Salad and summer go hand in hand and so to start the recipe blog rolling again – here is the Uforic version of roast beetroot, carrot and goat cheese salad.
But before we break into the recipe I thought I’d take a moment to thank all the lovely people who have come to visit the cafe over the past fortnight and to show their support during what has been a very trying time. Roadworks on the Surfcoast Highway have plagued us since the second week we opened the cafe … and despite the fact they were meant to be finished within seven weeks, and then before Christmas – the road is still down to one lane each way.
The following stories were published in the Geelong Advertiser around Christmas, in response to news the works would break for the holidays, and continue throughout January and maybe even into February! That’s FIVE MONTHS!!!
We are so thankful to the local community, both in Geelong, Torquay and surrounds for their support, that I simply had to send the following letter to the editor of the Geelong Advertiser, which they published last week:
To the editor, On behalf of the businesses at the Surfcoast Highway Garden Centre, we would like to thank the local community who have visited us over the past week to empathise and show their support following the terrible effect the roadworks have had on our businesses as reported in … (please reference stories written). While the dramatic loss of customers since October is still being felt by us all, and will take quite some time to recover from, it has been heart-warming to see the local community come out to support us . I have received not only words of encouragement, but hugs from several customers. I would also like to thank Danny Lannen and the Geelong Advertiser for its great coverage of this local issue, which has not only effected our businesses, but the road safety of users, especially during this busy summer period. We continue to call on Vicroads to work on the road 24/7 to ensure it is completed as quickly as possible. If they can do it in Melbourne, why not here? Thank you to everyone who has visited us – we can’t tell you how much we appreciate your support. Lisa Mary Cummins Owner Uforic Food Cafe at the Surfcoast Highway Garden Centre As the weather has really heated up, we have taken to serving summer salad plates. So generally we have four salads on offer, and our new-found customers have really seemed to enjoy mixing and matching the different salads – one of which has been this one.
Due to having to roast the beetroot, it’s not a salad you can throw together in five minutes, but it’s truly worth the time and effort, and the colours of the beets and carrots together with the white goat cheese scattered on top is simply amazing. Add a scatter of parsley and you have a true feast for the eyes!
Roasted Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Meredith Goat Cheese
- 3 medium carrots peeled
- 2 whole beetroot
- red wine vinegar
- caster sugar
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch picked flat leaf parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 100 goat cheese (I love Meredith Goat Cheese, use it if you can get it, you won’t be disappointed!)
- 1 tsp grated ginger
Bring a pot of boiling salted water to the boil and gently simmer the carrots until just cooked – about 10 minutes, but keep and eye on them.
Roast the beetroots with their skin in foil in a medium oven. Before you wrap the beets in foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Allow to cool then peel and cut into wedges. I highly recommend using gloves to do this. If you get the juice on your fingers, it takes FOREVER to get off! In a bowl, place the parsley, beetroot and carrots.
Dress the vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and about 1/3 the amount of red wine vinegar.
Season with the salt and pepper, then add the goat cheese and grated ginger.
Gently mix to ensure the vinegar and oil coat all ingredients.
This salad is great for lunch on its own, or for dinner with a simply grilled piece of steak, or lightly seasoned piece of chicken. Beautifully healthy, sweet with that tangy flavour of the vinegar and the creaminess of the goat cheese makes this salad an absolute delight to eat.
Looking forward to sharing more recipes with you!
The colours in this salad are just gorgeous – not to mention the flavours!
For those of you who don’t know what orzo is – it’s more commonly known in Australia as rissoni (it’s pasta, that looks like plump rice grains). But you could use spirals or shells, or even penne – whatever you have handy is fine.
Overall this salad is tangy, creamy, flavourful and fresh tasting. What more could you want? Do you have a favourite pasta salad recipe? Is it creamy or tomato based? Leave your secret to delicious pasta salad in the comments sections below – it’s always fun to experiment
I always think it’s really important to cook seasonally. It makes no sense to cook any other way. When produce is out of season not only does it suffer in the taste stakes – it’s also really expensive!
My philosophy is to get fruit and veg when it is not only as its best and most plentiful, but also when at its cheapest! Yummy and affordable … sounds like a recipe for success to me!
As the weather continues to warm up – tomatoes always flourish.
So here’s my recipe for a terrific tomato salad. Simple ingredients, excellent flavour.
Christmas in July and a birthday. Is this a time to say “no” to dessert or a little extra food on your plate? I say, hell no!
If we spend our whole lives depriving ourselves of tasty goodness, or the odd indulgence, then what’s the point?
To completely deprive yourself is unsustainable. I reckon that is my key weight loss tip. It’s as simple as that.
If it’s your birthday or if you go to a wedding, I think you should feel totally guilt-free about eating some of the yummy delights on offer. Enjoy it! Life is about gatherings and celebrations. It’s what makes all the effort we put in at work, at home, in the gym (insert something that is important to you here) worthwhile.
Last weekend was a massive indulgence for me. It was my 29th birthday, and so in preparation for my final year as a 20-something I decided to hold what I like to call a Christmas in July/Birthday Party Soiree. Sounds fancy right? Well, it wasn’t necessarily fancy, but it was a whole lot of yummy fun! Other than great food there was some other exciting birthday news. I set myself a secret goal to be in the 80-kilo range by the time the big 29 arrived. Well, I’m very proud to say, I made it! Yup, I now weight 89.7 kilograms. That looks a whole lot better than 111.7kilos! Woot!
