Roasted lamb rump & Jerusalem artichokes
Cut the Jerusalem artichokes in evenly sized pieces (peel them if you wish to reduce the wind factor), toss with olive oil and thyme leaves and put into a hot oven to roast until tender, approximately 30 minutes. Brown the lamb on the stovetop and put into the oven to finish cooking. Set aside to rest while the artichokes finish cooking. Using the same pan you used for the lamb wilt some spinach leaves, then toss with the artichokes. Slice the meat and serve with a pesto or herb salsa such as Waiheke Herb Spread.
Lentil ragu for pasta
Fry onion, celery and carrot until soft. Add garlic and thyme leaves and cook for a minute, add a dash of white or red wine, bring to a boil then add a tin of tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes before adding a tin of lentils and heating through. Add plenty of chopped parsley and toss through pasta. This is brilliant made in large batches and frozen for another meal; to use for a shepherd’s pie simply put into a baking dish and top with mashed potato, kumara or pumpkin (or a mix of all three) and bake until bubbling.
Lamb dan dan
Fry lamb mince with garlic, cumin seeds, and ground Sichuan peppercorns, until brown in colour and cooked through. Add a dash of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and black vinegar and toss through noodles with spring onions and add some chilli paste to serve. If you prefer a soupier version, add some hot chicken or lamb stock to the mince for a few minutes before tossing with the noodles. Serve with steamed greens such as bok choy, silverbeet or broccoli drizzled with a little sesame oil.
Thai green pumpkin curry
Fry onion, garlic and ginger, add some green curry paste (look for a vegetarian version if you don’t eat seafood) and cook for a few minutes. Add cubes of pumpkin, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Add makrut (kaffir) lime leaves and a bruised lemongrass stalk. Simmer until the pumpkin is nearly tender, adding some green vegetables such as baby spinach, kale, green beans, broccoli. For a more substantial dish add cooked chickpeas, lentils or beans to the mix. Garnish with coriander.
Fish with leeks & peas
Gently fry sliced leeks with a little butter until soft, nestle in some fish pieces, add some frozen peas to the pan, a dash of water, stock or wine, cover and steam until tender. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped herbs such as parsley or chives and serve with mashed potatoes.
Fennel & bean gratin
Thinly slice fennel bulbs reserving fronds and put into a pot with vegetable or chicken stock (and a little cream if in need of some comfort). Add some slivers of garlic, season well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for around 5 minutes, add a tin of white beans to the mix, then put into a buttered baking dish, scatter over the fennel fronds and add some freshly grated parmesan and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and tender. Beautiful with roasted lamb or chicken.
Persimmon, daikon, avocado & pancetta salad
Cut ripe but crisp fuyu persimmons into wedges and put into a bowl with thin slices of daikon (or use radish or baby turnips). Add slices of avocado and toss with a dressing made with lime zest and juice and olive oil. Add shredded leaves of shiso, basil or mint and scatter with broken up pieces of crisply fried pancetta.