml (2c) sugar 2ml (½t) tar­taric acid 60ml (¼c) corn­flour 10ml (2t) rose­wa­ter 7ml (1½t) chopped rose­mary or laven­der flow­ers hand­ful of pis­ta­chio nuts for sprin­kling

FRUIT

1 litre hot wa­ter a few ­laven­der sprigs, lemon ­ver­bena and fresh mint 20-30ml (4-6t) sugar 20ml (4t) rose­wa­ter syrup 2 each kiwi fruit, plums and/or guavas, thinly sliced

TO SERVE

whipped cream (op­tional) Pre­heat the oven to 100°C. Grease two bak­ing sheets with non­stick spray, line with bak­ing pa­per, grease and sift corn­flour over.

1 MERINGUES Put the egg whites, sugar and tar­taric acid in a glass bowl, then put the bowl on top of a saucepan with boil­ing wa­ter and sim­mer for 3 min­utes or un­til warm and the sugar has dis­solved. Re­move from the heat and beat un­til light and shiny – about 10 min­utes. Sift the corn­flour over, add rose­mary or laven­der and fold into the egg mix­ture. 2 Heap ta­ble­spoon­fuls (at least 20) of the egg­white mix­ture onto the pre­pared bak­ing sheets, then sprin­kle pis­ta­chio nuts over. Bake for 2 hours un­til cooked on the out­side. Switch the oven off and leave to cool in the oven overnight. Store in an air­tight con­tainer. 3 FRUIT Pour the wa­ter over the leaves and al­low to cool. Drain. Add the sugar and rose­wa­ter syrup to the same wa­ter and boil for 5 min­utes. Pour the syrup over the fruit pieces and al­low to cool.

4 TO SERVE Put the meringues in a bowl and spoon the fruit over. Serve with the whipped cream (if us­ing).

AL­MOND SHORT­BREAD, CHEESE­CAKE AND STRAW­BERRY STACK

SERVES 12 PREPA­RA­TION: 20 MIN CHILL­ING: 15 MIN (DOUGH) REST­ING: 10 MIN (CHEESE­CAKE) BAK­ING: 10 MIN

SHORT­BREAD

75g ice cold but­ter, diced 20g ic­ing sugar 5ml (1t) grated or­ange zest 100g cake flour 30g ground al­monds 30g fine bread­crumbs pinch of salt

CHEESE­CAKE

10ml (2t) gela­tine 230g creamed cot­tage cheese 250ml (1c) cream zest and juice of 2 lemons 5ml (1t) vanilla essence 75g ic­ing sugar

COM­POTE

250g frozen berries a lit­tle sugar 80ml (¹⁄3c) green tea with buchu

STRAW­BER­RIES

250g fresh straw­ber­ries, sliced 30ml (2T) cas­tor sugar 5ml (1t) black pep­per

SHER­BET

500ml (2c) ic­ing sugar 12,5ml tar­taric acid 12,5ml bi­car­bon­ate of soda

Pre­heat the oven to 170°C. Grease a bak­ing sheet with non­stick spray.

1 SHORT­BREAD Put all the ­in­gre­di­ents in the bowl of a food pro­ces­sor and pulse un­til well com­bined and the dough starts cling­ing to the blade. 2 Re­move, shape into a ball, wrap in cling­film and chill in the fridge for 15 min­utes. 3 Re­move from the fridge and roll into golf ball-size dol­lops. Flat­ten be­tween two lay­ers of bak­ing ­pa­per, then ar­range on the greased bak­ing sheet and bake for about 10 min­utes or un­til done.

4 CHEESE­CAKE Sprin­kle the gela­tine into 15ml (1T) wa­ter and let it stand for 10 min­utes. Heat in the mi­crowave un­til just ­dis­solved. 5 Beat the rest of the

­in­gre­di­ents to­gether, add a lit­tle of the mix­ture to the gela­tine and mix. Then trans­fer the gela­tine mix­ture to the rest of the cream cheese ­mix­ture and stir. Spoon into a pip­ing bag and chill in the fridge un­til fairly firm. 6 COM­POTE Add the berries, sugar and tea to a saucepan and cook un­til syrupy and soft. Then mash the berries or strain through a sieve if pre­ferred. 7 STRAW­BER­RIES Mix all the in­gre­di­ents.

8 SHER­BET Sift all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether three times.

9 TO FIN­ISH Pipe a bit of the cheese­cake mix­ture onto a plate, put a short­bread bis­cuit on top and fin­ish off with an­other help­ing of cheese­cake mix­ture. Spoon straw­ber­ries and com­pote on top. Re­peat the lay­ers twice. Fin­ish off with a dust­ing of sher­bet and serve.

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