Category Archives: Salads

Pea and Haloumi Fritters

This is a great dish. I came across it when I was looking at a facebook page – The breakfast Club diaries. One of the contributors had an early lunch at the Footbridge, Brunswick Heads Northern NSW. Here is the photo she posted.
Pea and Haloumi FrittersTalk about whetting the appetite. I googled Pea and Haloumi Fritters and was amazed by the number of recipes. I clicked on quite a number and constructed my own recipe – ahem! with variations on the theme, of course. One of the things I really like about listing ingredients into the google search box is the multitude of recipes that such a simple search spawns. So here is mine:

Ingredients  Pea and Haloumi fritters 002

300g (2 cups) frozen peas
2 eggs
¾ cup SR Flour
50ml (¼cup) milk
110g haloumi coarsely grated
60ml (¼cup) olive oil or Lemon & Dill flavoured oil if you have it. I have learned to make my own. Yummy stuff!
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill; pinch cumin powder. In winter I didn’t have fresh dill so used dried instead
3 shallots trimmed, thinly sliced – you can leave these out of the batter if preferred
The shallots can be used as a sprinkle to serve or in a side salad with cherry tomatoes, mini cos and Lebanese cucumber with a light lemony dressing
Lemon wedges to serve
Fresh dill sprigs to serve – if you have them!


Cook peas in a large saucepan of boiling water following packet directions. Drain. Process half the peas until coarsely pureed. Set aside to cool.
Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl. Sift in the flour. Add milk, haloumi, shallot, dill and pea puree. Season with pepper. Add the whole cooked peas. Stir until combined.
Heat 3 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add large spoonsful of the batter. Flatten slightly if necessary. Cook for 2-3 mins each side or until cooked through. Place on a plate. Repeat, with remaining oil and batter. Serve with lemon and dill. And, for me, the salad.
Pea and Haloumi fritters 003


Outdoor Cherry Tomatoes in Fife!

The colours, the colours. I love plant geneticists

The colours, the colours. I love plant geneticists

I guess it is the beautiful summer we have had. Warm with rain and a fair bit of sun. My desire to grow cherry tomatoes surfaced with a passion. I had planted butterhead lettuce seedlings on 2nd May and everything was looking good. I did succession planting so there is always lettuce to eat, though it’s nearly finished now.
I grew all manner of lettuce in the 1990s on a farm in Mullum and there are two varieties I love. The butterhead – of which there are many varieties and the Mini Cos because of its crisp, small leaf on a strong central vein. It has a terrific shelf life. Lettuce in the sub tropics produce about 9 crops per year.

The easiest and best way to grow non-hearting lettuce.

The easiest and best way to grow non-hearting lettuce.

In Mullumbimby, cherry tomato plants are simply gorgeous and prolific – they grow all the year around. Birds get some fruit, some fall to the ground and self seed. The seeds sprout and I end up with a riot of tangled vines all over the fences and ground. However I was never short of tomatoes. Neither was anyone in the ‘hood.

I had been trying for the 6 years I have been here to grow tomatoes of some sort or another. In the ground, in a green house, in the summer house and this year all things conspired at the right time to produce tomatoes! I had bought two Tumbling Tom cherry tomato plants that I potted into hanging baskets. I was a little worried that they would dry out and they have on occasion. They were ready to flower when I potted them so it didn’t take long. Lots of watering though and liquid feed. I have been using Doff Tomato Feed with an NPK of 5:5:10 My brother-in-law uses that and it is certainly good for fruiting. They are starting to fruit now – they took longer than the Sungold.

Tumbling Tom cherry tomato hanging in a basket

Tumbling Tom cherry tomato hanging in a basket

On the last day in May I also bought an advanced Sungold cherry tomato seedling and transplanted it into a larger pot with some home grown compost from the first bin and some Growmore pelleted fertiliser. The corner of the house that has the back of the conservatory is ideal. The back of the house faces south which is ideal as a sun trap. The brick wall where the tomato plant was housed is perfect for relatively quick growth. The wind mostly isn’t a problem though middle August brought unseasonal winds and the plant had to be really secured against the down pipe and trellises.

 I repotted into a large pot so that watering wasn’t a necessity twice a day. Liquid Tomato feed, water and sun and voila, sweet orange coloured cherry tomatoes.

These are very sweet, golden cherry tomatoes

These are very sweet, golden cherry tomatoes

Meanwhile the butterhead lettuce have grown beautifully and been mostly consumed by us and our neighbours. Salads are the go for the moment. Now this is what I call a salad. I constructed this for my brunch today. Yummy.

