butternut, black bean and silverbeet chili

I made you a recipe. Eat it on a crisp, autumn weeknight and eat the leftovers for lunch all week.

butternut, black bean and silverbeet chili with chipotle
adapted from Bon Appétit

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, diced
2 chipotle chilis, from a can, minced*
1 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chili
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/3 bunch silverbeet** (approx), stalks chopped small, and greens ribboned, keep separately
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cans blackbeans (I substituted 1 can of kidney beans, chickpeas would also work)
2 stock cubes
2 cups water
optional trimmings: avocado, yoghurt or sour cream, cheddar, coriander, jalapeno

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot at a medium heat. Saute onion and garlic for five minutes, then add silverbeet stalks and continue to cook for a further five minutes. Add chipotle, cumin, chilli and butternut, and cook while stirring for 2-3 more minutes. Add tomatoes, 2 cups of boiling water and two vegetable stock cubes, stir and simmer for about 8 minutes. Add 3 cans drained beans and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the silverbeet leaves, and add extra water if it seems too dry. Cook for a further 5 minutes, until greens are softened and bright. Season with salt and pepper if required, and ladle into bowls. Top with your choice of trimmings like avocado, yoghurt or sour cream, cheddar, coriander, jalapeno. Serve with rice if you like, I didn’t bother.

Makes about 8 servings.

* For me, 2 chipotle chillis and 1/2 tsp ground chilli was the perfect amount for a good light burn, but feel free to use only 1 chipotle or leave out the ground chilli if you can’t handle too much spice, or add more chipotles if you want more heat. As long as you have lots of cooling agents like yoghurt, avocado and cheese, you can always cool it down later.

** Also known as swiss chard

Long Weekend Lunch

A long weekend lunch of caramelised garlic tart, pesto potato and green bean salad, ribboned asparagus salad, club sandwiches, and plum yoghurt cake for dessert.

Ottolenghi’s caramelised garlic tart, from Plenty. It’s a wee bit of work but very, very worth it. I subbed the hard goat’s cheese for some grated cheddar.


  • 13 oz/375g all-butter puff pastry
  • 3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup/220ml water
  • ¾ tbsp fine/caster sugar
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few whole sprigs to finish
  • 4 ¼ oz/120g soft, creamy goat’s cheese
  • 4 ¼ oz/120g hard, mature goat’s cheese
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • ½ cup/100ml heavy/double cream
  • ½ cup/100ml crème fraîche
  • salt and black pepper

Have ready a shallow, loose-bottomed, 28cm fluted tart tin. Roll out the puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sides of the tin, plus a little extra. Line the tin with the pastry. Place a large circle of greaseproof paper on the bottom and fill up with baking beans. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Place the tart case in the oven and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, then bake for a further 5-10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside. Leave the oven on.

While the tart case is baking, make the caramelized garlic. Put the cloves in a small saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a simmer and blanch for 3 minutes, then drain well.

Dry the saucepan, return the cloves to it and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic cloves on a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt. Continue simmering on a medium flame for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a dark caramel syrup. Set aside.

To assemble the tart, break both types of goat’s cheese into pieces and scatter in the pastry case. Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese.

In a jug whisk together the eggs, creams, ½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Pour this custard over the tart filling to fill the gaps, making sure that you can still see the garlic and cheese over the surface.

Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and place the tart inside. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.

Then take out of tin, trim the pastry edge if needed, lay a few sprigs of thyme on top and serve warm (it reheats well!) with a crisp salad.


Lemon ricotta pasta with asparagus

I made this super easy pasta dish for my Mama last week and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since.

Ricotta, about 100 grams
Olive oil, a glug
Asparagus, a bunch chopped into bite sized pieces
Zest of a lemon, and a tablespoon or two of lemon juice
Parmesan, grated
Baby spinach, a few handfuls
Cherry tomatoes, a handful or so chopped in half
Enough fresh pasta for two or three people
Salt, pepper, chili flakes would also be nice though I didn’t think to use them.
Plus you will need to reserve some pasta water, maybe half a cup or more.

Boil some water, once boiling bung (that’s a technical term) in your fresh pasta with a little salt and olive oil.

While that boils for 3 minutes, in a small bowl mix ricotta, lemon zest & juice, olive oil (optional, it’s probably still good without it), salt, pepper and a little parmesan.

After 3 minutes of the pasta boiling (unless it isn’t fresh, obvs), throw in the asparagus and cook for about two minutes.

Reserve your pasta water, drain pasta & asparagus, return to pot, mix in spinach leaves and keep the lid on.

Add small amounts of hot pasta water to your ricotta mix and stir until you get the consistency you want, which is probably just a little runny.

Add to pasta in pot, mix and add more lemon juice, ricotta or pasta water as desired.

Plate up, add chopped cherry tomatoes, extra parmesan and salt & pepper.  And enjoy with a nice glass of New Zealand white wine, of course.

Cooking with Kate! (and Jason)

Corn tortillas are not the easiest thing to get a hold of in New Zealand, so I was delighted when we found some at New World so Jason could finally make me  a tex-mex breakfast burrito filled with migas that he’s been going on about for three whole years.

Ingredients to make 3 huge (by NZ standards) breakfast burritos:
5 or 6 small corn tortillas, 3 large flour tortillas, peanut oil, 1/2 an onion, 1/2 a green capsicum, 4 large eggs, 2 or 3 tomatoes, heaps of grated cheese, sour cream, hot sauce.


Start by chopping up the corn tortillas into little squares while your oil is heating, then fry it until it’s crispy. It smells so good!


Take the corn tortilla bits out and put them in a bowl, fry your onion & capsicum for about 5 minutes, until the onion is becoming transparent.


Put the corn tortilla bits back in the pan to combine, and make sure the pan is on a very low heat.


Pour in the whisked eggs.


Add a handful of cheese and gently scramble the eggs. Stir constantly, making sure to scrape the cooking egg of the bottom of the pan as you go. Keep it cooking super slowly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Take the eggs off the heat when they’re almost cooked, so still a bit gooey, as they always keep cooking after you take them out of the pan and rubbery eggs are GROSS. I spent years thinking I hated scrambled eggs because I’d always been served the overcooked version. Remember, if your eggs are cooked in the pan they’ll be overcooked on the plate.


If you’re not making your own flour tortillas then heat one up for 20 seconds in the microwave, then layer up the migas, chopped tomatoes (I love cooked tomatoes so we fried ours separately from the migas to keep them from getting too soggy) , more cheese & sour cream and hot sauce if you so desire. Ours were too big to wrap up properly so are super messy but they tasted amazing.

Now I’m hungry again!