Smoked tomato and char-grilled pepper salsa

For Christmas my partner and I bought ourselves a charcoal barbeque.  After spending a (delightful) afternoon assembling the kitset creation and trying to follow the less-than-helpful instructions, we had worked up quite an appetite. Before the dreaded hungry-anger (hanger) could take hold we got cooking, creating a smokey feast perfect for a kiwi summer!

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Haloumi, rocket and pomegranate salad

I made this salad on Christmas day to serve alongside a barbequed rack of lamb and – excuse me while I pat myself on the back – it was good! Fresh, sweet, salty, tart, it combines some great seasonal produce with the fabulous, fry-able Haloumi cheese.  It even looks festive – the bright, pinky-red pomegranate seeds are like little jewels sprinkled through the deep green bed of rocket.  

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Cheese rolls

Cheese rolls are something of a southern New Zealand delicacy. Chances are, if you grew up in Canterbury, Otago or Southland, you have spent time rolling these tasty morsels for family dinners, school lunches or a fundraising event. Many a South Island community cookbook features the local take on this old classic.

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Sweet and sour rice salad

This salad is from Laura, my fellow product evaluator here at F&P. I can see why it’s such a hit with her family; the flavours are powerful and the colours pop! Here is Laura’s description of her heirloom recipe:

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Stuffed vine leaves

These tasty little morsels are great finger food for a party or as part of a mezze platter to graze on over a lazy afternoon or evening. For a dairy-free option serve with a fresh tomato sauce instead of yoghurt.

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Lentil salad with grapes and chardonnay dressing

I remember a few years ago when I was working as a chef, there was a dry spell in the availability of puy lentils – I can’t remember what caused it but it seemed to cause quite a stir amongst our restaurant community.   I admit that I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about, but recently I have been using lentils a lot, particularly the puy variety. You see, I have been eating a lot less meat

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Brunch eggs

Looking around for inspiration for our Easter recipes we noticed that for many, Easter is a time layered deeply in tradition and festivity and for others, it can be very relaxing. Easter weekend for me is at home or at the family beach and rather than an elaborate dinner, it is a casual brunch.

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Eggplant Ravioli

Admittedly, making ravioli requires time, and a considerable amount of it at that. Don’t let this put you off. The process is not only rewarding, but meditative as well. Working the pasta through each of the settings on your pasta machine until it is silky smooth allows plenty of time for reflection and soul-searching,

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Balsamic roasted beetroot and orange and thyme roasted carrots

Side dishes on Christmas day are crucial. Ours usually consist of salads and new season Oamaru potatoes but this year I will do something a little more traditional. Tradition doesn’t have to be boring; layering flavours onto simple, fresh vegetables is anything but. If you are using fresh produce, it’s important not to

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Focaccia with olives, rosemary and lemon

This recipe was originally developed for one of our premium built-in ovens and has become something of a classic down here in Dunedin.  I think half the office would have it in their repertoires!  I have been known to work my way through a whole one myself over a Sunday afternoon lounging around reading the newspaper—it’s just so more-ish.

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Wilted spinach with aubergine and red peppers

This side makes a fresh respite from the richness of the venison and pumpkin. The textures are divine with the sweet crunch of the capsicum, the fluffy softness of the aubergine and the creamy smoothness of the spinach, yum!

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