Keeping it in the family

Annabel Langbein has teamed up with daughter Rose for her latest book, A Free Range Life: Together.

The aim of the book is to inspire and guide people to live a healthier, happier and more sustainable life.

It was an idea born out of a family holiday in Greece where the family - Annabel, husband Ted, son Sean and Rose - headed out to nearby farms and markets before returning to their rented home to cook up a storm.

During this time, Langbein realised her daughter had become a fabulous cook who had learned about ethical food production, sustainability, industrial farming and health in the seven years since she left home.

“In a funny way, my cooking has evolved via a different path to end up much the same place,” Langbein says.

So Langbein and Rose decided to create a guide for a way of cooking that is “fresher and lighter on our waistlines and the planet”.

Langbein says it is about an overall “habit” of eating.

“In this new habit, meat isn’t the main focus on the plate. Snacks, when we have them, aren’t processed. Fat - be it butter, cream, coconut oil or another oil - is treated like a luxury and used sparingly. As is sugar.”

This way, she says, there is no pangs of deprivation or denial, no sense that what we are eating is super-healthy or extreme.

For Rose, it was a continuation of a childhood helping to cook dinner and sitting together as a family to eat.

“It’s not surprising I am as food-obsessed as my mother. Food is the heart of our home.”

Like Langbein’s other Free Range cookbooks, Together has plenty of tips, her famous fridge fixings and three ways with, as well as sections on pickling, picnicking, occasion and weekly menus.

 

Photo: Annabel Langbein Media
Photo: Annabel Langbein Media
Chargrilled greens with feta and freekeh


We like to serve this with grilled lamb chops, steak or roasted pumpkin wedges. For a gluten-free version use quinoa in place of freekah or farro.

When it’s not asparagus season, use green beans instead and, if you can’t get broccolini, use broccoli florets.

SERVES 4-6

Ready in 20 mins

1 cup cracked freekeh or farro
2 handfuls broccolini
2 handfuls asparagus spears, trimmed
3 Tbsp boutique extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt
¾ cup roasted almonds or pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped
75g feta, crumbled
½ cup coarsely chopped dill
½ cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
3 Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Cook freekeh or farro according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the broccolini and asparagus for 1 minute. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, rinse under cold water, drain well and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine.

Heat a grill pan over a high heat and grill the broccolini and asparagus until charred (about 5 minutes).

To serve, arrange freekeh or farro on a serving platter and top with charred veges. Top with almonds or pumpkin seeds, feta and herbs and drizzle with lemon juice and the remaining olive oil. Season to taste before serving.

This will keep, covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Get the book

For lots more delicious fresh recipes see Annabel's new annual A Free Range Life: Together, written with daughter Rose (Annabel Langbein Media, $24.95).

It's available at Paper Plus and all good bookstores and supermarkets nationwide.

Find out more at: annabel-langbein.com or follow Annabel on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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