Small Box Recipes 10/09/2020
South Africa is graced with an abundance of nutritious indigenous food crops, and this Heritage Month we're joined by the queen of indigenous wild foods – Loubie Rusch – for a four part Tips ‘n Tricks Instagram series exploring the richness of our local foods!
Loubie Rusch is the founder of the Cape wild foods project – Making KOS – and has dedicated over 10 years to educating local communities about the use and care of the edible indigenous wild plants found in the Cape Floristic region. Her various guides document indigenous food knowledge that serves to help us grow, harvest and use our local wild foods more sustainably.
Watch Loubie this Wednesday for a food tutorial on her delicious 'Brakslaai Salsa' recipe. Tune in on Instagram (@ucook.market) and let's get cooking with Loubie!
Fresh Fruity Smoothie
Naturally Organic banana, Terra Madre apple, and ginger make this the perfect day starter!
- Add some yogurt to the blender, followed by some apple, banana, ginger, some ice and a tiny dash of salt.
- Blend well, until smooth and there are no chunks of ice left.
- Sip, and start your day with a fresh burst of goodness!
Add ground turmeric for immunity-boosting properties or a drizzle of honey for extra sweetness.
Rustic Breakfast Hash
Fried baby potatoes, Naturally Organic leek and Terra Madre spinach hash in Karen Dudley’s sun-dried tomato pesto with a fried free-range egg.
- Cut the baby potatoes into quarters and boil in salted water over a high heat for 10 minutes until soft. Then drain on completion.
- Place a pan over a medium heat with a knob of butter and drizzle of oil. Fry some sliced leek and the boiled potatoes until the leeks are turning golden and the potatoes are starting to crisp up. In the final 2 minutes add a spoonful or two of red sun-dried tomato pesto and some baby spinach. Stir through, and cook until wilted. Season with some Wild Harvest garden salt.
- In a separate pan, fry some eggs and cook to your liking.
- Plate up the potatoes, leek, spinach and pesto hash, top with a fried egg and garnish with some chopped coriander. Savour the crunch!
Add some chopped chilli and grated garlic to your leek and potatoes for an extra kick.
Naturally Organic banana and nut butter toastie!
- Slice up some bread of choice, and spread one side of each with your choice of nut butter.
- Fill with some sliced banana and sandwich together.
- Add a knob of butter or drizzle of oil to your pan over medium heat, and toast on each side until the bread is golden and crispy. Happy brunching!
Extra filling options include peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, chocolate spread, caramel sauce, dukkah sprinkle, chopped nuts, honey, a fried egg, – the options are endless.
Loubie’s Brakslaai Salsa
A sassy salsa using your local wild plant – brakslaai from N’Rougas Farm. By Loubie of Making KOS, a.k.a. the indigenous food queen.
- Rinse your brakslaai well. Roughly chop about a handful of the brakslaai leaves and finely slice the stems, discarding any fibrous stems. Set aside for now.
- Peel and very roughly chop one apple, or a chunk of cucumber or one green pepper – whichever is your favourite! Place the chunks into a food processor, along with the zest and juice of one lemon, a 5cm piece of peeled and sliced ginger, and two deseeded and roughly chopped chillies (leave the seeds in if you’re brave). Pulse the food processor a couple of times to roughly chop and mix everything together.
- Add in your brakslaai and pulse again to chop a bit more – be careful not to blend too much or you’ll get a gooey mulch.
- Season to taste.
- Finely chop or grate, to your preference of texture, all of your ingredients then mix them together.
- Season to taste.
- Serve with some hot pan-fried beef meatballs, or as a side to some curry or roast chicken. You can also add to a wrap or pita , or drop a dollop onto a cheese sandwich or cracker for added zing – who knew wild plants could taste so good!
The novel fleshy green leaves in your box come from the local indigenous wild plant – brakslaai. This is a Market Box first, wild harvested on N'Rougas Farm in the Northern Cape. Rinse your brakslaai before using to remove any possible sandy bits. For Tips 'n Tricks on using all the indigenous produce we’ll be bringing to you during September, watch Making KOS’s (and indigenous plant food pro) Loubie Rusch every Wednesday on our Instagram feed (@ucook.market).
