FOOD Turn your table into a spice route that’s also a visual treat with vibrant dishes by Brita du Plessis
WARM BEETROOT AND GOAT’S CHEESE SALAD
2 vine leaves in brine ½ cup beetroot juice 2T za’atar 1 goat’s cheese crottin 4 red onions, peeled 4-6 beetroots, peeled 3T olive oil A pinch of chilli powder Honey, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rinse the vine leaves under running water and pat dry. Soak in the beetroot juice for 1 hour.
Place the vine leaves on a baking tray and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until dry. Crumble into ash, mix with 1t za’atar and roll the goat’s cheese in the ash.
Trim the tops off the onions and score into segments (leave the roots on). Place the onions and the beetroots on a baking tray and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle over 1T za’atar and the chilli powder, and roast for 40 minutes or until the beetroots are soft and the onions have opened up into petals.
Serve warm, dusted with the remaining za’atar and the ashed goat’s cheese, and drizzled with honey.
CURRY CAULIFLOWER ROTIS
600g cauliflower 2T cream 2T olive oil A pinch of cumin A pinch of dried coriander 2t mustard seeds ½t grated fresh turmeric 35g coconut flakes A sprig of curry leaves 2 free-range eggs 2 rotis (can be bought frozen from most supermarkets)
Steam 400g of the cauliflower for 10 minutes or until soft. Purée with the cream until smooth, then pass through a sieve to achieve a silky texture. Set aside.
Break up the remaining 200g cauliflower into florets. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the florets, spices, turmeric, coconut flakes and curry leaves until the cauliflower florets are toasty and al dente.
Soft-poach two eggs for two minutes, then individually dry-fry the rotis in a pan for a few minutes on both sides.
Spoon the purée over the rotis, sprinkle the spiced cauliflower florets over the purée and top each with a poached egg.
TOM YUM POKE BOWL
½ cup red quinoa 2T tom yum paste 1cm fresh ginger, grated 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and cut into pieces A dash of olive oil, to taste 1×400ml can coconut milk 1 lime A pinch of brown sugar, to taste 6 king prawn tails, fresh or defrosted 4 pak choi, halved
Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions and set aside. Put the tom yum paste in a pot with the ginger and lemongrass, and sauté for 2 minutes, adding a dash of olive oil if required. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Season with the juice of 1 lime and a pinch of sugar, to taste.
Add the prawn tails and pak choi, and simmer for a further few minutes or until the prawns are pink and cooked through. Spoon the quinoa into a bowl and pour the tom yum over.
DUKKAH-CRUSTED LAMB SHANKS
For the dukkah
½ cup hazelnuts ½ cup sesame seeds 2T coriander seeds 2T cumin seeds 1t fennel seeds 2T smoked paprika 1t sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray for 5 minutes until toasty. While the hazelnuts are still warm, rub them together in a clean cloth until most of the skins have come off. Pulse in a food processor until reduced to coarse crumbs. Place in a large bowl and set aside, reducing the oven heat to 150°C.
Dry-fry the sesame seeds in a large pan on the stove until golden brown, and mix in with the hazelnuts. Add the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the seeds start to pop. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the seeds with the smoked paprika until it reaches your desired consistency. Add this spice mixture and the salt to the nuts, toss to combine and set aside.
For the lamb shanks
4T olive oil 2 lamb shanks 1 onion, roughly chopped 1t dried coriander, heaped 1t cumin, heaped 1t cinnamon 1t dried tumeric 1t chilli powder 1×400ml can chopped tomatoes 1 cup good organic chicken stock
For the butternut wedges
1 butternut, cut into quarters 1T olive oil ½t cinnamon 1T sugar
Check that the oven has cooled down to 150°C. Heat 2T olive oil in a large, heavybased pot on the stove and brown the lamb shanks. Remove and set aside.
Add the remaining 2T olive oil, onion and spices to the pot and sauté over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. Put the lamb shanks back into the pot and pour in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Cover tightly with tinfoil or a lid, place in the oven and leave to slow-roast for 2-3 hours or until the lamb shanks are soft, but still firm.
Place the butternut quarters on a baking tray oiled with 1T olive oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake in the oven 45 minutes before the end of the lamb shanks’ cooking time.
Remove the lamb shanks from the sauce and reduce the sauce. Roll the lamb shanks in the dukkah spices and serve with the sauce and butternut wedges.
BOURBON MAPLE PECAN TARTLETS
1 packet shortcrust pastry 3 cups mixed pecans, almonds, cashews and hazelnuts 1T olive oil 2t paprika 2t chilli powder A pinch of salt A sprig of rosemary ½ cup maple syrup 100g butter 1 cup brown sugar Bourbon, to taste 3 free-range eggs 1 cup cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease four small tart tins, line with pastry and blindbake for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Toss the nuts with the olive oil, paprika, chilli powder, salt and rosemary, and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the rosemary and set aside to cool.
Melt the maple syrup, butter and sugar in a pot over low heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes to cool.
Add bourbon to taste and whisk in the eggs. Mix in the toasted nuts and pour into the tartlet shells. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 25 minutes.
Serve the tartlets warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Warm beetroot and goat’s cheese salad.
Dukkah-crusted lamb shanks.
Bourbon maple pecan tartlets.