Wairuna Carrots
(photo Sarah Cowhey)

CARROTS; are the fundamentals to so many meals. They add sweetness, valuable vitamins and minerals and of course add colour to so many of our dishes. Try experimenting with different forms of cookery such as roasting, steaming, grating raw into salads and marinades, great in juice and of course delicious in cakes!

Serves 4

200g quinoa
1kg carrots, peeled and cut on the angle into chunks
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium green chillies, finely diced (seeds removed)
Pinch ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp chopped preserved lemons (skin only)
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped
75ml natural yoghurt


Place the quinoa in a saucepan. Cover with cold water; bring to a simmer.

Cook until tender 10-12 minutes, drain and rinse under cold running water. Spread on a tray to cool and dry out – 10-12 minutes.

Bring a saucepan of boiling salted water to the boil. Add the carrots and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender but still have a slight crunch. Drain and leave to dry out.

In a large pan, heat the oil. Saute the onion until soft and slightly brown add the cooked carrots and the remaining ingredients except for the coriander and yoghurt.

Remove from the heat and season to taste, mix through the quinoa. Add the coriander and mix through. Drizzle over the yoghurt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


This is undoubtedly one of the most best-known vegetable dishes of French cookery.

Serves 4

500g carrots, baby-scraped and sliced on the angle about 5mm thick
50g butter
Pinch of salt
2 tsp sugar
450ml water
1 Tbsp chopped parsley


Put the carrots in a pot with the water, butter, salt and sugar cook for 20-25 minutes until nearly all the water has evaporated add the carrots are tender. Add another lump of butter and shake the pan so that the carrots do not stick. Add the parsley just before serving.

If using larger, older carrots cut and cook as you did for the above recipe you may need to add a little more water. Add a teaspoon of sugar with the final lump of butter, and let this mixture cook until it has formed a thick syrup which coats the carrots, but don’t let it turn to toffee.


The Farmers Market offers so many varieties of potatoes and this wickedly coloured and earthly flavoured variety is a firm favourite of mine.

Serves 4-6

900g purple-heart potatoes
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Salt and pepper to taste
2 gratings of fresh nutmeg

To serve
100g bacon lardons
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
75g butter

Place the washed potatoes into a deep saucepan and cover with cold water, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a gently boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender (insert a small knife into the centre of the potatoes and if the blade has no resistance then it is cooked), about 30 minutes.

Drain when cooked and cool slightly. When you are able to handle them peel the skins off the potatoes and place directly into a mouli (old fashioned vegetable processor), ricer or sieve. You need to work fast as it is better to make the gnocchi mixture whilst warm. Mouli the mixture directly onto a clean work surface, grate over the nutmeg and sprinkling of salt and pepper. Knead to combine and gradually add half the flour, continue kneading lightly until you obtain a soft but elastic dough. You may or may not need all the flour it will depend on the potatoes!

Take a piece of the dough, sprinkle it with flour and roll it with your hands into a sausage-like shape 2cm in diameter. Cut the dough into little pieces about 3cm long. Repeat this operation until all the dough has been cut into pieces. Using a fork roll each gnocchi along the prongs, letting it roll off onto a tray lined a clean cloth. They should curl up like ribbed shells (it helps the sauce to stick).

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil. Cook them in batches. They will float to the surface when cooked (1-2 minutes). If you are wanting to eat them later on or the next day you are best to pre-cook them for a minute as directed above and them simply reheat them in boiling water for a minute or two. Otherwise they become very sticky!

Heat a large fry pan up to hot, add the bacon lardons and fry until the fat renders down add the butter and rosemary and continue to cook until fragrant and the bacon has become crispy. Using a slotted spoon scoop out the gnocchi, drain well and toss through the bacon and rosemary infused butter, generously grind over cracked pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately!

Serves 6

1kg Topside of beef
425ml red wine
25g butter
2 bay leaves
Couple of sprigs fresh thyme
1 ½ Tbsp flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-6 medium potatoes – waxy variety, peeled and cut into large chunks
12 cloves garlic, peeled
2 onions cut into wedges
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 140C

Take the casserole, melt 10 g of the butter in it and when it begins to foam turn the heat up high. Dry the meat thoroughly with kitchen paper and then brown it on all sides in the hot butter, browning one flat side first, then turning it over on the other side and moving it around to get the round edges browned as well. Add the herbs, the wine and some salt and pepper. Bring it all up to simmering point, put on a tight-fitting lid, using foil if necessary, then transfer it to the oven and leave it to cook for 1 ½ hours without looking at it.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the vegetables. When the pot roast's cooking time is up, remove the meat from the casserole, add the vegetables and push them under the liquid and spoon some of the liquid over the meat cover it with foil and return it to the oven for a further 1 ½ hours. Remove it from the oven. Remove the meat and vegetable leave it to relax for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the herbs, place the casserole over direct heat and boil briskly to reduce the liquid slightly. Mix the flour and remaining butter to a smooth paste, then add this mixture in small pieces to the hot liquid and whisk with a small whisk until it comes back to the boil and you have a smooth, slightly thickened sauce.

Slice the beef and serve alongside the vegetables, drizzle over the liquid and enjoy!


Apple Fritters for Everyone
(photo from Sarah Cowhey)

These light, crispy apple fritters are fabulous. They make a wonderful casual ending to meal, you only need to sprinkle with them with icing sugar and cinnamon.

1 cup plain flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup, plus 1 Tbsp full-fat milk
3 large golden delicious, gala or braeburn
Canola oil for deep-frying
Icing sugar for dusting
Pinch cinnamon for dusting


Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Lightly beat the egg and milk in a small bowl. Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. The batter can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 hours.

Peel the apples and slice the fruit from the core. Cut the apples into 2cm thick match sticks. Gently fold the apples into the batter.

Heat about 10 cm of the oil to 160C in a wide, deep pot. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and line it with paper towels. Using two forks lift up about 5 or 6 of the apple matchsticks from the batter, allowing the excess batter to drip back into the bowl. The mixture should be irregular in shape, with just a very light coating of batter enrobing the apples. Gently lower the batter-covered apples into the hot oil.

Repeat, adding a few more fritters to the oil without crowding the pot. Fry the fritters, turning them from time to time, until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer the fritters to the paper towels. Repeat with the remaining fritter batter, working in batches.

Stack the fritters on a serving platter, sprinkle with the icing sugar and cinnamon. Serve immediately



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