Christmas is closing in and it is time to get your lists underway for planning your Christmas feast.  Thankfully we can pre-order for pick ups on 24 December as the farmers market will be open for business as usual!  Keep your menu simple, write lists and lots of them if needed and get as much preparation out of the way as possible the day or so before.  Don't forget to enjoy Christmas it is a time to stop the madness and be with loved ones. The Otago Farmers Market have collected my recipes and put them together to make a cute cook book.  It is on sale today $20.00 at the market!


this soup is the essence of summer it is light, refreshing and full of flavour!

Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp olive oil 200g good quality bacon (can be omitted if vegetarian) 300g new season potatoes (jersey benne), cut into quarters Bunch spring onions, finely cut 3 garlic cloves, crushed 2 litres chicken or vegetable stock (hot) 300g spring cabbage, thinly sliced 300g fresh or frozen peas 1-2 lovage leaves (optional) Handful fresh basil Extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper To serve: crusty bread

Method Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until golden (2-3 minutes). Add the potato, onion, lovage (if using) and garlic, cover and stir occasionally. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes become tender. Add the stock hot stock and simmer until the potato is tender 10-15 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook for a couple of minutes, add the peas and few torn leaves of basil. Simmer for 5 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning. Mash up the basil in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt, add a drizzle of olive oil so you get a thick green paste. Serve the soup warm in bowls with a spoonful of basil sauce on top and crusty fresh bread.



Serves 6-8 Handful sprouts 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and sliced 4 medium carrots, peeled into thin strips 1 new season cabbage

For the dressing 2 Tbsp soy sauce 1 Tbsp honey 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or lemon juice 2 Tbsp sesame oil 2 Tbsp olive oil

To finish Handful fresh coriander, roughly torn Squeeze lemon or lime juice

Method Remove the tough outer leaves from the cabbage, cut into quarters and slice as finely as possible. Place the shredded cabbage, spring onions and carrot strips into a large bowl. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined and the honey has dissolved. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss thoroughly. Leave for 10-20 minutes to soften and marinate. Serve the coleslaw with coriander and a little sprinkle of citrus juice!

FRESH WALNUT PESTO This is one of those sauces that can only be made with the freshest walnuts. It can be tossed through pasta, mixed through a potato salad, spread over flatbreads or used as a base for tarts and perfect for dipping asparagus spears into. It will last in the fridge if covered with oil for up to a month.

250g Fresh walnuts, shelled weight, grated 60g butter 100g tasty or smoked cheddar, grated 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed 3 Tbsp chopped fresh marjoram, oregano or flat leaf parsley Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


Melt the butter in a fry pan add the walnuts and garlic and push around just to colour the garlic and soften the walnuts. Add the marjoram, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Put the cooled walnuts, garlic and herbs into a mortar and pestle or food processor and blend until you get a coarse paste. Add the cheese and a drizzle of good quality oil to loosen the mixture a little. Check for balance of flavours and adjust if necessary. Store with a layer of oil on top in clean container it will last up to a month.

BASECAMP WILD VENISON BACON WITH NEW SEASON CABBAGE This product from Basecamp is truly luxurious; it can be heated through or eaten raw as I have done with this salad, it would be lovely wrapped round asparagus and grilled, added to pasta, cooked until crispy and tossed over roasted beetroot – I am sure you get the idea.

serves 6

½ -1 new season cabbage (about 1kg) 2-4 slices venison bacon per person Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper 3 Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar Extra virgin olive oil Juice of 1 lemon 150g Danseys pass cheese from Whitestone or Parmesan

Method Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the firm pale hear of the cabbage in half. Shave the cabbage as finely as you can. Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Shake over the balsamic vinegar and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Lightly flatten the slices of venison with the palm of your hand and cut the venison into 1cm shreds and add to the cabbage. The proportion of venison bacon should almost be equal to the cabbage. Squeeze over the lemon juice, shave on the cheese and mix with the salad.

CHERRY FOCACCIA I have made this very festive bread at the market before, it is so delicious and fun to make. I have sprinkled it with rose petal sugar (rose petals available from Kutash Organics), which adds a wonderful, subtle flavour to the bread and enhances the cherries. Serves 10

1 kg cherries

1 tsp dried yeast 350 ml plain flour Extra virgin olive oil 100g caster sugar blend with 2 Tbsp sugar Sea salt

Method In a bowl mix the yeast with the warm water, let it ferment for 5 minutes or until it goes frothy. Gently pour in and combine the flour; the dough should be very soft. Pour in 50ml olive oil along with half the sugar and pinch of salt. Knead on a floured work surface for about 5 minutes. Return to the bowl, cover with a cloth, and set aside to rise for an hour – this stage can be made the day ahead and stored in the fridge until needed. Just ensure you remove in plenty of time for it to get to room temperature.

Remove the stones from the cherries, and put the flesh in a bowl.

When the dough has risen, roll it out and place on a lightly oiled pizza pan or baking tray (about 30cm). Place the cherries over the dough and let it rise again for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C Sprinkle the remaining rose sugar over the top of the cherries and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Place the bread in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

NB – To make rose petal sugar it is paramount that the rose petals are dried, spray-free and preferably organic. I about 2 Tbsp to a food processor along with 100g icing or caster sugar and blend until fragrant and pinkish in colour. Store in an airtight jar.


YEAR-ROUND VITAMINS - Sprouts are the super food of all super foods as they are living right until you eat them. They are one of the most complete nutritional foods available.

Sprouts are real 'Life Vitamins, Minerals, Proteins, and Enzymes.

What may surprise you is the sheer variety available • Lentil • Blue pea sprouts • Red clover Fenugreek • Broccoli • Alfalfa Great in salads, sandwiches, tossed through a quick stir fry, on their own as a nutritious snack. I particularly like paring them with quinoa, cracked wheat, or lentil, try them warm with roasted vegetables and sprouts tossed through at the end or scattered over your hot baked potato. Be experimental and enjoy the benefits!

Alison would like to thank the following vendors for their fantastic produce BASECAMP VENISON SALAMI – wild venison bacon KOAU SPROUTS – living sprouts HARWARDEN ORGANICS – wild asparagus, fresh walnuts BRYDONE ORGANICS – new season cabbage KANUKA ORGANICS – dried rosepetals FROGROCK CHERRIES – spray free cherries THE FRUIT GARDEN - peas