Loubie’s Brakslaai Boats
These indigenous brakslaai boats are great to serve as a light and healthy starter or snack. Loaded with Fairview goat’s cheese and Karen Dudley’s red sun-dried tomato pesto. By Loubie of Making KOS, the indigenous food queen.
- Rinse the brakslaai leaves well, and remove any fibrous stems.
- Position them on a platter with their leaves curling up to hold the ingredients (just like a boat).
- Top with your choice of cheese – a goat’s cheese would be lovely. Then add some red sun-dried tomato pesto, and a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs.
- Your brakslaai boats are best eaten with your hands. Enjoy!
Studies have shown that brakslaai has high antioxidant properties. It contains proline, a non-essential amino acid that is involved in the production of collagen. Proline can assist wound healing, maintain and heal cartilage, and can strengthen joints, tendons and muscles.
Roast Spatchcock Chicken
Spatchcocking your pasture-reared Son of a Butcher chicken is a great way to roast it – it's much easier to handle, it shortens the cooking time, and you’ll get more golden and crispy skin in the process. Remember to keep the leftover bones to make a glorious stock.
- Place the chicken, (breast-side down, legs pointing towards you) and cut out the backbone from the parson's nose (its backside) to the neck – cut through the ribs as you go. Flip the chicken, back-breast side up, and use the heel of your hand to flatten the chicken. You can use skewers through the legs to keep the bird flat (be sure to skewer the legs through the skin and not through the flesh).
- Braai Master Tip if braaing: If you use skewers, soak the skewers in water so they don’t burn on the fire.
- Pop the chicken into a yoghurt marinade made from yoghurt and whatever spices or aromatics you have on hand – think: chilli sauces, curry spices or the regular garlic, ginger, herbs and a splash of tomato paste or puree. Leave to marinade for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- When you’re ready, pop that chicken (marinade and all) into the oven to roast until cooked to perfection, with tender juicy meat and crispy charred skin, about 45 minutes.
- Serve with a serious squeeze of lemon juice and some yummy sides. Let’s toast to this glorious roast!
Marinating the chicken in yogurt will tenderize the meat, making it even more deliciou.
Sticky Ginger Cauliflower Steaks
The most moreish cauliflower you ever did eat – savoury, salty, and sweet (all in perfect harmony).
- Peel the green leaves off the cauliflower head. Slice into 2cm thick steaks. Coat in some smoked paprika, oil, lemon juice, and seasoning. Leave to marinate for no less than an hour.
- Place a pan over a medium-high heat with a knob of butter. Fry the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side until charred and golden, and with an al dente crunch.
- Slice up some fresh ginger, you can leave the skin on for extra flavour and nutrition (or remove it) – whichever you prefer. Pick some leaves of thyme and roughly chop an apple. Return the pan over a medium-high heat with a further knob of butter and some castor sugar (or any sweetener of choice). Add the ginger slices, and sauté for 4-5 minutes until beautifully glazed. Add in the thyme and apple. Pan-fry until the apple is soft and lightly browned and the thyme is fragrant.
- Layer the cauliflower with some fresh leaves, dollop over some of Karen Dudley’s red sun-dried tomato pesto, scatter over the ginger and apple, and garnish with some fresh thyme. Yummy!
One cup of raw cauliflower provides over 75% of the daily minimum target for vitamin C. In addition to supporting immunity, this nutrient is needed for DNA repair and the production of both collagen and serotonin (the latter promotes happiness and healthy sleep).
Leek & Cheese Toastie
Are toasties the holy grail of the snack world? Taste this one and see. Thyme (from Umthunzi) and leek (from Naturally Organic) are a culinary match made in heaven!
- Pop your oven on the grill at about 180°C. Rinse and slice the leeks. Grate some Kleinriver Gruberg. Rinse and pick some thyme leaves.
