Category: Vegetable Dishes

Making Nut Butters

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Nut_Butter-1000Nut Butters

As with peanut butter, other nut butters are also a rich source of high-quality protein and mono-unsaturated fat. I use the same method for making the following;

Almond butter, cashew butter, raw pecan butter, hazelnut butter and peanut butter.

Many kinds of nuts are also used to make nutritious butter. I buy raw nuts and toast them. Make sure you do not over toast them as this can make the butter taste slightly.

Making nut butter.

The first thing is to toast 2 cups of the selected nuts.

To toast, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Once toasted, let them cool.

nuts-blender-1000Place them in a food processor and blend. If particles build up on the sides of the container, stop and scrape them down with a rubber spatula.

Continue processing until it begins to create a ball. You may have to break up the ball, but it is very important to be patient. Sometimes the ball will bang around a bit before it begins to break down and look creamy. This can take several minutes.

When it is balled up that I add a little olive oil. Add a teaspoon of oil and blend again. If the butter is creamy enough without it there is no need to add the oil.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge and use within 1 month.

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Asparagus with egg – Asparagi alla Bismarck

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Asparagus-with-eggFor me this dish would have to be one of my all time favourites. I love the taste of the egg yokes as they are cut and cover the asparagus. I sometimes serve this with avocado cut into small cubes.

Serves 4


400g (1lb) asparagus, woody ends snapped off or trimmed
4 large eggs
6 tbsp grass fed butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & cracked black pepper


Place the asparagus in gently boiling water and cook to al dente, firm to the bite. This should take about 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

Now divide the asparagus onto four warmed plates.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the grass fed butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks remain soft. Place one egg on top of each bunch of asparagus.

Melt the remaining butter in a small pan and then drizzle it over the asparagus. Sprinkle with a little salt, and some coarsely ground black pepper.

Next sprinkle the fresh parmesan cheese equally over each plate.

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Salt Seasoning Chicken Breasts and Pan Fried Vegetables

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seasoning-the-chicken-breasChicken Breast 

As many of you will have found out chicken breast can end up dried out when its served. One of the most common reasons I have found relates to when you season the raw meat with salt. 

When I season chicken breast I only use pepper and herbs to start. The reason for this is that salt can remove moisture from the meat and when its cooked it can dry out quicker. I season with salt just before I cook it. 

Pan Fried Vegetables 

Time your salt seasoning when frying vegetables because if you add salt to vegetables before cooking, as soon as they hit the pan, the salt (sodium) will draw out and release moisture and they will steam and may not brown up very well. For deep, flavourful caramelization, add the salt seasoning at the end.

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Caprese Salad

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Caprese-Salad-webCaprese salad is a family favorite of mine. I love the fresh taste and is quick and easy to bring together. 

Serves 4 

2-3 heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cored and cut into 10mm (1/2-inch) thick slices
200g (8 oz) wet mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
15 small basil leaves
Sea salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste 


Arrange sliced tomatoes on a large serving platter.

Cut mozzarella cheese and place over tomatoes.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper, and serve immediately. Serves 4.



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Eating Savoury by Jimmy Boswell

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Cover-special-5-00“Eating Savoury by Jimmy Boswell”

Super SPECIAL  Only $5.00 NZ$ – Save 60% ($4.00 US$)

All recipes are in imperial and metric so no conversion needed. 85 recipes, 135 pages with loads of pictures. 

Also includes charts on how to use and match herbs to meats and vegetables. Herb blends and loads of yummy savoury recipes.

Click this link to get your copy today.

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Spicy Green Bean and Salad

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Spicy-BeanServes 4


400 g (1 lb) fresh green beans, strings removed, ends snapped or cut off

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp lime juice or white vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 cup packed, chopped coriander

1/3 cup bottled, pickled jalapeno chilli peppers, sliced

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 avocado, sliced or cut into 25 mm long pieces

1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges, or a cup of halved cherry tomatoes


Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and simmer until just crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans and run cold water over them to cool them quickly. Drain completely. 

Place beans in a large bowl. Gently mix in the lime juice or vinegar, olive oil, 1/4 cup onion, sliced pickled jalapenos, sea salt, oregano and coriander (cilantro). Let sit for half an hour.

When ready to serve, gently mix in the chopped red onion and cheese.  Serve the avocado slices and tomato wedges on the side or mixed into the salad.

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Slow Roasted Cheese Broccoli with Wine and Anchovies

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broccoli-cheese-white-wine-sauceThis is a layered dish that is great as a side or as a vegetable main. 

Serves 4 


800g (2 lb)broccoli cut into small florets
100g (4 oz) Pecorino or other flavoursome cheese in small cubes
80g (3 and ½ oz) anchovies, chopped
2 glasses of dry white wine
4 spring onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced and mixed with the onion
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil is also fine 


Pre-heat oven to 165C (330F) 

Add 2 tbsp of oil to the bottom of a heavy, high pan and spread around the base. 

