Silver Beet In A Sesame Oil Dressing

When nothing else seems to work in my garden, silver beet grows and grows. Dunno why, or how. Its cousin, rhubarb, steadfastly refuses to do anything, and its other relative, beetroot, bolts to seed before the root is rooted.
Silver beet is commonly known as the spinach you grow when you can’t grow spinach. It’s unfair [...]

Winter Tomatoes Stuffed With Memories

I started to feel needy for my version of this dish after Katerina Plastaras, a dear friend of Greek heritage, brought some stuffed tomatoes to work, and we re-heated them, and swooned, and paid unstinting praise to her mum, who had created these marvels. This is for ‘The Mother’.
A slimy little jerk did me a [...]

Mushrooms Smothered With Spinach

Mushrooms vary from the rich black field variety and those grown in hay and compost and available year round, to all sorts with strange names. The treatment is pretty much the same, no matter what they’re called.
Mushrooms are very happy with spinach. Spinach is very comfortable with mushrooms. And I’m not talking truffles here, just [...]

Eggplant With Pesto And Chilli

1 eggplant
1 chilli, chopped finely
olive oil
½ cup pesto
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

Cook the eggplant in the microwave until softened, as above.
Once the eggplant has been cooked and cooled, remove the flesh from the skin and chop roughly.
Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-based pan, and cook the garlic and chilli gently, until the garlic [...]

Shiitake Mushrooms and Cream

Shiitake mushrooms were the first mushrooms I came across that were anything more than the regulars you get in every fruit shop. Treat them gently.
There are pine mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms and oyster mushrooms, and lately we’ve seen varieties such as enoki, wood-ears and even fresh black truffles. Few of us can afford truffles, but these [...]

Sweet Potatoes In A French Provincial Style

Sweet potatoes share all the wonders of potato, including their love of heaps of butter, and they cook like a dream in the microwave. My sort of food. Any method you use to cook potatoes will apply to sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are all their straightforward name would suggest they should be. Sweet as sugar and [...]

Beans and The Pressure Cooker

Too often beans are what comes in cans, either complete with sauce, or pre-cooked and ready to be added to the sauce of your choice. The pressure cooker brings all sorts of beans and all sorts of flavours into your sphere of cooking potential.
Beans are as much fun to play with as pasta and rice, [...]

Mashed Spuds, the world’s greatest dish

My favourite dish as a child was mashed potatoes on thickly buttered white bread. Later (not so long ago) I added fresh herbs and cut down on the butter on the bread, but not in the potatoes. It is still my favourite.
I can’t think of anything more acceptable to eat at any time, at any [...]


I was getting a little tired of all the salt-laden antipasto around town: all sorts of olives, prosciutto, pickled vegetables, the ubiquitous bottled artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, sardines and such. Too much salt; too much deadening of the palate, but worse, not enough hard work from the kitchen. Then I went to Sydney and tried the [...]

Pine mushrooms, colourful pals

There’s an old rule which pops up whenever mushrooms pop up in the fields and paddocks and forests. Don’t eat any which display blazing colours. But, like all rules, there is a wild exception. Pine mushrooms are bright orange, and their gills turn green when you rub them. If ever nature was trying to warn [...]