Jul 302012

To me, mushrooms should be treated simply – fry them in a little butter and garlic and maybe some sage or oregano if you’re feeling fancy.

This recipe takes this idea, and adds cheese and pastry.  Surely that can only be a good thing?

If you want to feel a little more virtuous, consider only having a small slice, and serving with a large salad.  Or don’t.







Mushroom quiche

Serves 4-6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish


  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 2 cups mushrooms (sliced thickly)
  • 20g dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in hot water for 20 mins)
  • 1 clove garlic (diced or minced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used provolone)
  • 1/2 cup cheese (I used a soft goat's cheese, sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon butter


1 Preheat oven to 190*.
2 Grease a pastry tin or pie tin with oil or butter.
3 Line pastry tin with sheets of puff pastry. Trim any excess.
4 Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium high.
5 Add the garlic and onion and saute over medium until soft.
6 Wring out the porcini mushrooms and dice.
7 Add all the mushrooms to the pan and saute until golden. Remove pan from heat.
8 Line the base of the tart with pieces of the goat or sheep cheese.
9 Whisk together milk and eggs and salt and pepper.
10 Spoon the mushroom mixture into the tart base.
11 Sprinkle half the grated cheese over the mushrooms.
12 Pour in the egg/milk mixture.
13 Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.
14 Cook in the over for 30-40 minutes, until the egg mixture is set and the pastry is brown.
15 Serve with a rocket salad (if desired).




Jan 122012

These came from a recent edition of Donna Hay magazine, of course with several adaptations based on what I had in stock.  The dumplings are quite similar to a ricotta gnocchi recipe I have made previously by Maggie Beer.  This is a nice light meal but is still satisfying because of the protein from the ricotta.

I used spinach leaves from our garden – sadly the spinach plant has since been fried by the heat.  The recipe calls for baby spinach but you could also use normal spinach – you would just have to cook it briefly first and squeeze out the moisture.

The dumplings would also work well with a more traditional tomato pasta sauce, or you could do a brown butter sauce (much like Maggie Beer’s recipe).  I recommend serving with a nice fresh green salad – my philosophy is you can never have too many vegetables!

[recipe-show recipe=spinach-and-ricotta-dumplings]

Nov 282011

This recipe is a little more time consuming, as the stuffing can take a while to prepare.  To save time, you could pre-cook the barely, or even make the stuffing in its entirety the day before.   It’s worth the effort and the stuffing makes a great salad or lunch on its own.  It is quite similar to a recipe I have published before, from Smitten Kitchen, for a Mediterranean barley salad.  You could also substitute another grain – rice, quinoa or bulgar would all work here.

For some reason, I love to stuff vegetables.  I’m not sure why I feel this way – it just seems like such a nice way to present a meal.  I’ve used capsicums in this recipe, but you could easily stuff eggplants, tomatoes or zucchini.  We ate these as a meal in themselves, but you could also prepare them in advance and serve with a protein – steak, fish, prawns, chicken – almost anything would work.  They would also be a lovely, impressive-looking dish for a dinner party – and I know many of us probably have several of those in the upcoming weeks!

[recipe-show recipe=barley-stuffed-capsicum]

Nov 102011

We’ve launched headfirst back into renovating our “fixer-upper” post war home.  It’s all good fun, but it does mean my creative outlet is occupied elsewhere, and leaves limited time (and motivation) to cook exciting meals.

But then, I was thinking tonight, perhaps I should show some of what we eat on those nights when I don’t feel like going to a big effort?  We still eat well, after all.  And usually the meals are reasonably nutritious and certainly easy.

So, here it is.  Our simple dinner.

[recipe-show recipe=yoghurt-lemon-and-chickpea-pasta]

Oct 202011

Ratatouille always makes me think of this movie, which in turn, makes me think about my childhood pet rat (Foo).  From there, it’s a leap into memories of our old house, my much missed dog Rusty and the enormous frangipani tree that stood in our front yard…

Of course, that has nothing to do with this particular recipe!

Orangette was blogging about food long before I had any idea that there was such a thing as food blogs, and probably about the same time I was living on such culinary delights as two minute noodles and Pizza Hut pizzas (what? I was at uni!).  She’s written one book: A Homemade Life, and is in the process of writing another.  This recipe is adapted from her Ratatouille recipe in A Homemade Life.  It’s slightly different to the one my Mum used to make, which basically just cooked all the vegetables together.  This one requires a bit more effort – but you can successfully multitask to save time.  Alternatively, you can cook the eggplant the day before which allows you to save on a few minutes.

The finished product was served with a runny fried egg and chunks of crusty bread.  Then I enjoyed it again for lunch – it’s one of those dishes that improves over a couple of days.  In fact, I may have some more for lunch tomorrow!

[recipe-show recipe=roasted-eggplant-ratatouille]

Oct 032011

Spring is teasing us at the moment – one day the weather is beautiful, the air is crisp but it’s warm in the sun.  The next, it’s blowing a gale, bitingly cold (for Brisbane) and overcast and rainy.  I shouldn’t complain too much, at least it’s not sweltering hot yet!

At least spring means fresh produce and one of my favourites is fresh asparagus.  Did you know, for the longest time I thought I didn’t like asparagus?  Turns out I just don’t liked tinned asparagus (abomination! No offense Mum!).

I was perhaps slightly overzealous when I saw it at the markets and bought up several bunches.  I was browsing the internet with a vague idea that I wanted to make a savoury bread pudding (half a loaf of slightly stale sourdough to use up).  My searches turned up this, from internet superstar blogger Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks.

I made a few changes (no surprises there) and here is my take on her recipe.

[recipe-show recipe=savoury-asparagus-bread-pudding]