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Simple muffins

Simple muffins

When we were growing up, our mother owned a cafe. We all worked in the cafe at one time or another and I’m sure this is where I cemented my love of food. The cafe was famous in the neighbourhood for its muffins. The first job of […]

Summer fruit tart

Summer fruit tart

One of my favourite things about summer is the wonderful variety of fruit available in the stores at very reasonable prices. There is such an abundance of beautiful stone fruit lining the shelves its hard not to get inspired to create something delicious. Like this amazing […]

Bread salad

Bread salad

This year we have had a bumper crop of tomatoes and lebanese cucumbers growing in the garden.  As wonderful as this is, it can be challenging to come up with enough new and interesting dishes to keep up with the daily harvest.

Cucumbers

This simple but delicious bread salad is my take on the Middle Eastern Fattoush and makes good use of those excess veggies from the garden. We find it is a great addition to any summer meal.  If made at least an hour before serving the croutons soak up the dressing and some of the tomato juices and become quite addictive!

Croutons

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Cook time: 

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Ingredients
  • 250g loaf bread - we prefer ciabatta but you can use whatever loaf you prefer
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • Oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C. Cut the bread in to 1cm thick slices and then tear each slice into rough 1cm cubes. Lay them into a roasting pan and douse generously with oil. Sprinkle over the garlic powder, ground sumac, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes until crunchy and golden on the edges.
Notes
You'll need to keep an eye on the croutons in the oven as they can catch quite quickly. They will need to be quite dry and hard before removing them from the oven. Once out of the oven, tip them immediately into a bowl or dish to cool otherwise they keep toasting in the hot roasting pan and what you thought were perfect croutons can burn.

 
Bread Salad

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup croutons, made as above
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 lebanese (short) cucumber
  • ½ cup feta cheese (optional)
  • Fresh mint, basil and parsley to taste
  • Olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to dress
Instructions
  1. Slice about ¾ of the cherry tomatoes in half, leaving the rest whole.
  2. Slice the cucumbers into half centimetre slices.
  3. Cube the feta and mix all together in a bowl with the croutons.
  4. Roughly chop the herbs and sprinkle over. Add a splash of oil, squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste and toss well to combine.
Notes
The flavours will improve with standing, so leave for about 15 minutes before checking your seasoning. Serve at room temperature.

Potato gratin

Potato gratin

Potato gratin is one of those dishes I always thought was just a little too fiddly for me to bother with too often.  It always took forever to get through slicing all the potatoes and I could never quite cut them thinly enough… That was until […]