What’s in the box – 30/31 March

by Amanda McInerney on 01/04/2011

Check out the link to this weeks boxes here.

Another month gone – but where?!!  The contents of our boxes are slowly changing as the season turns and my thoughts will turn from salads to dishes that are a little more warming, although we’re not quite ready for the full-on, hearty stews and casseroles yet.  This is really where the fresh vegetables that we are lucky enough to have access to will really come into their own.  In our house, we are still happy enough to have a barbeque or a grill to deal with the protein side of the meal, but I am enjoying actually cooking some of the veggies, rather than just slinging them together in a dish or bowl.  And, if I’m perfectly honest, I tend to get a bit over lettuce and cucumber by this time of the year.

The autumn veggies are gorgeous and the carrots we got last week were fantastic – I caramelised ours with butter and a bit of honey as a side dish earlier this week.  This week’s potatoes and leek will be made into a sinfully creamy gratin – just perfect for our very chilly hills evenings, now.  I was delighted to find some of the very late plums in my box this week.    I’m thinking of making some kind of upside-down tarty kind of thing.  Shortcrust pastry placed over the plums, some brown sugar and some butter in a tarte tatin pan should do the trick.  Maybe using some of Careme’s delicious chocolate shortcrust pastry – now that would really be something!

As you may have seen in my blog post, wild Porcini mushrooms have been found here in the Adelaide hills and are causing quite a thrill to ripple through the foodie community.  Most of us are not going to be able to get our hands on them in the short term, but here is a way I tarted up a fairly plain dish during the week using The Mushroom Man’s Porcini Salt. This dish is open to loads of variations, but it was inspired by a recipe I found in last month’s Delicious. magazine..  I think eggplant would work well in it or as a substitute for the zucchini and thyme would be just as nice as oregano.  You could also chop and fry a couple of swiss brown mushrooms to add to it – really the possibilities are endless.

Vegetable Gratin

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 small – medium zucchini, medium diced
  • 5 roma tomatoes, medium diced
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • fresh or dried oregano
  • Porcini salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 150 gm feta cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, peel only, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Heat oil and fry onion over a moderate heat until golden and caramelised. Add the garlic when the onion is quite soft, to prevent the garlic from burning. Remove from heat.
  3. Toss the vegetables in with the onion and garlic, adding the feta and lemon a good sprinkle of the pepper, oregano and mushroom salt.
  4. Spread in an ovenproof baking dish, sprinkle with crumbs and parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Vegetable Gratin

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah @ For the Love of Food April 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Ooh Amanda that sounds fab. I have only used my salt on a big brekkie so far – thanks for the idea!

Mandy - The Complete Cook Book April 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm

What a lovely sounding dish – I love the addition of preserved lemon peel.
:-) Mandy

Anna Johnston April 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Oh me too Amanda., heartily sick of lettuce this time of year. Like the porcini salt idea too :)

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