NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Crop Of The Month -

Bake Jor­dan Ron­del’s whole­some CAR­ROT NUT­MEG PE­CAN COOK­IES. Makes about 26.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS • 100g plain flour • 100g rolled oats • 40g ground al­monds • 1 tea­spoon ground nut­meg • 1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der • ½ tea­spoon sea salt • cup chopped pecans • 1 cup grated car­rot • ½ cup honey or real maple syrup • ½ cup but­ter, melted

METHOD Pre­heat oven to 180oc fan bake. Line 2 bak­ing trays with bak­ing paper. In a large bowl, com­bine flour, oats, ground al­monds, nut­meg, bak­ing pow­der and salt. Add pecans and car­rot and mix well. Grad­u­ally add honey/maple syrup and melted but­ter and mix un­til a sticky dough is formed. Drop ta­ble­spoons of mix­ture onto bak­ing sheets and flat­ten with your fin­gers. They won't spread much so 2cm be­tween each cookie is fine. Bake for 10-12 min­utes or un­til the cook­ies are golden on top and bot­tom. Al­low to cool and firm on the bak­ing tray for 10 min­utes be­fore trans­fer­ring to a rack. Store in a cool, dry place in an air­tight con­tainer or cookie jar for up to a week.

Ginny Grant’s MOROC­CAN-STYLE COOKED CAR­ROT SALAD can be made a day ahead – but don’t add the mint un­til just be­fore serv­ing, or it will dis­colour. Serves 6-8 as part of a meal.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS • 1kg car­rots, scrubbed or peeled and cut into large chunks • 2 cloves gar­lic, thinly sliced • 1 tea­spoon sea salt • 3 ta­ble­spoons white wine vine­gar • 2 tea­spoons honey • 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil • 1 ta­ble­spoon harissa paste (add more or less de­pend­ing on how spicy you like it) • ½ cup mint leaves, shred­ded

METHOD Put the car­rots, gar­lic, salt and 1 cup wa­ter in a wide saucepan, cover with a lid and cook at a gen­tle sim­mer for 15 min­utes or un­til ten­der, top­ping up the wa­ter if nec­es­sary. Most of the liq­uid should have evap­o­rated (if not, pour it off, leav­ing only a cou­ple of ta­ble­spoon­fuls of wa­ter in the saucepan). Re­move from the heat and add the vine­gar, honey, oil and harissa. Stir well and leave to mar­i­nate for at least an hour be­fore adding the mint leaves to serve.

Or try Ber­nadette Hogg’s CAR­ROT, QUINOA AND HALOUMI SALAD. Serves 4-6.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS • 250g baby car­rots, scrubbed or lightly peeled • 2 medium red onions, cut into thin wedges • 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil • 1 ta­ble­spoon liq­uid honey • 1 tea­spoon fennel seeds • flaky sea salt

QUINOA IN­GRE­DI­ENTS • 1 cup quinoa • 1 tea­spoon olive oil • 2 cups veg­etable stock • 400g can chick­peas, rinsed and drained • 200g curly kale, stems re­moved, roughly torn • 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil • 200g haloumi • hand­ful of mint leaves, roughly torn

DRESS­ING IN­GRE­DI­ENTS • 1 or­ange, juiced • 3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil • 2 tea­spoons red wine vine­gar • 2 tea­spoons brown sugar • ¼ tea­spoon chilli flakes

METHOD Heat oven to 200°C. Line an oven dish with bak­ing paper. Add car­rots and onions, toss with oil, honey and fennel seeds, and sprin­kle with salt. Bake 20-30 min­utes un­til car­rots are just ten­der.

Quinoa: Rinse quinoa un­der hot run­ning wa­ter and drain well. Heat 1 tea­spoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and sauté for a minute. Add stock, cover and bring to the boil. Re­duce to a sim­mer and cook un­til liq­uid has been ab­sorbed, about 15 min­utes. Re­move from heat and leave to cool. When car­rots are cooked, turn oven to 160°C. Spread quinoa on a bak­ing tray and place in the oven for 5-10 min­utes to dry out. Mix quinoa with chick­peas. Toss kale with 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil, spread on a bak­ing tray and sprin­kle lightly with flaky sea salt. Bake 10-15 min­utes un­til crisp, toss­ing kale once or twice dur­ing cook­ing. Cut haloumi into ½cm-thick slices and fry in a non-stick or lightly oiled pan on both sides un­til golden. Dress­ing: Com­bine all the dress­ing in­gre­di­ents and sea­son with salt and freshly ground black pep­per. As­sem­ble salad by plac­ing quinoa mix­ture on a plat­ter and top­ping with mint leaves, car­rots and onions. Driz­zle with dress­ing and fin­ish with the crispy kale and fried haloumi.

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