Quick and Easy



Baked Swordfish with cherry tomatoes, chili, thyme and capers

Swordfish with cherry tomatoes and capers

Ingredients: Swordfish, cherry tomatoes, lemon thyme, fresh lemon, fresh chili  (chopped) olive oil and capers

Add all ingredients together including the olive oil, sale and pepper. Squeeze half a lemon into the mix. Place in a hot oven and bake until fish appears cooked when you test with the fork (should take no more than 15 mins). Serve with salad, baked potatoes or on bed of fresh linguini

Salsa Verde (green sauce)

the perfect accompaniment to steamed or roasted meats

salsa verde

Ingredients: 1/3 cup of olive oil, 2 cups parsley chopped, 1 cup fresh basil, 1 cup mint, 2 tabl dijon, 2 tabl red wine vinegar

2 tabl drained capers, 3-4 anchovy fillets

Mix all ingredients in blender until fine and smooth-ish. Serve at room temperature with roasted meats (this sauce should not be cooked). Works also with pasta.

You can keep this sauce in a airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Trout Mouse

trout mouse

Ingredients: 100 gm trout (without skin or bones), 2 tabsp sour cream, 1 tabsp horseradish cream or sauce (use dijon mustard if you prefer), 1 tabsp chopped salad onion, dill and lemon for slices and 1 tabsp lemon juice

Put all the ingredients apart from salt and pepper in a blender and blend until you have a smooth mousse. Season with salt and pepper and extra lemon juice if necessary. Leave in the fridge to set until ready to serve.

Decorate the mini lemon wedges and serve with baguette or with bagel chips

The De-constructed Moussaka

Don’t conform…..break the rules!  Here is a simple stylish way of making the classic Greek Moussaka……..

Ingredients: Lamb mince (best to buy lamb fillets and get butcher to mince), 2 large eggplant, 2 tabsp tomato paste, garlic, 1 large onion, and ½ bottle white wine and fresh mint

De-constructed Moussaka

Slice the large eggplants into rounds. Brush generously with olive oil. Bake in 200 degree oven for 15 mins. While the eggplant is cooking, sautee garlic and onion till soft and fragrant, add mince, tomato paste and white wine (1/2 bottle). Cook on slow heat will cooked down and thick.  Before removing from heat toss in generously helpings of fresh mint. Assemble while hot.

To assemble, place layer of eggplant on plate, then top with the mince and sprinkle with fetta, then repeat with eggplant, meat and top with fetta again. Sprinkle the chopped mint as you go.  If you love fetta like I do – sprinkle it on the eggplant rounds while in the oven 2-3 mins before eggplant rounds are done.  You can replace mint with oregano if you like – the mint gives this dish a fresher taste.

Decorate the outer rim of plate with a fresh salad and drizzle leaves with extra virgin olive oil

Note: this recipe does not work with small eggplants as the cut rounds will not be big enough to make the stacks


Pissaladière is a tart of sweet onions originating from Nice but popular thorughout France. Makes a perfect nibbly with drinks or as an entre.

Ingredients: 6 yellow onions, black olives and anchovies (enough for decorating one pastry sheet), 1 flat tabsp of brown sugar and 1-2 puff pastry sheets.

Cook the finely sliced onions in generous helpings of butter on a low flame with the brown sugar, sautee until soft and caramelised confit style and then season with salt and pepper. For a deeper flavour add a teasp of balsamic vinegar 5 mins before removing the onion confit from the stove.  Leave aside till cool. Place a sheet of the puff pastry (you can use a pizza pan or a flat non stick oven pan) and build up the edges. Then spread the onion confit over the pastry. The decorate with olives and anchovies

Bake in 200 degree over for 15 minutes, until the pastry has puffed up, turned golden, and crisped. Remove from oven and sprinkle the olive oil and fresh thyme (if you have it – although not neccessary) across the hot surface of the tart. Cut it into servign pieces – serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Be very careful to cook the onions gently. One bit of burned onion will give the whole recipe a bitter flavor.  I like the a thick layer of onion – if you prefer a thinner layer use 4 onions instead. I use spanish anchovies you can get from the deli (rather than the saltier version you can get in bottles from the supermarket, however you can use either

Roasted Pumpkin and Sage butter Penne

Ingredients: Butternut pumpkin, extra virgin olive oil, fresh sage, penne, and garlic

Cut skinned pumpkin into 2 cm cubes, toss liberally with oil, season with cracked pepper and rock salt and put in 180 degree oven for 45 mins or until soft to the fork. Cook and drain the pasta.  In large pan place 1/2 cup of olive oil and  about about 150 gm of butter. When oil is hot, toss in the sage leaves (the more the better) along with 2-3 cloves of smashed garlic. When leavesare on the brink of browning, then toss in the pumpkin and mix along with the pasta.  As the pumpkin will be soft it will start to coat the penne – this is the effect you want. Just before serving it is best to serve with shavings of aged parmigiano reggiano