- Melt some butter or oil in a pan over a medium-high heat and add the sliced leeks. Once sizzling, turn the heat down and sweat gently for 10-15 minutes. Stir in some thyme leaves and ¼ cup of milk, and cook through. Remove from the heat and stir through some grated cheese until it's melted. Season to taste.
- Slice some bread and lightly toast. Spread the leek and cheese mixture generously over the bread. Top with the remaining grated cheese and good crack of black pepper. Grill until bubbling and golden, serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon – trust us, you’ll want to.
Leeks are literally the best! Packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, and so much flavour.
Midnight Meatball Pasta
Pasture-reared Frankie Fenner beef meatballs with garlic, chilli, beef mince, herbs, lemon zest, olive oil – thrown through some al dente paste! Simple and delicious.
- Mince 2 cloves of garlic, deseed and finely chop up a chilli. Roughly chop a large handful of fresh herbs, and zest one lemon. Place the beef mince in a bowl, and add these prepped ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined, and season well. Shape into meatballs.
- In a frying pan over a medium heat, add a generous glug of olive oil. Finely slice some onion and add to the pan. Pan-fry until golden and soft. Season with some salt, and remove from the pan,
- Return the pan to a medium heat with some more oil. Pan-fry the meatballs until golden all over and cooked to your liking, shifting then as they colour.
- Boil a pot of salted water. Cook some pasta until al dente. Drain, toss through some oil, and set aside.
- Add the cooked pasta and onion to the pan with the meatballs, and mix to combine – add a little extra olive oil if it needs it. Season to taste. Garnish with some grated Gruberg Cheese and a dollop of Karen Dudley’s red sun-dried tomato pesto.
- Serve in a bowl, or eat straight from the pan, why waste any time plating?
To add some more goodness, you could add some wilted spinach to your pasta.
South African Meatball Sub with Wild Salsa Verde
Pasture-reared Frankie Fenner beef mince served on golden Turkish loaf from Knead, with a wild herby salsa verde, and a lemon yogurt.
- To make the wild salsa verde – remove the stalks from the thyme and rosemary and place the leaves into a food processor along with some coriander/parsley. Add 1 clove of chopped garlic, a teaspoon of dijon mustard and a tablespoon of white/red wine vinegar. Add a good glug of olive oil and blend. Slowly pour in more oil while blending until your desired consistency is achieved. Season to taste.
- Mix some yoghurt with some lemon juice (and zest) and some chopped chilli and season to taste.
- To make the meatballs, finely chop one onion. Mix it with the beef mince and add any spices you desire (you can make them bobotie style by adding some curry powder and fruit chutney) – roll into small golf-ball sized meatballs.
- Place a pan on a medium/high heat with a drizzle of oil. When hot fry your meatballs on each side until cooked through and golden, turning them as they colour.
- Slice your Knead turkish loaf and spread a layer of chilli/lemon yoghurt onto each side.
- Load up the meatballs onto the turkish loaf and drizzle with the wild salsa verde. A sub made in heaven!
You can also adjust this recipe to create a burger instead!
Quick Preserved Lemons
A fantastic flavour burst for roasts, stews, tagines and curries – plus, it keeps for ages in the fridge so you can rest assured of lasting goodness.
- Wash and dry 2 lemons.
- Finely dice one and a half lemons, including the peel. If the skin is very thick, you can peel some off. Remove as many seeds as possible.
- Put the diced lemon (and any juice) into a bowl and sprinkle with ½ tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Squeeze in the juice only of the remaining half lemon. Stir to coat the lemons well and put into a clean jar (with a bit of space to shake them up).
- Let the mixture sit for at least 4 hours at room temperature, shaking the jar periodically. It can be served after 4 hours, or you can refrigerate them for up to a week.
- Serve with some hot, golden pan-fried halloumi – or add some to a tray of roasting veggies/lamb.
Vitamin C is packed into the humble little lemon. Besides the immunity and skin health benefits that they offer, Vitamin C also acts as a powerful antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that cause damage to cells.