Sprinkle some onion/garlic blend, a little of the anchovies and a layer of broccoli. Season, add some chunks of cheese, some more anchovy and onion and repeat two or three times until all the broccoli has been used. 

Now take a plate and push down on the layers, squashing and compacting them. 

Then add the wine, another dash of olive oil and a topping of cheese if left over. 

Cover and cook on a low heat until the broccoli is cooked.

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Home Made Sun-dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

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Dried_Roma_TomatoesIts easy to make your own sun-dried tomatoes at home with no special equipment. 

Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, seasoned will add a wonderful gourmet touch with great flavour to many dishes and salads and are a great saving as the prices at the supermarket or store can be very exorbitant!  The quality can be better than any you’ve bought as well. They make excellent gifts too. 

This method is so easy, anyone can do this!  It’s a great thing to do with your kids! 


Any quantity, ripe, but not over ripe are what to use firm. The yield varies considerably depending upon the moisture content of the tomatoes, which depends upon the type of tomato and the weather and how ripe they are.  

I like to use Roma (Italian) tomatoes and they have low levels of seed and have lower moisture when they are just ripe. 

Typically yield is 2 cups of dried tomatoes from 2 kg (4.4 lb) of tomatoes. 


2 kg (4.4lb) Roma (Italian) tomatoes

1 tsp each of thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil mixed together

Coarse salt

3 cups red wine vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil, about 500-600 ml (2 1/2 cups)


Preheat your oven to 100 degrees Celsius (210 degrees F) 

Check all the tomatoes and remove any bruises with a sharp knife. 

Wash, pad dry, remove the stems and half the Roma tomatoes. Of course you can also use regular tomatoes, just slice them in quarters if they are large. *Scoop out most of the seeds and sprinkle with salt and leave them skin side up so that the excess liquid from the tomatoes can drain out. Let this sit for about 15-20 minutes. Drain off any moisture that has gathered in the tomato halves. This gets rid of the moisture and reduces the time in the oven. 

Cover a large baking tray (sheet) with olive oil and arrange tomatoes cut-side up. 

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and if you like to, with dried herbs. I use  thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil to give them an Italian taste. 

Dry in the preheated oven for 4-6 hours. Times and temperature may vary based on your oven, the size of the tomatoes and of course how moist they are. Just try and find out what works best for you. Check tomatoes after a couple of hours to see how the progress is going. As you check after about 4 hours remove any that are dry as you don’t want to over dry. Even though they may all be about the same size some may dry faster than others. 

Note:  Its very important that once the tomatoes are placed in the oven that you do not touch them with your hands. Use clean thongs as required. This is a safety against the tomatoes getting contaminated. 

Once all the tomatoes have dried heat the red wine vinegar in a large pot to a boil  and blanch the dried tomatoes for 1 minute. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and drain well. The vinegar acts as a preservative and gives added flavour to the tomatoes. 

The vinegar bath made a lot of sense, since the Botulinum bacteria grow well in anaerobic, that is to say oxygen free, and low acid environment. Giving the dried tomato pieces a bath of boiling vinegar not only sterilizes the dried tomatoes to kill surface bacteria, but also raises the acidity level of sweet tomatoes to lessen the chance of Botulinum growing in the jar later. 

Layer the tomatoes into warm sterilized jars. Slowly pour warm olive oil into the jars, pressing down on the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon. Make sure that the tomatoes are completely submerged under the oil at all times, or they will be exposed to air and potential bacteria growth. When you are packing them in the jars make sure you do not touch them with your hands, use tongs or a spoon.

Cap the jars tightly and place them in a cool spot overnight. The next day, check the level of the oil and add more to the jars if the tomatoes are poking out of the oil. Check the jars two or three more times, adding more oil if necessary.

Recap the jars and store them in a cool place for 2 weeks before using. Refrigerate after opening and bring the tomatoes to room temperature before serving. 

Keep the tomatoes in the fridge and use within 4 weeks. I make batched as I am getting to the end of the previous batch. 

If you’d really like to do it the sun-dried way then you can leave it in the sun for up to two days, taking them in at night. 

* To seed a tomato, cut it in half lengthwise, push your thumb into the cavity and force the seeds of the tomato. This is best done over a compost pail or sink with a garbage disposal.

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Everyday Dried Herb Blends

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Seasonings and Herbs-5Growing and drying your own herbs guarantees that the herbs you use are always pungent and flavourful  Try a few of the combinations I’ve listed below, and I’m sure you’ll agree. And throw out all those old bottles in the spice cabinet soon! 

Italian Seasoning 

Use this blend to impart an Italian flavour to tomato meat sauces or with vegetables like eggplant.

2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried sage 

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Bouquet Garni

The idea behind the bouquet garni is to add flavor without little flecks of herbs in the dish. Usually, these are dried herbs or a combination of dried and fresh. They are made into little bundles tied with a string long enough to be tied to the handle of the pot for easy removal. You can use cheesecloth, muslin, or even a tea ball to hold the herbs.