(The best effect comes from using fresh pasta if you can – otherwise the dried version will be fine)

Roasted pumpkin and sage penne

Zucchini Carpaccio

Ingredients: Zucchini (if you can get yellow as well as green that will add additional colour to the plate, good quality olive oil for drizzling, aged parmeggiano reggiano ( shaved), parsley, fresh lemon rind

Make the parsley and lemon oil by chopping parsley finely and adding fine grate of fresh lemon rind and adding both to 1-2 tabsp of good quality olive oil. Leave aside. Then using a good quality vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini along the full length of it until the seeds are visible, then stop. (You may use the left over inside of the zucchini to make a soup).  When dressing the plate with the zucchini  either pile onto the plate (as shown below) or if you have the patience, place each strip in a fan shaped pattern around the plate. Drizzle the oil over the zucchini, shave parmesan over it and  finish off with small blobs of the parsely lemon oil around the edges of the plate. Season with cracked pepper and rock salt.

A variation of this dish is to lightly saute the strips of zucchini in pan for 1-2 mins, and then plate before adding generous helpings of goats curd (instead of the parmesan).

A great starter.

zucchini carpaccio

Oyster Mushroom and Soba Noodle Salad

Ingredients: Organic (dry) Soba Noodles, oyster mushrooms, coriander, snow peas, sesame seeds (black and white for best effect)

Put noodles in hot water for 6 mins, microwave snow peas for 2 mins, tear and sautee the mushrooms in pan for 2 mins. Mix all ingredients into the drained noodles. Use the green tea flavoured noodle for best effect.

And here is the secret that brings this salad alive – use this wonderful wasabi dressing sourced from Fuji Mart the Japanese Grover at 34 Elizabeth St South Yarra (near Prahran Market, Melbourne).  I have tried many japanese dressings (and even attempted my own) and none is as good as this one (see below) – not too sweet and with real bite!  You can get a wide range of dry organic soba noodles at Fuji Mart also.

The best wasabi salad dressing

Pack a punch with your pasta sauce!

If you are up to making your own tomato sauce for pasta (or even to pour over fish to bake)  here are some tips that you may find useful to create a sauce with alot more depth:

1) If using tin tomatoes – add one punnet of  roasted cherry tomatoes (slow roasted off in an oven on low for 10 mins) – this will bring out the tomato flavours. Roast 3-4 whole garlic cloves in the same oven and add into sauce.

2) Add 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (along with say half a small tub of the tomato paste)

3) add a handful of semi sundried tomotoes from the supermarket, again to deepen the flavour

4) add a bunch of basil 10 mins before you have finished with simmering the sauce

5) I love to make PUTTANESCA SAUCE which has allot of depth because of the capers, fresh anchovies and pitted black olives  – all of which which ‘fires’ up the tomato base and gives your pasta more bite!.  Note: for anchovies best to use the fresh spanish ones available in all good delis.

Your sauce can be kept covered in the fridge for a week at least, until you need to use it

Figs in Prosciutto Blankets

Ingredients: Figs, gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto, olive oil, balsamic

Cut a 1 cm cross on the top of the fig, push in some gorgonzola cheese (sweeter variety), wrap with prosciutto and place in hot oven for 10 mins till figs are soft and prosciutto is crisp.

Drizzle over the cross with balsamic when out of the oven. Best served warm (as the crisped prosciutto gives the dish more depth) on bed of seasoned wild rocket.

Figs in Prosciutto blankets


6 responses to “Quick and Easy

  1. Shalini

    Yum!! I love your soba recipe. Do you know what brand of wasabi dressing that is, by any chance? There’s usually an English translated label stuck on the back. I’ll have to hunt for it at our local Asian grocers.
    Here’s another recipe for cold soba- zaru soba– that you might like.

    • Thank you Shalini for your comment. The name of the dressing is Marui Wasabi Dressing it is made by the Marui Co Ltd and imported from Nagano in Japan and the Australian importers are Jun Pacific Corp. Ltd – Enjoy!
      The Guilty Stomach

      • Paulette Small

        I was so impressed with the ease that you whipped up your blanketed figs. So delicious and well presented. Now I have the recipe! Thanks. Keep blogging!

  2. Jean Little

    I actually tried this recipe out this evening and it was delicious! Thanks for the tip! Xxx

  3. Peter

    Brilliant idea, I’m always liking for quick yet delicious meals to make after work.

  4. Elizabeth Harrington-Hall

    I have friends coming to dinner tonight and I am definitely going to try the courgette and fig recipes.

    So different than my normal recipes and love the idea of the being able to do them easily.
    Thank you

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