Homegrown garlic is beautiful to have on hand and after the bulb is dried will last for many months. However, this year we also decided to pickle some of our garlic to extend the life a bit longer.
This is an easy recipe that can be easily adapted depending on your preferred herbs or flavours – the key is to keep the pickle in the fridge. Once ready the garlic is perfect in pasta, with roasts, on antipasti platters (for the game) – basically everything is better with garlic!
1/4 cup canning salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
4 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1kg fresh garlic peeled
Crushed chilli flakes*
*Note: any herbs or spices can be used in place or in addition to chill / dill. Bay leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and rosemary are just some examples of additions.
- Combine canning salt, sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add spices and herbs to sterilized jars*. Then pack peeled garlic cloves leaving about ½ – 1cm of headspace.
- Using a ladle, divide hot pickling liquid between the 4 jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Tap the jar gently on the counter to help release additional trapped bubbles, clean jar rims, and close lids.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 weeks before opening. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 4 months.
*The jars can be sterilised a number of ways (google will help) – we found heating them in a 120 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes the easiest.
Autumn grown cauliflower is abundant at the farm and will continue to grow throughout the winter months. This recipe is comfort food at its best – slow and cathartic to cook, and warming to eat. It is a vegetarian recipe, but bacon, pancetta or ham could easily be added.
Best cooked and eaten with a clean white like Fiano or a light Southern Highland pinot noir.
1 brown onion diced
Head of cauliflower (chopped)
6 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of arborio or carnaroli rice
100gms of taleggio cheese (or if not available brie or camembert can be substituted
1 cup of white wine
Good handful of grated parmesan
- Pre-heat oven to 180c
- 15 mins before you start the risotto, toss half the cauliflower in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 mins. The cauliflower should be brown but not burnt.
- Gently fry the onions and thyme in some olive oil and a good knob of butter.
- When onions are translucent add rice and other half of the chopped cauliflower. Stir for 2 – 3 mins to coat.
- Add wine and simmer for until reduced by half.
- Add stock, a ladle at a time, stirring until stock is absorbed. Slow and steady at this stage with a glass of wine in one hand and wooden sppon in the next.
- Continue with remaining stock until rice is al’dente and stock is absorbed (this will take 20-25 minutes).
- The finishing touch is to turn off the heat – put the chopped taleggio cheese, parmesan and a knob of butter ontop of the risotto and put a lid on.
- Let is set for 5 mins and then stir the melted butter and cheese through the risotto as well as the roasted cauliflower before serving.
Albeit treated as a weed and nuisance in the paddock, the dark sweet fruit from our blackberry trees makes excellent jam in the kitchen. This is best served on hot, buttery toast with a cup of coffee.
500gms of blackberries
500gm of jam sugar
1. Place two small plates in the freezer.
2. Combine blackberry and sugar with the finely grated rind and juice of one lemon in a heavy based saucepan.
3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 35-40 mins (stirring occasionally but careful not to break up the fruit).
4. Test the jam consistency by spooning a small amount onto a chilled plate. Run your finger through it to draw a line.
If the jam stays apart (i.e. does not run) it is ready. If not continue to simmer for another 5 – 10 mins and try again.
5. Once ready spoon into sterilised jars and seal.
6. Keeps for 3 – 6 months in a dark spot. Consume within a month of opening and keep in the fridge.
One of the joys to come out of the Winter veggie patch were our fresh baby peas. Sweet and crunchy they were good enough to simply shell and eat raw. We wanted however to share an ‘unusual’ side of dish of peas and lettuce that is popular in France and our table, and goes fantastically with roast chicken or fish accompanied by something white and sharp.
2 – 3 handfuls of freshly shelled peas
1 brown onion (diced finely)
100gms of pancetta (cut into strips) *note that bacon or lardons will also work
1 iceberg lettuce (washed, cored and shredded)
2 cups of good quality chicken stock
Handful of mint
Good knob of butter
Step 1 Melt butter with a little olive oil in a heavy based fry pan over a medium heat.
Step 2 Add onions and pancetta and cook until onions are soft.
Step 3 Adds peas, mix and then add stock and bring to the simmer. Reduce by a third. Season with some white pepper *note pancetta and the stock are salty so there may be no need to add additional salt.
Step 4 Add lettuce and mint. Mix through the warm stock. Cook for 1 min until lettuce begins to welt.
Step 5 Ladle into a serving bowl (including broth) to be eaten immediately.