Anyway, I’m not weighing myself this week because I think my weekend of indulgence will have ruined my good work. But, I’m not feeling guilty about that, for all of the reasons above!
Anyway, on to some recipes!!
I know, July is over and Christmas is still 144 days away but these recipes are great for any time of the year. Some of these will be kind to your waistline (like the segments of yummy goodness I am about to tell you about) but others aren’t. The latter are what we call ‘sometimes food’, so when it comes to special occasions that come along only sometimes – I say, go for it!
Roasted beetroot with balsamic glaze
- 3 large (or 5 medium) fresh beetroots.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar.
- 3 tbs of olive oil.
- 1 clove of garlic, finely grated.
- A few sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Preheat your oven to 180C. Wash the beetroot thoroughly and cut the stalks off. Lay-out a square of aluminium foil for each of your beetroot. Place each beetroot on its foil and sprinkle with a little water, salt and pepper. Wrap the foil around the beetroot and cook it in the oven for 1.5 hours or until beautifully tender (smaller beets may take less time, so keep an eye on them). Remove from the oven and allow to cool until they can easily be handled.
I recommend wearing gloves at this point. Beetroot juice stains like you would not believe!
Place unwrapped beetroot on a plate (not your chopping board because it will stain that too) and using your gloved hands, remove the peel from the beetroot. It should come off really easily. Discard the peel. On the plate, cut the beetroot into wedges and place in a medium-sized baking tray. Add olive oil, garlic, balsamic, rosemary and salt and pepper and, using your hands, toss the beetroot with all the ingredients. Place back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. This cooking time helps the dressing soak into the beets and caramelises bits of the beetroot giving it a yummy roasted flavour rather than it just tasting boiled.
There you have it. This is the kind of dish that is so diverse because you can serve it with grilled or roasted chicken, a steak, or even the Sunday roast I am about to tell you about. While I can never go past potatoes, carrots and pumpkins, sometimes it’s nice to mix things up!
I did all of the below vegies to accompany a massive seven kilos of turkey!
But, seeing as Christmas is so far away, I am modifying this so you don’t need to wait until Christmas to give it a try! So, here’s a chicken recipe which will leave everyone feeling festive – without the hassel of sourcing, preparing and cooking a whole turkey! This is special occasion stuff, inspired by Jamie Oliver.
Festive chicken with cranberry and herb butter
1 large, preferably free-range, chicken.
125g of butter.
35g of dried cranberries (usually named craisins, you’ll find these in the dried fruit aisle).
A few fresh sprigs of thyme.
2 fresh sprigs of rosemary.
5 fresh sage leaves (or 1 tbs of the dried stuff).
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
The zest of half an orange.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
Soften your butter before placing it in a small food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Blitz until smooth. This should be fairly easy, if your butter is soft enough.
Using very clean hands, starting at the back of the bird use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat to create a cavity. Be gentle so as not to break the skin. Work gently up towards the breastbone. Once you have done this, pick up half of your butter and push it into the cavity you’ve created. Use your hands to push the butter through the skin right to the back so it coats the breast meat as evenly as possible. Do the same on the other side then rub any leftover butter all over the outside of the bird.
Chop the zested orange into segments and place inside the chicken.
Cover with foil and roast at 180C for an hour. Remove the foil and place back in the oven. Continue to bake for about 30 minutes or until the bird is cooked. To test, pierce with a knife and ensure the juices run clear. If they are clear then pull the bird out of the oven and rest for about 5 minutes before carving. This will ensure the meat retains the natural juices when carved, keeping it tender and juicy for your eating pleasure.
Now finally, here’s something refreshing to round everything off. This was a little salad I just couldn’t go past because it’s so easy, light and yummy making it a great accompaniment to heavy dishes.
Fennel salad with lemon vinaigrette
2 tbs of olive oil.
- The juice of half a lemon.
- 1 tbs white wine vinegar.
- 1/4 tsp of sugar.
- 1 large fennel bulb, very thinly sliced (use a mandolin, if you have one).
- 2 tbs of flat-leaf parsley.
- 2 tbs finely chopped chives.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon, vinegar and sugar. Toss it through the fennel. Taste and season with salt and pepper if you like. Garnish with chives and parsley.
This is just a little taste of all the things I made over the weekend. Suffice to say I now vividly remember how much work Christmas lunch really is! As you can see – it was all worth it though what with a few drinks and some crazy Christmas hats – we had a great time. You may even have spotted one of Uforic Food’s new team members, Ruza, on the right 😉
The rest of the weekend was lazy and enjoyable. Here are a few pics from my birthday which included a drive to one of my favourite places ever; Daylesford, Victoria. There was brunch at Frangos and Frangos, some leisure time at Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa and a look around the Mill Market. Later, back in Geelong, I enjoyed dinner with my family at Lord of the Isles. Yum! Thanks to my friends and family for making my birthday weekend so special. I’m the luckiest girl in the world!
Have you done Christmas in July before? Or do you think it’s just a weird concept? Share your festive, or not so festive, opinions in the comments section below!
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