Use it before we lose it

Easter is often the last hoorah for the summer weather and is a wonderful time to enjoy relaxing over the long weekend, writes Steph Peirce.

We are lucky to have some wonderful fruits and vegetables in season and it’s great to use them before they’re gone for another year.

These simple yet delicious recipes are perfect to enjoy at home or while entertaining friends.

There is always a lot of chocolate and sugary treats around over Easter so here are a few low-sugar options to still satisfy the sweet tooth and indulge in.

PHOTOS: STEPH PEIRCE
PHOTOS: STEPH PEIRCE

Black forest bites

MAKES 21

Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free 

1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao powder (or cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla pasta
pinch of sea salt
½ cup cranberries (dried, unsweetened)
1/3 cup freeze-dried raspberries

Chocolate topping

1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp coconut milk
1 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp freeze-dried raspberries

Method

Place coconut, pumpkin seeds, almonds and sunflower seeds in a food processor and blend until it resembles a fine crumb. Tip into a medium-size mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together coconut sugar and boiling water. Once coconut sugar has dissolved, whisk in tahini, coconut oil, cacao, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk until the coconut oil has melted.

Add to the nut/seed mix along with cranberries and freeze-dried raspberries. Mix well.

Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Press mixture into the tin until you have a smooth, flat surface. Set aside.

For the chocolate topping

Place coconut sugar and coconut milk in a small pot on medium heat. Once the mixture has started to simmer, turn off.

Whisk and add remaining ingredients (except freeze-dried raspberries) and then whisk again for 20 seconds or until the coconut oil has fully melted and the mixture is smooth.

Pour chocolate topping over your base. Chill for 5 minutes before scattering freeze-dried raspberries on top.

Chill for 3 hours or overnight before cutting into bite-sized pieces.

Curried potatoes with blistered tomatoes and garlic yoghurt

SERVES 6

1.5kg agria potatoes
1 Tbsp curry powder
80ml olive oil
150g cherry tomatoes
40ml olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 cup yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper

To serve
handful chopped coriander

Method

Heat oven to 180degC fan bake.

Peel and roughly chop potatoes. Place in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes, drain and give them a shake.

Transfer potatoes to a roasting dish, add olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

Roast for 25-30 minutes or until crispy. In another roasting dish, combine cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, cumin seeds and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and roast for 5 minutes until starting to blister.

In a small bowl, combine yoghurt, garlic and a good pinch of salt.

Cool potatoes and tomatoes for 5 minutes before serving. Spread garlic yoghurt over the base of a medium serving plater.

Scatter potatoes, followed by blistered tomatoes and sprinkle coriander on top.

Stonefruit tart

SERVES 8-10

1 sheet puff pastry
30g butter, softened
30g brown sugar or coconut sugar
4 large peaches, nectarines or apricots

Method

Heat oven to 180degC fan bake.

Cut a 25cm round from the puff pastry (use a cake tin or dinner plate as a template).

Place on a greased baking tray and evenly prick with a fork.

In a small bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Spread over the pastry, leaving a 1cm edge.

Arrange fruit slices by slightly overlapping each slice as you move around the tart.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until pastry has risen and is golden in colour.

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