FOOD Turn your ta­ble into a spice route that’s also a vis­ual treat with vi­brant dishes by Brita du Plessis

House and Leisure (South Africa) - - Contents -


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.



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.



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.



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.



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.

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