A great salad seasoned from the WW's hand made cruet set

A great salad seasoned from the WW’s hand made cruet set

The butterhead lettuce and the tomatoes are from our garden. The cucumber isn’t and neither is the spring onion – but there’s next year isn’t there? Some sun-dried tomatoes sliced, shredded ham from a ham shank, a slice of prosciutto torn up plus a torn up slice of Maasdam cheese. Dress with pepper and lo salt. My other half made this cruet set and has several others. He is a good wood worker.  I used basil flavoured olive oil. I could have used lemon and dill flavoured. Add two heavily buttered oatcakes (because I like them and I love butter). Al fresco dining on the lower deck. Who could ask for more?

Warm Roast Potato, Bacon & Egg Salad

This is a cobbled together dish that is based Steamy Kitchen’s Warm Bacon Potato Salad to which I added some eggs and removed the mustard. You can put some grainy mustard in the dressing if desired.

A really tasty warm salad

A really tasty warm salad

I used Harmony potatoes because I had just lifted them from the garden. Next time I will use red potatoes with a natural nutty flavour and firmer texture. Maybe Pink Fir Apple potatoes. Having said that the Harmony potatoes roasted well and were fluffy inside and nicely browned on the outside. I never peel potatoes.

You will Need:

6 or more scrubbed new chat potatoes
3 large eggs hard boiled, peeled and roughly chopped
2 rashers streaky bacon chopped into 1” pieces
½ red onion chopped
½ clove garlic chopped finely or minced
2 green spring onions sliced
Some chopped parsley
Olive oil for coating the potatoes for roasting
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Raw chopped ingredients

The How to Part:

I parboiled the quartered potatoes and drained them. Tossed in olive oil, I roasted them as one layer on a baking sheet at 190ºC for about 20 minutes. I have never been very good with exact times for cooking. I guess you sort of know when things are ready.

Coated with Olive oil

Coated with Olive oil

Fry the bacon in a heavy based frying pan for several minutes turning the pieces so that they don’t catch but start to crisp up. Add the red onion and garlic and keep frying and turning until the bacon is really crisp.

Frying bacon & onion

Mix the red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and then tip the bacon mixture in. The bacon drippings add juices to the dressing. Mix in the sliced green spring onions. Finally put the roasted potatoes in a serving bowl and mix the dressing through thoroughly.

Warm salads are rather good on cool evenings as it was tonight.


Broad Bean Salad

Lots of shelled broad beans

I love broad beans especially cold in salads. One of the problems with broad beans (or maybe I should say broad bean shellers) is that few people take the time to shell them and so the poor little brilliantly green beans get served in their boringly tough and grey skins and never get to enjoy the fanfare and lights that should accompany their advent on the table.

Broad bean skins – a no-no for me. There is a recipe I found years ago in a magazine that I have made over and over again because it tastes fabulous and looks colourful in the bowl. I usually put it on the table all mixed with a dressing, red onion and chives. I always serve it with a Thai Beef Salad which is what I am going to do today as well.

It takes a bit of time to de-pod the broad beans after they are cooked. It is actually essential to not overcook the beans. I bought frozen broad beans and thawed them. Put them into cold water and brought to the boil. Boiled for 5 minutes and then plunge them into really cold water to stop the cooking process otherwise they start to fall apart when you are shelling them. You can add a handful or so of green peas as well if you like. The photo above shows them added. I also made another broad bean salad without an anchovy/caper dressing for those who (for some unfathomable reason) don’t take to the anchovy and/or caper taste.

Watch the BBC news while shelling the beans; it helps. Then put them to rest in the fridge for a while.

Blend a gorgeous mixture of anchovy fillets, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and capers until puréed. This is a seriously yummy dressing.

Cut a good handful of chives into 2cm pieces with some scissors. Chop very finely one smallish red Spanish onion or one half of a larger one. This does not need too much onion. Season generously.

The elegant serving dish with all separate ingredients

Combine everything into a good looking bowl to serve with a Thai Beef Salad in another gorgeous serving platter. They go well together. A small mixed leaf salad with a simple oil and vinegar dressing sets the whole meal off perfectly.

750g broad beans, cooked and shelled
1 small red onion finely chopped
A handful of chives cut into 2cm lengths

6 anchovy fillets drained and roughly chopped
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 teasp drained bottled capers

Mix all together in a bowl and chill for at least ½ hour before serving.