Marinated Labne (yoghurt cheese)

spice-covered labne balls in plastic container

Market ingredient: Lush natural yoghurt
Difficulty: Really easy & super versatile
Deliciousness: Tangy
Did The Beard like it? “mmmm, perfect”

I thought I would do a little shout out to the Lebanese sour, yoghurty cheese so loved by The Beard. Pretty rare that I go all Nadia Comaneci-styles with Lebanese food, but The Beard seemed to really enjoy this one. Since dating the guy, I have grown to love this stuff. With a ricotta-like consistency and a delicious tartness, this is the perfect addition to a middle eastern mezze. Scoop it up with fresh Lebanese bread. It’s actually perfect plain and spread on toast as well.

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Falafel with tahini sauce

Bowl of falafel

Market ingredient: N/A
Difficulty: Fiddley
Deliciousness: I really liked them
Did The Beard like it? “Not as good as Grandma used to make”*

One of the best things about going to Bathurst for the long weekend is getting to spend time in the kitchen with The Beard’s mum. She’s incredible in the kitchen. Much like my own Mum, Mona is a little bit experimental in the kitchen. She likes to try new things out and to hell with recipes and measurements! When she suggested we make falafel, I was excited but a little worried that I’ve never remember what the recipe was. To be fair, I’m sure there are purists out there that will say “that’s not how you make falafel”. But I love Mona’s philosophy: “If it tastes good, add it”.

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Spiced roast pumpkin soup

pumpkin soup in a bowl with croutons

Market ingredient: Pumpkin
Difficulty: Fairly simple – would be quicker if you didn’t roast the pumpkin
Deliciousness: The opposite of last week – AMAZING
Did The Beard like it? Quote unquote: “beautiful”

It’s POURING like a mo fo outside. I mean absolutely pouring. The Beard and I made the decision to step outside for a quick bolt to the shops and came home looking like we’d just stood under the shower in our clothes. And I was even wearing gumboots and carrying an umbrella. Now if that isn’t the perfect excuse to whip up some warm and comforting pumpkin soup, then I don’t know what is.

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Crispy parmesan and chilli kale chips

Crispy parmesan and chilli kale chips

Market ingredient: Kale
Difficulty: Ridiculously simple
Deliciousness: An awesome pre-dinner snack
Did The Beard like it? “It’s a crowd-pleaser, Brown”

Sometimes I get a little too excited with the amount of veggies I buy at Eveleigh. It’s all so fresh and delicious that I just want to buy everything! About a week ago, I’d bought a ridiculously large bunch of kale, thinking that I would get through it pretty quickly. I love a good bit of kale pan-friend with olive oil, garlic and chilli; Kale is quite a bitter, fibrous leaf, so really goes need some cooking to make it a bit more palatable. However, I found myself at the end of the week with 3/4 of a bunch left and nothing to cook with it. Not until I discovered Donna Hay’s recipe in this month’s edition of donna hay magazine for oven-baked kale chips. Hooray!

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Chorizo and caramelised apple

chorizo and caramelised apple in a bowl

Market ingredient: Chorizo from Eumundi Smokehouse
Difficulty: Really quick
Deliciousness: Rich but lovely
Did The Beard like it? Could have been a bit more apple-y

Pork and apple. A perfect flavour combination that is generally loved by all. The sweetness of apple cuts nicely through the rich saltiness of the meat and most people are pretty familiar with the pairing in a Sunday roast formation. However, it’s a combo that also works equally well with spicy sausages.

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Beetroot, roast garlic & sumac dip

Beetroot, roast garlic & sumac dip in a bowl with crackers

Market ingredient: Beetroot
Difficulty: Easy
Deliciousness: Sweet sweet beetroot
Did The Beard like it? “It was fresh & beetroot-y, but needed more ooomph”. Quote unquote.

A quick and easy one this week, utilising one of my favourite vegetables of all time – beetroot. I can’t actually get enough of the stuff. My American colleague thinks I’m crazy, that all Aussies-and-their-passion-for-beets are crazy. No no, JN, it is YOU that is crazy. And I’m talking about home-roasted beetroots, the kind that stain everything a deep reddy-purple, not their pale, briny tinned cousins. Roasting your own beetroots creates such an intensely sweet flavour that seems to be perfectly combined with the also luscious sweetness of roast garlic. Delicious.

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