For a muslin bag, cut a 100mm x 100mm (4″x 4″) piece. Place the herbs in the middle and tie up the corners. You can also tucked herbs between two pieces of celery stalk, tied them together, and dropped them into the soup or stew. It is nice to have these bundles all made up and stored in an air-tight jar, or to mix a favorite blend and bundle it when needed. The traditional herbs used in a bouquet garni are a tablespoon each of parsley and thyme and one crumbled bay leaf. I always try to use fresh Italian parsley because I find the dried has little flavor. Here are some other combinations that I like to have on hand:

Stew Bouquet Garni
for stews, soups, meats, and other robust dishes.

1 part rosemary 
1 part thyme 
1 part sage 
1 bay leaf, crumbled 
10 peppercorns

Savory Bouquet Garni

for light soups, stews, stocks, and vegetable dishes.

2 parts marjoram 
1 part savory 
1 part thyme 
1 bay leaf, crumbled 
a few peppercorns

Herb Shaker Blend

This combo can be ground fine and used in a salt shaker. It’s good rubbed on roasts and in hearty stews. Forget the salt.

2 parts rosemary 
2 parts summer savory 
1 part thyme 
1 part marjoram

Curry powder 

Curry leaves are leaves of the kari plant, used to flavour southern Indian cooking. You can find fresh leaves in an Indian speciality food store. Toast in a heated skillet over medium heat until a shade darker and fragrant, about 4 minutes:

6 tbsp whole coriander seeds 
4 tbsp whole cumin seeds 
3 tbsp chana dal or yellow split peas 
1 tbsp black peppercorns 
1 tbsp black mustard seeds 
5 dried red chili peppers 
10 fresh or dried curry leaves (optional)

Combine the toasted spices with 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds. Grind the mixture to a powder in batches in a spice mill or electric coffee grinder. Mix well with 3 tbsp turmeric. 

Herbes de Provence 

2 Tablespoons dried basil

1 Tablespoon dried marjoram

½ Tablespoon dried rosemary

1 Tablespoon dried summer savory

2 Tablespoon dried thyme

2 teaspoon lavender flowers

1 bay leaf 

Country Blend
Perfect for salads, soups, on steamed vegetables, and blended into butter for bread and biscuits. 

This blend makes a terrific substitute for table salt. Spoon onto hot baked potatoes (forget the butter and salt). 

5 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 5 teaspoons dried

4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 4 teaspoons dried

4 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil or 4 teaspoons dried

4 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 4 teaspoons dried 

Combine the herbs and store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Fish and Seafood Herbs

Sprinkle onto fish or seafood before baking or grilling.

Add the blend to fish soup and sauce; use for making fish stock for poaching fish and shellfish. 

5 teaspoons dried basil

5 teaspoons crushed fennel seed

4 teaspoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried lemon peel 

Combine all herbs and store in a tightly closed glass jar at room temperature. 

Cajun Blend

Excellent with fish or poultry. Sprinkle it into a baked sweet potato or over steamed vegetables. 

2 tablespoons paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 tablespoon black pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried thyme 

Combine the herbs and spices. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Fines Herbs

Season fish or poultry before cooking. Use in omelets and scrambled eggs.

Sprinkle over hot vegetables. 

3 tablespoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried chervil

2 teaspoons dried chives

1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon 

Combine the herbs. Store in a tightly covered jar at room temperature. 

Barbecue Blend

Excellent for beef, lamb, or pork. 

Sprinkle over eggplant or zucchini before grilling. 

3 tablespoons dried basil

3 tablespoons dried oregano

2 bay leaves, finely crumbled

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

1 tablespoon dried savory 

Combine the herbs. Stir in a tightly covered container at room temperature.

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Pan Fried Steak with Seasonal Salad

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RumpSteak_Fresh_SaladFresh is best and this dish is a great fresh Sunday brunch. 

2 100 g (4 oz) organic grass fed rump steaks per serve (or steak of your choice)

Ghee or coconut oil for frying

Salt and fresh ground pepper to season 


1 hard boiled egg per serve (shelled and cut into quarters)

1 cup each diced cucumber, grape tomatoes, radishes, celery

½ cup each of spring onion and shredded carrot

Balsamic vinegar to drizzle over salad (optional)


On a tray season the steaks with salt and pepper, cover and rest 15 min. 

Fresh_Salad_SeasonalIn a bowl combine (toss) the salad ingredients so they are well mixes. 

In a large heavy based skillet add ghee or coconut oil and heat over a medium high setting. 

Add the steak pieces and cook about 3-4 minutes each side or to your desired level of cooking and place on a warm plate to rest for 3-4 minutes before serving. 

Plate 2 steak pieces per serve and add salad. Drizzle a little, about ½ to 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar over the salad if desired. 

Arrange 4 egg slices on each plate and serve.

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