My Five Favourite Ingredients


MY 5 CURRENT FAVE INGREDIENTS, in no particular order

1. Chili, chili, chili and chili. We have last summer’s crop in the freezer, so we chop a frozen one every couple of days, plus we have a selection of others in the fridge; the chinese roasted chili with peanuts, srirachi sauce, jalapenos, habanero sauce, plus a homemade chili jam and sambal made by kind friends

2. Preserved lemon, home made if possible. We seem to be putting this on everything lately, so much so, that I keep a small dish of it already julienned in the fridge, and it goes on the table almost every meal. We love it as a garnish and flavour booster on braises, pasta sauces, fish, soups and salads, plus it is utterly delicious in a toastie with tuna, onion, olive and tomato.

3. Garlicky spiced nuts, my recipe. Ditto for these as for preserved lemons, they add such a great crunch to salads and soups, and a handful of these after gym or with a lovely glass of wine is just the thing.

4. Silver Beet. Even though I get a bumper crop under my roses, and my father grows too much for them so I get their surplus as well, I always seem to need to buy a couple of bunches a week. With garlic, a touch of chili, and a sneaky little anchovy melted in the oil, it’s a magnificent friend to bbq lamb straps and mash, and we love a wilted silverbeet and ricotta pasta sauce at least once a week. And on those days when we’re suffering the 5/2 diet, (irregularly at best) we shred it and add it to our bone broth

5. Fresh Tuna.  I have the best fishmonger across the road, and he always has wonderful tuna, so while the price is good, we have it seared on gingery, garlicky wok fried vegetables and noodles, or sliced sashimi style, on soba noodle salad