Cheesy Roasted Leeks
A deliciously decadent side dish or the perfect lunchtime snack.
- Trim and slice the leeks in half lengthways. Rinse well. Place on a roasting tray, cut side up and coat in some oil then season.
- Roast at 190°C for about 30 minutes until soft and golden.
- Grate some Kleniriver gruberg cheese over for the final 5-10 minutes and continue roasting until golden.
Leeks are a great source of vitamin A, C and K! They also contain iron and are a good source of dietary fibre.
Spicy Carrot Dip
A mouthwatering dip of Naturally Organic carrots, spices, tahini and lemon – all served with toasted bread.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel the carrot and cut into bite size chunks. Smash/flatten garlic cloves with a knife.
- Spread garlic and carrot spaced out onto a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and easy to mash with a fork.
- Allow to cool slightly, then add to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- Add tahini, salt, fresh chopped chili, smoked paprika, cumin and the juice from ½ a lemon. Blend well.
- Pour contents into a small serving bowl and surround with hot toasted Turkish loaf from Knead. Bon appétit!
Serve with Karen Dudley’s red sun-dried tomato pesto to pimp it up a bit!.
Classic Apple Crumble
Taking the classic crumble to another level !
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Peel and cut 2-3 apples in half. Remove the core. Then, dice the halves into smaller, bite-sized cubes.
- In a medium baking dish, add in your apples and stir in 4 tablespoons of sugar (or any sweetener of your preference), the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, some grated ginger, some raisins (optional) and 80ml water. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir 1½ cup of your favourite oats, ½ a cup of flour, ½ a cup of sugar, ½ a cup of butter, and ½ teaspoon salt. Use your hands to crumble the topping ingredients together, until evenly combined.
- Pour your crumble mixture over the apple – filling in an even layer.
- Place the tray into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately – with an optional (but recommended) scoop of ice cream or cream. Let those taste buds sing!
You will know when it is ready by the delectable smell, and the golden crumble topping!
Affogato means “drowned” in Italian and it is essentially drowning ice cream in coffee. The hot coffee starts to melt the ice cream and forms a thick foam at the top.
- Make your coffee according to the instructions on the Arise Coffee packet.
- Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream into glass tumblers.
- Pour over a shot of strong coffee into each glass.
- Garnish with crumbled cookies (optional).
- Eat with a spoon immediately – it’s that irresistible!
Garnish with the toppings freely, great picks are caramel sauce, honey, chocolate shards, nuts, and maple syrup. The sweet options are endless.
A Baker’s Banana Bread
Comforting homemade banana bread for your afternoon tea – add great company and enjoy the sweet escape.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a loaf pan.
- In a bowl, combine 3 mashed ripe bananas, 1 cup of sugar, 1 egg, ¼ cup melted butter and mix.
- Sieve 1.5 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt into the bowl and fold in until just combined.
- Pour into loaf tin and bake for approximately 1 hour. Test to see if it’s cooked by inserting a toothpick into the centre. If cooked, the toothpick will come out clean. Call those friends over for tea – this bread is too good not to share!
The best banana bread is made with overripe bananas, so leave your bananas for a couple of days to ripen well before baking.
Lemon Goat’s Cheese Pudding
This light and creamy Fairview goat’s cheese and Bergsoom lemon dessert is one for the recipe books!
- In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of milk with 60ml thick cream, ½ a vanilla bean’s seeds, 30ml honey and ½ a lemon’s zest. Bring to a simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain the milk, discarding the vanilla bean.
- In a medium bowl, whisk 1 egg with 1 additional egg yolk, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk in the warm milk mixture. Pour the contents of the bowl into the saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking constantly until thickened for about a minute.
- Transfer the custard to a blender. Add the goat’s cheese log, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Pour the custard into ramekins and refrigerate until chilled for about 1 hour. It’s delightful!
Top with some fresh fruit and a light drizzle of honey and serve.