HARISSA SQUASH SALAD
Fast prep 10 minutes, cook 50 minutes
1 butternut squash (1.2kg)
1 heaped tablespoon rose harissa
2 ripe avocados
100g mixed salad leaves
1 x 125g ball of mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Carefully cut the squash into rough 5cm chunks (seeds and all), then, in a roasting tray, rub all over with the harissa, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Roast for 50 minutes, or until soft, golden and gnarly.
With a few minutes to go, place 1 tablespoon each of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, and a little salt and pepper, in a large bowl.
Halve, peel, destone, slice and toss in the avocados, then gently mix in the salad leaves.
Use forks to divide and tear the hot squash (skin, seeds and all) between your plates.
Divide up the salad on top and tear over the mozzarella, then serve.
SUPER GREEN SPAGHETTI
Cooking time Just 13 minutes
150g dried spaghetti
4 cloves of garlic
200g cavolo nero (dark green kale, often available at the weekly farmer’s market at Bay Avenue)
30g Parmesan cheese
30g ricotta cheese
Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, peel the garlic.
Tear the stems out of the cavolo and discard, adding the leaves and the garlic to the pasta pan for 5 minutes. Pour 1½ tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a blender, then finely grate in the Parmesan. Use tongs to carefully transfer the cavolo leaves and garlic straight into the blender and blitz for a few minutes until super-smooth. Taste and season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper.
Drain the pasta, reserving a mugful of cooking water. Return it to the pan and toss with the vibrant green sauce, loosening with a splash of reserved cooking water, if needed, then divide between your plates. Dot over the ricotta, drizzle with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil, and tuck right in.
QUICK ASIAN FISHCAKES
Cooking time 22 minutes
1 stick of lemongrass
6cm piece of ginger
½ a bunch of fresh coriander (15g)
500g salmon fillets, skin off, pin-boned
4 teaspoons chilli jam
Whack the lemongrass against your work surface and remove the tough outer layer.
Peel the ginger, then very finely chop with the inside of the lemongrass and most of the coriander, stalks and all, reserving a few nice leaves in a bowl of cold water.
Chop the salmon into 1cm chunks over the mix on your board, then push half the salmon to one side. Chop the rest until super-fine, almost like a purée, then mix the chunkier bits back through it and season with sea salt and black pepper. Divide into 4, then shape and squash into 2cm-thick patties.
Place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the patties for 2 minutes on each side, or until nicely golden.
Spoon the chilli jam over the fishcakes, add a splash of water to the pan, turn the heat off, and jiggle to coat. Serve sprinkled with the drained coriander.
BAKED SAFFRON RICE
Cooking time 26 minutes
2 red onions
2 small pinches of saffron
4 heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
300g white basmati rice
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Peel and finely chop the red onions.
Place a 25cm x 30cm roasting tray on a high heat on the hob, pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the onions and fry for 4 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, place half the saffron in 600ml of boiling kettle water. In a bowl, cover the remaining saffron with 1 tablespoon of boiling water, steep for 10 seconds, then mix with the yoghurt and put aside.
Stir the tomato paste, rice and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper into the onion tray, then pour in the saffron water and bring to the boil.
Once boiling, carefully transfer to the oven for 15 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, fluffed up beautifully and is golden and crisp on top.
Spoon the saffron yoghurt over the rice, drizzle it all with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, fork and mix it all together, and dish up.
FROZEN BANOFFEE CHEESECAKE
Total prep 18 minutes; freeze overnight
150g dark chocolate (70 per cent)
300g packet of Hobnobs
8 overripe bananas
500g light cream cheese
½ a 450g jar of dulce de leche
Rub the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with olive oil and line with greaseproof paper, then rub the paper with oil, too.
Melt 50g of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, then remove.
Snap the Hobnobs into a food processor and blitz with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until well combined.
Drizzle in the melted chocolate, then pulse again.
Pat into the cake tin in a 1cm-thick layer.
Peel the bananas, tear into the food processor, add the cream cheese and dulce de leche, blitz well until nice and smooth, then pour over the biscuit base.
Freeze overnight or until needed, transferring to the fridge for 2 hours before serving, or until it’s the slicing consistency you like.
Loosen the edges of the cheesecake with a palette knife, then release from the tin. Shave or grate over the remaining chocolate, and serve. Delicious.