A Food & Travel Blog

What’s in the box – 8/9 June

11/06/2011 | By

This weekly post is aimed at offering some simple recipe suggestions to the subscribers of Adelaide Food Connect weekly fresh produce boxes.  It can be a challenge to deal with the same seasonal produce week after week and I hope to help inspire with fresh ideas.  The link to the contents of the boxes this week is here.

Icy days up here on the hill with the temperature struggling to make it up to double digits.  This weather is very bad for my waistline as I cook up rich, hearty casseroles, vats of soup served with crusty bread and butter, hot chocolates and, with the slow combustion stove quietly humming along,  the urge to bake is simply overpowering.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a particular fondness for Moroccan and Middle Eastern food.  There is something about the fragrance of the spices used in these cuisines that really sings to me so I am always on the lookout for new (to me, at least) ways to incorporate them into my own cooking.   This week I found myself with an over-abundance of organic onions from past Adelaide Food Connect boxes at the same time as I serendipitously saw a Moroccan recipe using copious amounts of the same.   This dish, Chicken Mezgueldi, is a chicken tagine flavoured with ginger, preserved lemon, saffron and turmeric and served with fragrant caramelised onions spiced with more ginger, cumin, cinnamon and sweet paprika.  Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients as it is really quite simple to make.  I cooked up a pile of the onions the day before I made the dish and refried them a little, just before serving, to give them more of a browned caramelised finish and they were just perfect served on top of the slowly cooked, aromatic chook.

This week’s spinach recipe comes to you from Tessa Kiros’ lovely book “Falling Cloudberries“, a record of some of the recipes she grew up with and others shared by friends and family.  It is another simple recipe that can be tarted up in loads of different ways if you wish.  This would make quite a lot of rice, so I would probably halve these amounts to serve as a side dish.


Spinach Pilaf


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 30 gms butter
  • 120 gms spring onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.2 kg spinach, chopped
  • 300 gms long grain rice


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan and saute the spring onion until softened. Add the garlic and stir for another moment, then add spinach and mix through.
  2. Add the rice, stir through and season with salt and pepper. Pour in 700 mls of water, bring to the boil, lower the heat and cover pan with a lid. Cook for about 15 minutes until the water is evaporated.
  3. Remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork and cover the pan with a clean cloth and allow to steam for a few minutes more before serving.


I would be very tempted to add any or all of the following to this – chopped preserved lemon, currants, toasted slithered almonds or pine nuts. I would also stir through a good slurp of olive oil or melted butter before serving – but then that’s probably what gave me my “full” figure…

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 6

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  1. Anna Johnston

    You might post ‘whats in the box’ for your Adelaide buddies, but I always love to read your ideas with seasonal stuff – & commiseration’s over the overwhelming desire to bake, I’ve got the same bug big time…. even though I know it means extra time at the gym, I can’t stop myself…. we’re having the same weather as you guys., flippin freezing isn’t it 😉

  2. Amanda

    Anna – I’m wondering if it might be time to change the name of this segment of the blog to something which reflects the seasonality of it’s nature. What do you (or others) think?