Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bocconcini and Tomato Salad

This is a quick and simple salad to make, with a large range of possible variations. I recently made this away on holidays (although the basil should have been fresher).

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 (as a side)

150g baby spinach leaves
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
120g bocconcini, drained & sliced
Handful fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil

Add the leaves, sliced tomatoes, sliced bocconcini and basil leaves to a salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dukkah, olive oil and bread

It's hard to find a gourmet food store these days without dukkah, but that's because it's a tasty addition to your pantry that is great for entertaining. Pour some dukkah and good quality extra virgin olive oil into small bowls, then place onto a tray with chunks of freshly baked bread stick, and you have a great option for nibbling at before dinner, which is both easy, classy and hasn't been overdone (yet).

To find a favourite dukkah, it's best to visit a store with tastings (many wine growing regions have stores like this) or go to a food show that has tastings. My favourite at the moment is the Macadamia Dukkah from Table of Plenty, which I picked up at the Good Food & Wine Show in Sydney last year. Dukkah is also used in some recipes, although I feel it is best simply combined with olive oil and bread.

Moscow Mules on a sunny afternoon

My favourite drink to have at home at the moment (other than good wine) is a Moscow Mule. They're summery, easy to make and not too alcoholic.

The main ingredient of a Moscow Mule is vodka (what else, given it is named after a Russian city?), of which there is generally a bottle in the pantry from the last time I passed through duty free, plus a few simple ingredients picked up from the supermarket for a few dollars. Here is how I make them:

Fill a tall glass about a third full with ice cubes. Add 2 thin slices of lime and a shot (30mL) of vodka. Top up the glass with ginger beer (my favourite is Saxbys Diet Ginger Beer - a 750mL bottle is enough for 4 glasses). Add about 10mL of freshly squeezed lime juice. Drink before it gets warm!