Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Why is it so good? Because she has recipes for giant zucchini escapees and spinach where she gives the weight of both raw picked spinach from the garden and blanched spinach from your freezer - LOVE!, and artichokes, and beetroot etc - all as the feature dish, and all using readily stocked kitchen ingredients. Carrot glut recipes. Parsnip bravas (a la tapas): everything! I love it so much.

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 8, 2012 at 20:52

Cool NW, thank you! I borrowed this book (all 3 kgs of it!) from the local Library and figured it was too complex for my simple tastes and cooking ability. Re-reading Scarlett's comments have decided me otherwise - an advance birthday present to self ;-)

Comment by nina on April 8, 2012 at 20:09

Great website called Found this book there for less than $25 and the postage is free!! Hope this helps.

Comment by Florence on January 12, 2012 at 13:58

Now Scarlett, you're making me regret not buying this book when it was 50% at Borders' closing down sale!! I picked it up and put it down again several times but decided against it due to various reason, but knew I'll regret it some day at the back of my mind ^^

Comment by Scarlett on January 12, 2012 at 11:11
Comment by Jane on January 11, 2012 at 16:50

All your comments make me drool!!!

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on January 11, 2012 at 16:04

Stephanie is one of our favourite people ... that book looks amazing. Must get a copy.

Comment by Scarlett on January 11, 2012 at 13:51

I made the 'Spring Ragout of Artichoke Hearts, Broad Beans, Peas and New Season Garlic' and it was totally beautiful - such a delicate balance of subtle complementary flavours. Not something I could afford to buy in a restaurant, almost free from the garden: have had trouble with peas and beans - seeds have all rotted, so no fresh peas, used frozen which did let the dish down, should have bought some and shelled them, but barely heated them through so they were still good, and the taste was lovely - but our own (frozen) broad beans, fresh artichoke hearts and fresh garlic. Stephanie includes baby turnips but I didn't have any (although they are a super reliable veg, including in Brisbane - we got sick of them - good to plant for winter up until you put your broad beans in), but I added a couple of rashers of free range bacon (sorry pigs), because bacon and broad beans is such a winning combo - and it added a lovely depth without dominating. Oh, she uses verjuice which is about a million dollars a bottle, so it probably cost about $4 dollars all up. The kids wouldn't eat much of it (grrr - they prefer peanut butter sandwiches), so we had some leftovers which I added to a rosemary and tomato sauce slow-cooked lamb shank dish (all those poor male in the country surrounded by livestock I now realise it's all the baby male animals who are killed each year to keep the flocks balanced - very strange), and it too is a dish you couldn't buy, but would try to if you could! :)

Comment by Scarlett on January 11, 2012 at 13:37

How about this: we drove past a blueberry farm and bought some during the New Year break. We came home and found our house sitters had left us a large Pannettone (italian orangey flavoured fruit cake bread thing) as a gift. I started browsing, and I find a Blueberry Pannettone Baked Custard recipe - specifically mentioning that it's a good way to use up inevitable leftovers around xmas time!! 

She has amazing recipes like sage leaf, zucchini and prawn fritters - all major ingredients free except for the prawns. And recipes for rose geraniums! Must get one now. She uses quite sophisticated techinques (I had to work hard to save my curdled aioli - but there's no way I was going to throw out my home grown garlic!), which is great because once you master them it's obvious how to adapt it all to make endless delights, depending on what's in your garden. For example you could substitute rose geranium for lavender, or coriander, or that sage that starts with k, i forget! - and proceed with your custard, or icecream or what have you as per the techiques given.

She has recipes for mangos, rockmelon (gelo: a custard style cold dessert! and granita!), and bananas - it's not specific to temperate climates (although skewed towards it - but all the basics are there - e.g. a basic tomato sauce, recipes with rocket, pumpkins etc). She has recipes for end of season pumpkins and zucchini using baby immature ones and vine tips - i.e. delicacies you flat out cannot buy and will only taste if you have an edible garden.

NB It's divided into chapters based on the main ingredient - e.g. Cucumbers, Eggplant, Beans, Amaranth.

We made spinach (or parsley), parmesan and bread crumb balls last night - all free except the parmesan - so I bought 40g of delicious parmesan and they were sublime. Total cost maybe $2? If we had to buy sourdough breadcrumbs and giant bunches of spinach it would have cost more than ten dollars. This book is the perfect embodiment of eating better than people who dine in fancy restaurants, at a fraction of the cost paid by people who must buy their fresh food from the shops or market :)

It's true - beautiful food is all about the ingredients - enhancing them a little, but basically letting them shine in all their glory. I'm always struck by what a winning strategy it is to grow your own food - it's delicious, it's economical, it's good for the earth, it makes you happy and healthy. Sorry, will stop raving now ;)

Anyway - great book!

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